California Money Laundering Laws Translated
Money laundering describes financial transactions made to further criminal activity or disguise funds gained through criminal activity. Money laundering might be used as a way to hide money gained unlawfully through drug deals, bankruptcy fraud, tax evasion, etc…
A person may face money laundering charges brought under federal laws or California state laws. 18 USC 1956 and 18 USC 1957 are the federal anti-money laundering statutes. Sacramento criminal defense lawyer Kresta Daly has successfully defended money laundering allegations in state and federal court.
The prosecution must present evidence of financial transactions meeting criteria of Penal Code 186.10. The law lists the types of activities which qualify as money laundering transactions including bank deposits, withdrawals, fund transfers, wire transfers, payments, and other financial activities. The defendant must have engaged in the transaction through a financial institution such as a bank, credit union, trust company, or other type of institution listed by state law.
The defendant must have performed one transaction or a series of transactions within seven days, with a total value over $5,000. Alternatively, the defendant must have performed one transaction or a series of transactions within thirty days, with a total value over $25,000. Unsuccessful attempts to conduct business might qualify as money laundering even if the transaction does not go through successfully.
In addition to showing evidence of the financial transactions, the prosecutor must establish the defendant’s intent to participate in money laundering. The prosecutor must show that the defendant made the financial transactions with an intent to carry out, promote, or pay for criminal activities. Alternatively, the prosecutor can establish money laundering through evidence that the defendant acted with knowledge regarding the criminal source of the money.
Defenses to Money Laundering Charges
The best possible defense allegations of money laundering depend on the circumstances of a specific case. Every person and every case are different. Sacramento criminal defense attorney Kresta Daly has successfully developed defenses based on lack of knowledge regarding the source or intended purpose of the money.
Call Sacramento Criminal Defense Lawyer Kresta Daly (916) 440-8600
Penalties and Sentences: The punishment for money laundering depends on the number of separate offenses and the value amount of the financial transactions. In general, a conviction for one offense of money laundering may result in a sentence of imprisonment in county jail or state prison for up to one year.
California Penal Code 186.10 Defined
(a) Any person who conducts or attempts to conduct a transaction or more than one transaction within a seven-day period involving a monetary instrument or instruments of a total value exceeding five thousand dollars ($5,000), or a total value exceeding twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) within a 30-day period, through one or more financial institutions (1) with the specific intent to promote, manage, establish, carry on, or facilitate the promotion, management, establishment, or carrying on of any criminal activity, or (2) knowing that the monetary instrument represents the proceeds of, or is derived directly or indirectly from the proceeds of, criminal activity, is guilty of the crime of money laundering. The aggregation periods do not create an obligation for financial institutions to record, report, create, or implement tracking systems or otherwise monitor transactions involving monetary instruments in any time period. In consideration of the constitutional right to counsel afforded by the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Section 15 of Article I of the California Constitution, when a case involves an attorney who accepts a fee for representing a client in a criminal investigation or proceeding, the prosecution shall additionally be required to prove that the monetary instrument was accepted by the attorney with the intent to disguise or aid in disguising the source of the funds or the nature of the criminal activity. A violation of this section shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year or pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170, by a fine of not more than two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) or twice the value of the property transacted, whichever is greater, or by both that imprisonment and fine. However, for a second or subsequent conviction for a violation of this section, the maximum fine that may be imposed is five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) or five times the value of the property transacted, whichever is greater.
(b) Notwithstanding any other law, for purposes of this section, each individual transaction conducted in excess of five thousand dollars ($5,000), each series of transactions conducted within a seven-day period that total in excess of five thousand dollars ($5,000), or each series of transactions conducted within a 30-day period that total in excess of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000), shall constitute a separate, punishable offense.
(c)(1) Any person who is punished under subdivision (a) by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 shall also be subject to an additional term of imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 as follows: (A) If the value of the transaction or transactions exceeds fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) but is less than one hundred fifty thousand dollars ($150,000), the court, in addition to and consecutive to the felony punishment otherwise imposed pursuant to this section, shall impose an additional term of imprisonment of one year. (B) If the value of the transaction or transactions exceeds one hundred fifty thousand dollars ($150,000) but is less than one million dollars ($1,000,000), the court, in addition to and consecutive to the felony punishment otherwise imposed pursuant to this section, shall impose an additional term of imprisonment of two years. (C) If the value of the transaction or transactions exceeds one million dollars ($1,000,000), but is less than two million five hundred thousand dollars ($2,500,000), the court, in addition to and consecutive to the felony punishment otherwise imposed pursuant to this section, shall impose an additional term of imprisonment of three years. (D) If the value of the transaction or transactions exceeds two million five hundred thousand dollars ($2,500,000), the court, in addition to and consecutive to the felony punishment otherwise prescribed by this section, shall impose an additional term of imprisonment of four years. (2)(A) An additional term of imprisonment as provided for in this subdivision shall not be imposed unless the facts of a transaction or transactions, or attempted transaction or transactions, of a value described in paragraph (1), are charged in the accusatory pleading, and are either admitted to by the defendant or are found to be true by the trier of fact. (B) An additional term of imprisonment as provided for in this subdivision may be imposed with respect to an accusatory pleading charging multiple violations of this section, regardless of whether any single violation charged in that pleading involves a transaction or attempted transaction of a value covered by paragraph (1), if the violations charged in that pleading arise from a common scheme or plan and the aggregate value of the alleged transactions or attempted transactions is of a value covered by paragraph (1).
(d) All pleadings under this section shall remain subject to the rules of joinder and severance stated in Section 954.