Money Laundering Solicitors
Should you be the subject of a money laundering investigation, your legal representatives need to be thoroughly prepared to defend your interests robustly, with a view to undermining the prosecution evidence. The right defence will work tirelessly to give you the best possible result – without it, you could be looking at serious money laundering charges.
Money Laundering Offences
A person commits an offence of money laundering if they:
- Conceal criminal property
- Disguise criminal property
- Convert criminal property
- Transfer criminal property
- Remove criminal property from the UK
- Enters into an arrangement which they suspect facilitates the control of criminal property by or on behalf of another person
- Acquire criminal property
- Use criminal property
- Are in possession of criminal property
The individual in question doesn’t even need to know that they have been involved in a crime to become implicated in a money laundering offence. The legislation is focused on the ‘criminal property’ – namely money or assets derived from criminal activity.
The aim of money laundering is to disguise the criminal property by introducing it into legitimate financial systems via normal legitimate practices such as depositing it into a bank account; essentially blending the tainted money or assets into the system before anyone identifies it as the proceeds of crime or is able to track it back to the original criminal activity.
Traditional stages of money laundering
The initial stage where criminally-derived funds are introduced back into an organisation’s financial system.
The substantive stage of the process where the proceeds of crime are ‘washed’, its ownership undisclosed and source disguised.
The final stage, where the proceeds of crime are reintroduced into a legitimate economy.
Anti-money laundering regulations
The law relating to money laundering is primarily regulated by the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. An example of the draconian nature of the legislation is that an individual charged with acquiring criminal property (Section 329(1)(a) of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002) does not even need to know that he has acquired the proceeds of criminal conduct to commit the offence. The mere suspicion that he has done so will suffice for the offence to be complete if he does, in fact, acquire the proceeds of such conduct. The maximum sentence for offences under these provisions is 14 years.
You should note that, under the Proceeds of Crime Act, the authorities will look to confiscate any money or assets seized that are thought to have been obtained through the criminal activity.
Our specialist team are on-hand
If you or someone you know has been charged with money laundering, please get in touch. For a no-obligation discussion about your case, you can also contact Mark Carter, Head of our Criminal Law department on 0800 1444 111, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.