Money Laundering Attorney

Laundering money is considered a white collar crime that carries massive legal, professional and personal implications for those who are convicted. Money laundering is nearly always charged as a federal offense and can result in harsh penalties and up to 20 years behind bars.

If you or a loved one are currently being investigated for money laundering, or have already been charged, it is highly advisable to retain experienced legal counsel immediately. Jeff King is a skilled money laundering attorney who provides aggressive criminal defense for individuals charged with white collar crimes in state and federal courts. After reviewing every detail of your case, Jeff King can explain potential money laundering penalties and strategies to help minimize charges and protect your legal rights. For 15 years, Jeff King has helped clients throughout the greater Dallas, Texas area successfully navigate the criminal justice system, ensuring that defendants are empowered to make important decisions that can significantly impact the rest of their lives.

What is money laundering?

The United States Department of the Treasury defines money laundering as “financial transactions in which criminals, including terrorist organizations, attempt to disguise the proceeds, sources or nature of their illicit activities.” In other words, laundering money is the process of making financial profits gleaned from illicit activities appear as if they came from legitimate sources. In theory, once the “dirty” money is cleaned, the criminal origins of the funds are not easily detected.

By some estimates, more than $400 billion is laundered every year in the United States alone, and according to the United States Sentencing Commission, nearly 100,000 Americans are convicted of some type of money laundering annually.

In contrast to other financial crimes, money laundering is noteworthy for the diversity of its methods, settings and participants which may include individuals, banks, corporations and drug trafficking cartels.

Money laundering examples

The following are some techniques used to launder ill-gotten funds into legitimate assets or money.

  • Cash-based business occurs when a legitimate business uses its corporate accounts to deposit money obtained through both legal and illegal means. Such businesses are often labeled “fronts.”
  • Shell companies and/or trusts that are employed to disguise the true owner of a large amount of money.
  • Cash smuggling – where cash is illegally smuggled into an offshore bank account or other financial institutions that protect client secrecy.
  • Structuring, also called “smurfing,” is a technique where large sums of cash are broken down into smaller sums which are then deposited into banks or other financial institutions over an extended period of time.
  • Real estate laundering – where real estate or property is bought with illegally-obtained funds and later sold to give the illusion of a legitimate profit.
  • Trade-based laundering, a form of embezzlement, in which invoices are purposely changed to disguise the movement of funds.

Stages of money laundering

Placement, layering, and integration are the three basic stages of laundering money. Placement is the act of introducing ill-gotten monies into the financial system. Layering is the process of concealing the origins of dirty money through complex transactions through shell companies or wire transfers to offshore accounts, making it harder to trace. The final step is integration, in which the money is placed back into the economy through ostensibly legal means.

In Texas, money laundering is a serious criminal offense. Under current penal statutes, defendants can be prosecuted and convicted if they knew the money in question was derived through some kind of criminal activity.

Money laundering Texas statutes and penalties

Texas Penal Code § 34.02 sets forth strict penalties for money laundering offenses.

  • If the value of the funds is between $2,500 and  $30,000 – a state jail felony
  • If the value of the funds is between $30,000 and $150,000 – third degree felony
  • If the value of the funds is between $150,000 and $300,000 – a second degree felony
  • If the value of the funds is more than $300,000 – a first degree felony

Federal Money Laundering Laws

The federal government has enacted several laws designed to combat money laundering. 18 U.S.C. §1956 makes it a federal offense for an individual to engage in financial transactions with funds obtained through illegal means with the intent to promote or conceal the criminal activity. 18 U.S.C. §1957 makes it a federal crime for an individual to engage in financial transactions in amounts over $10,000, with the knowledge that the money was derived through criminal or other illicit activity.

Under the Patriot Act, both the Treasury Department and the IRS have authority to investigate suspected actions that violate federal money laundering statutes.

Depending on the exact nature of the money laundering crime, penalties may include steep fines, incarceration and probation.  As an example, a federal conviction can result in up to $500,000 in fines, or twice the value of money that was laundered – whichever amount is larger. Prison sentences can range from four years to 25 years, depending on the laws violated, the amount of money laundered, and if the defendant has prior convictions.

Needless to say, a money laundering conviction has grave repercussions that can ruin your life, which is why defendants need a qualified attorney who can develop an aggressive defense.

“Competent and Compassionate”

I found Jeff to be a competent and compassionate advocate. As a client, he was the “voice” that I needed him to be to achieve a good result. He allowed me to communicate my needs to him and then diligently went to work to attain them. I would recommend him without hesitation.

“I was given a fair and positive outcome.”

With the type circumstance I had, it was not a hard case nor one that required a court visit or in front of a Judge but it did take some research and many hours of information gathering. I was given to the point, fair and accurate information by Jeffery King and he stuck with me through the whole ordeal. This was not only vital but very personable and I appreciated that to the fullest. I felt comfortable and positive through the entire situation and was given a fair and positive outcome. I thank Jeff King and his other staff that were involved for all they did.

“Prepared, Aggressive & Passionate about the Defense”

As the father of a recent active duty Air Force client of Mr. King’s, and being intimately involved day to day with the case, I can say without hesitation nor mental reservation, Jeff King is a consummate professional. Jeff was not only prepared, aggressive, and passionate about the defense, he also made the time to explain in detail every facet of the trial as it progressed. Having an attorney of Jeff’s caliber in our corner bestowed a feeling of confidence to our family, which was a critical factor in our ability to manage the stressfulness inherent to such serious allegations. Jeff prepared the entire family for every scenario, good and bad, and for that we are forever grateful. Upon receipt of the not guilty verdict and celebrating the obvious joy we felt that this “created adventure” had now come to an end, also came the realization that not only had he won this case, and with it our son’s continued freedom and innocence, but we had made a friend of the highest regard. Our family cannot thank Mr. King enough for his excellent representation on behalf of our son, but also for the lofty amount of integrity and humility demonstrated during the most trying time of our lives. Much respect and Semper Fi.

“Jeff is the best!”

I thought my life was over when I was accused of a horrible crime at a general court-martial. From the moment I met Jeff, he instilled confidence in my case and showed a real enthusiasm for what he does. Be warned: Jeff will put you to work! He prepares for battle and expects you to contribute. He is confident in court and I enjoyed watching the jury respond to him. In the end, I was found NOT GUILTY to all charges! I am so grateful that I hired Jeff to defend me.

“Jeff sets the standard.”

Jeff was amazing! He handled my case through the end of the Article 32 hearing, and set the basis for my acquittal. If it had been any other IO than the one it was, I am certain it would have been dismissed right then, as all the objections he made in the Article 32 were later upheld by the Military Judge, and they been upheld at the Article 32 hearing, it would have been dismissed on the spot. His knowledge, and preparation made all the difference in my case, and his relentless pursuit of the truth showed through. He will always be my first recommendation to anyone who needs legal help.

Successful Criminal Defense in Dallas, Texas

Money laundering, along with other white collar crimes, can be prosecuted in federal court. For residents of Dallas, money laundering charges may arise in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. If you are under suspicion or have been accused of money laundering, criminal defense lawyer Jeff King offers confidential consultations to explore your legal options.

Jeff King boasts a proven track record of securing excellent results in criminal cases involving money laundering, insurance fraud and other white collar crimes.

Additional Money Laundering Resources

  1. FFIEC, Money Laundering Control Act of 1986
  3. Business Pundit, 10 Most Notorious Money Laundering Cases of the 20th Century

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