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Money laundering: Masking illegally earned money

| Jun 8, 2021 | White-collar Crime

People who are involved in illegal activities may have to make it appear that the money they’re earning is coming from a legitimate source. The process of doing this is known as money laundering. Unfortunately, the prevalence of money laundering can make innocent people face accusations of this crime. 

There are many ways that individuals can launder money. These can be used by people who are committing white collar crimes or those who are selling drugs on the streets. The tie that binds them is that they want to make their money appear legally earned — because that’s the only way they can eventually spend it.

Simple to complex money laundering

Some individuals who are laundering money will have a cash-based business that they can funnel money through using false receipts. Others might use someone else’s business, even without that person knowing that they’re part of an illegal operation. 

For example, imagine that someone wants to launder a large amount of money at once, so they arrange to hold a concert at a nightclub. They may funnel the illegally earned money through the concert and “cash sales,” so it appears they earned all that money through the concert. Unfortunately, the owner of the venue may look like they’re involved in the scheme when they have no idea what is happening. 

In other cases, someone can be forced into money laundering through threats or intimidation. They may feel trapped and unable to do anything but comply with the other party’s demands.

Innocent people get caught up in unexpected crimes

Anyone who’s accused of money laundering should learn about their options for answering these charges. It’s often wisest to explore one’s legal options as soon as you know that an investigation is underway since that can help you prepare a more cohesive defense strategy early on.