Money laundering remains a white-collar crime that law enforcement tries to address. Money laundering involves frequently taking large sums of illegally gotten money and seeking to legitimize the funds. Running money from an illegal enterprise through a legitimate Missouri business is one way someone could pay taxes on the funds while creating paper trails that falsely suggest the money came from a legal enterprise. There could be other methods that are employed.
Slowly reporting layers of funds as income from a chain of restaurants may hide revenues generated from illegal gambling, drug dealing and other activities. Money laundering may involve making numerous deposits of illegal money into the banking system. Depositing $1 million in cash would likely call attention to a shady enterprise. Effective money laundering strategies might bring illegal money into the banking system undetected.
Whistleblowers and informants may reveal how money laundering occurs. Other times, banks could report suspicious activities. Even an IRS audit might create a chain reaction leading to an investigation.
Money laundering schemes could be elaborate ones that use mules to help transfer and deposit money. A mule might not know they are involved with illegal activities. The same could be true about a business partner who doesn’t realize an associate is pumping illegal money into a legal enterprise.
Guilt beyond a reasonable doubt remains the threshold to convict someone of a white-collar crime. Those unknowingly caught up in a money-laundering scheme may find the charges against are weak, but a flimsy prosecution could still move forward.
Federal investigators must follow the law when pursuing money launderers. Evidence obtained without a warrant might face a motion to suppress in court. Other challenges to the prosecution’s evidence may undermine a case.
For personalized legal guidance, call our office at 417-882-9300 or submit this form to schedule a meeting with an attorney.