White Collar Defense: Bank Secrecy Act Crimes

If you have engaged in a money laundering or structuring scheme, know that governments across the globe have increased the number of controls and methods for detecting your activities.

The criminal penalties are severe – for money laundering, they may reach as much as twice the amount of money laundered (or $500,000, whichever is more) and imprisonment for up to 20 years. The White Collar Criminal Defense attorneys at Moskowitz, LLP have significant experience defending Bank Secrecy Act crimes and are ready to assist you.

Money laundering

Money laundering under 18 U.S. Code § 1956 involves moving illegally-acquired funds through various transactions so that the money ends up looking like it came from a legal activity.  Money laundering involves:

  • Placement of unlawful proceeds into the financial system,
  • Layering, or separating the proceeds of criminal activity by structuring transactions to evade reporting requirements, and
  • Integration of the proceeds with additional transactions such as asset purchases to make the funds appear legal.

Money laundering is often accomplished via the manipulation of invoices, use of front companies and shell corporations and the use of margin securities. Whether you have been laundering money between the U.S. and another country or only within a single city, you need our help.

Structuring

The Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) requires that banks and other financial institutions file reports, which help create a money trail for U.S. and foreign government agencies to track the millions of untaxed dollars being laundered through the banking system.

If you have attempted to trick a domestic or foreign business or financial institution into not filing its currency transaction report or IRS Form 8300 by breaking a single transaction into pieces smaller than $10,000 each within a twelve month period, you may be charged with “structuring” pursuant to 31 U.S. Code § 5324. You can be convicted of this felony even if the money was obtained legally and you paid all your taxes. The illegality is solely in the attempt to avoid the reporting requirements.

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