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Massive Cryptocurrency Heist Offers New Insights into Modern Money Laundering

Posted on in Federal Crimes

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: 

  • Moving money or other monetary instruments between the U.S. and other countries with the intent to commit a crime 
  • Illegal drug manufacturing, distribution, or sales
  • Human trafficking 
  • Child sexual exploitation
  • Weapons smuggling
  • Kidnapping, extortion, robbery, or other violent crimes
  • Bribing public officials 
  • Embezzling public funds

What Are the Punishments for a Federal Money Laundering Conviction? 

Penalties for federal money laundering can include up to 20 years in jail and up to $500,000 in fines. Depending on the seriousness of the crime, the amount of money laundered, and the defendant’s previous criminal history, these punishments can be reduced, changed, or dropped entirely. A successful prosecution for federal money laundering charges requires the prosecution to prove that the alleged criminal knew he was participating in illegal actions. A skilled criminal defense attorney has ample opportunity to undermine a prosecutor’s case against a defendant. 

Call a Plano Federal Money Laundering Defense Attorney

Charges of federal money laundering are serious and have the potential to impact your future forever. If you have been charged with or are being investigated for state or federal financial crimes, consider getting help from an experienced Plano money laundering defense attorney right away. At The Crowder Law Firm, P.C., we have built strong cases for many clients involved in federal cases and we have defended over 250 cases that have resulted in acquittals or not guilty verdicts. Call us today at 214-303-9600 to schedule a free case review.

 

Sources: 

https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2022/2/8/us-arrests-couple-for-allegedly-laundering-4-5bn-in-bitcoin 

https://www.fincen.gov/history-anti-money-laundering-laws

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