Defending Yourself Against Money Laundering
We hear from Robert Jenkins, Partner at Bynum & Jenkins, who reveals how individuals can defend themselves from money laundering, especially with online fraud on the rise.
How can you protect yourself from money laundering?
This type of federal offence involves acquiring money through criminal actions and then funnelling the funds through a legitimate company to make the money appear “clean”. In order to convict someone for money laundering in the United States, the prosecution must show that the defendant concealed money in order to cover up the source, nature, location, and identity of the illegally obtained funds. This does not mean putting the money in a safe or another hidden place. Rather, money laundering involves depositing money in a bank or business to make it appear that it came from a legitimate source. The government must also prove that the money originated from a specific federal offence, such as those mentioned above. If the funds did not come from criminal activity, the prosecution cannot obtain a money laundering conviction. Getting convicted of money laundering is punishable by a maximum prison term of 20 years. The greater the amount of money involved in the alleged offence, the longer the prison sentence and the higher the fines. In order to defend yourself from a charge of money laundering, you must take steps to ensure the legitimate source of any deposits can be verified.
Establishing a defence usually starts with the strategy. What strategies are available here? How do you devise the right one?
A sound strategy is key to any successful criminal defence. Decisions concerning the most effective way to attack the prosecution’s case is step number one. Next, attention must be given to what evidence the defendant will present. Whether the defendant intends to testify is important to this consideration. And finally, it is necessary that you anticipate and plan accordingly for the prosecutor’s rebuttal of any evidence you present.
Small businesses are often the victims of money laundering schemes. Why is this the case?
Small businesses are often used as a target for money laundering schemes. This is particularly true if the small business regularly deals in cash transactions. The more legitimate cash transactions the easier it is for money derived from an illegal source to be commingled.
Criminals continually develop new tactics. Has the recent pandemic shown any new trends?
The recent pandemic has led to the development of several new schemes designed to take advantage of the current situation. We have seen a significant increase in prosecutions involving fraudulent loan applications or other schemes designed to take advantage of recently developed government assistance programs. Scams being perpetrated over the internet attempting to defraud victims are also on the rise.
How can businesses defend themselves from new and different strategies?
Businesses and individual need to exercise caution when applying for newly established loan and assistance programs. It is important that you clearly understand the criteria for the program and only provide verifiable information in support of your application. You should also be leery of any unsolicited contact by way of the internet requesting personal financial information from you. You should never respond to such inquiries without first assuring yourself that it is not a scam.
Robert L. Jenkins, Jr. Attorney at Law
Direct Dial: (703) 309 0899
Fax: (703) 229 8653
Address: 1010 Cameron Street; Alexandria, VA 22314
Mr Jenkins actively handles a variety of white collar crime matters in both state and federal courts. He is a graduate of the National Law Center at the George Washington University. Over the last 25 years, Mr Jenkins has successfully defended individuals accused of embezzlement, wire fraud, bank fraud, bankruptcy fraud, conspiracy, theft of government property, aggravated identity theft, and tax related violations. He has tried more than 100 jury trials. In addition, Mr Jenkins litigates matters on direct appeal as well as related post-conviction matters.
With more than 26 years of top-notch legal experience, the legal team at Bynum & Jenkins provides knowledgeable and personalised legal representation to clients facing federal criminal charges in Virginia or Washington D.C. They are available 24 hours a day and seven days a week to help you determine your available legal options and guide you through the legal process.