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Plano federal criminal defense attorneyWhen we think of money laundering in Texas, we might think of relatively small-scale enterprises like car washes, nail salons, and laundromats that offer customers the opportunity to pay in cash and allow the owners to hide ill-gotten money. But in the age of cryptocurrency, money laundering does not follow traditional means of obfuscation.  

Just a few days ago, an American couple made the news when they were arrested for stealing more than 3.6 billion dollars’ worth of cryptocurrency. Charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to defraud the United States, this couple’s situation sheds light on how technology can complicate areas of criminal law that are still being developed. 

Is Money Laundering a State or Federal Crime? 

Even if the crime of money laundering is committed exclusively in the state of Texas, a person may be charged with federal money laundering crimes if they use or try to use money they know was illegally obtained. Certain types of crimes can also bring federal money laundering charges, such as: 

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Fort Worth Federal Criminal Defense LawyerGun violence is an ongoing issue in the United States. In many cases, the firearms used in crimes are purchased or acquired in states other than where crimes involving these guns occur. Since Texas is a state that has been identified as a common source of firearms used in other states, dealers or private gun sellers in Texas will need to be aware of possible violations of the law that could result in federal criminal charges.

Federal Crimes Involving the Sale or Transfer of Firearms

Firearms trafficking will typically involve gun diversion in which firearms that are legally purchased are transferred into the possession of people who are not legally allowed to possess firearms or who go on to use these guns when committing a criminal offense. Straw purchasing, in which one person purchases a firearm on behalf of someone else, is one of the most common methods of gun diversion. Guns may also be diverted into illegal markets through private sales by firearm owners or thefts from firearm dealers or sellers.

In most cases, The specific federal offenses in cases involving firearms may include:

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Fort Worth Federal Crimes Defense LawyerAll types of criminal charges should be taken seriously, since a prosecution by law enforcement officials can affect a person’s life, reputation, and career. Federal charges can be especially serious, and prosecutors working for federal government agencies have significant resources to investigate an alleged crime and pursue charges in federal courts. What is more, a conviction of a federal crime will often result in more serious penalties. Wire fraud is one type of federal charge that has become more common in recent years, and those who are accused of committing this type of fraud will want to understand the nature of the crime and the potential consequences they could face if convicted.

What Is Wire Fraud?

Fraud generally involves the theft of money or property that is committed by making false statements, concealing facts, or misrepresenting a person’s identity. Wire fraud may include any forms of fraud that are committed through the use of interstate electronic communications. This includes a variety of criminal activities conducted over the internet, as well as those involving phones, radio, or television. Examples of wire fraud include:

  • A person may contact someone via email or social media, misrepresent their identity, and claim that they will pay a certain amount of money if the person provides access to their bank account.

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Plano Criminal Defense AttorneyThere is no denying that human smuggling has turned into a major issue in the United States. Here in Texas, many human smuggling victims are brought into the country over the border from Mexico. Anyone involved in human smuggling faces serious criminal charges if caught, but now comes news that Mexican drug cartels are enticing Texas teenagers to become involved in these dangerous smuggling operations, putting the teens at risk of not only facing arrest but also the potential for serious injury in the process.

TikTok Advertisements

TikTok has become one of the most popular social media platforms for teens. Criminal Mexican cartels are taking advantage of this popularity and using the platform to attract teenagers into bringing illegal migrants into Texas.

According to an investigation conducted by a major news network, the cartels advertise on TikTok, offering teens one thousand dollars to drive the illegal migrants to Houston. Many of these migrants are actually drug cartel members or they have criminal records. Instead of surrendering to border authorities or being screened by immigration officials before being released, these migrants being smuggled are attempting to avoid apprehension because of their criminal histories and would be not allowed into the country by border patrol.

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texas criminal defense lawyerThe laws surrounding marijuana in the United States have been in flux over the past decade. Multiple states have made marijuana legal for both medical and recreational use. Others have decriminalized possession of small amounts of the drug, meaning that people will usually face civil infractions rather than criminal penalties. However, marijuana is still considered a Schedule I controlled substance by the federal government, and there are some situations where a person may be charged with federal crimes if they are accused of possessing, distributing, selling, or transporting this drug.

Federal Charges Related to Marijuana

Technically, possession of marijuana is a federal offense. “Simple” possession involves a person knowingly and intentionally carrying a drug on their person, transporting it in their vehicle, or storing it in their place of residence unless they have a valid prescription for the substance from a medical provider. A conviction for simple possession can result in a sentence of up to one year in a federal prison, as well as a minimum fine of $1,000.

However, most of the time, federal officials do not prosecute cases involving simple possession of marijuana. Federal authorities are more focused on large-scale drug trafficking, especially in situations where marijuana is transported and distributed in multiple states or smuggled into the U.S. from another country. These cases typically involve large amounts of marijuana, as well as a conspiracy by multiple people to manufacture, package, transport, and sell the drug to others.

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