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Red Flags Authorities Look for to Catch Money Launderers

 Posted on October 30, 2023 in Criminal Defense

Dallas criminal defense lawyerTexas has become a major hub for complex money laundering operations trying to hide illicit cash flows from drug trafficking, human smuggling, fraud schemes, and other crimes. Law enforcement agencies have become increasingly adept at spotting the red flags that expose these illicit money laundering fronts. A Texas lawyer can help if you are facing this type of charge.

Structuring Deposits

One common tactic money launderers use in Texas is structuring cash deposits to avoid deposit reporting requirements. They purposefully break up large amounts of cash into smaller deposits below $10,000 to evade detection. Agents look for customers frequently depositing money just under the $10,000 threshold across different bank branches as a major red flag of structuring activity.

Funnel Account Activity

Money launderers in Texas use “funnel accounts” to make dirty money harder to track. Illicit funds from various sources are commingled into a single account before being transferred out in smaller amounts. Unusual money flows or transfers well beyond what a business would normally require signal potential laundering with these accounts.

Trade-Based Schemes

Criminals exploit import and export businesses to hide illegal cash. They may over-invoice imports and receive excess funds abroad or under-invoice exports, allowing associates overseas to retain the difference. These trade-based schemes indicate businesses with huge discrepancies between import and export values and goods actually changing hands.

Mixing Clean and Dirty Funds

One sneaky tactic is blending illegally earned money with legitimate business income to conceal the illicit sources. Agents look for businesses suddenly seeing a spike in cash revenue inconsistent with historical clean activity. Large cash payments from unknown or suspicious sources also raises concerns.

Shell Companies

Launderers registered as shell companies with no real operating premises, or activity is a major indicator of illegal money shuffling. Often, the business names, addresses, and owners are fake fronts with no substantive operations. Registrations with offshore locales and P.O. box addresses also draw an investigation.

Out of State Wire Transfers

Money laundering organizations try moving funds out of Texas jurisdiction to block tracing efforts. Agents watch for regular wire transfers to high-risk jurisdictions like Mexico, China, and the Cayman Islands. Transfers involving other red-flag entities without a clear purpose indicate potential money laundering.

Contact a Dallas, TX Criminal Defense Lawyer

Operating a legitimate business in Texas requires vigilance to avoid even unintentional violations. A Plano, TX criminal defense attorney can help if you are facing charges. Call The Crowder Law Firm, P.C. at 214-544-0061 for a free consultation.

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