The three phases of money laundering in Missouri

On Behalf of | Nov 15, 2021 | Uncategorized

Money laundering is a white-collar crime in Missouri involving activities that try to conceal the source of money obtained from illegal activities. If you don’t want to be associated or regarded as an accomplice to money laundering, you should know how it works and also the possible repercussions. To help you get a better understanding, take a look at the three main phases of money laundering.

1. Placement

After someone makes money via illegal means, the first thing they have to do is to move the money into a clean, legitimate source of income. This helps them to hide the illegitimacy of the funds. They will often look for a good business to use for this purpose. At this phase of money laundering are typically activities like creating offshore companies, opening foreign bank accounts, starting a cash-based business, and moving small amounts of funds at a time by creating false invoices.

2. Layering

Once they have a system in place, individuals involved in money laundering will break down the large amounts of money from the illegal activities into smaller transactions in the business. In this stage, the aim is to operate under the radar, not to set off alarms to the Missouri law enforcement department.

You can tell that individuals are on the layering stage by purchasing and selling luxurious assets, trading foreign currencies and cryptocurrencies, purchasing money orders, etc. It is often hard to detect foul play in this stage.

3. Integration

Once the money is “clean,” the individual will want to put it back into their legitimate financial accounts so that they can start using the funds. For instance, when they trade foreign currencies, make a profit, and then send those profits to their bank account, anyone can see a clean trail of how they made that money, up to when they used it or saved it.

In Missouri, money laundering falls under a class B felony. If the court finds you guilty of money laundering, they could charge you with a fine twice the amount you laundered or $500,000, whichever is greater. In addition, you could also face a jail term of up to 15 years.