Money Laundering in Texas
Money laundering is the kind of crime one hears about on television as part of a large economic crime heist. There are, in fact, instances of money laundering that involve other well-developed criminal enterprises, however, even tangential involvement in money laundering can subject an individual to criminal penalties.
Money laundering is the basic term used to describe the process of disguising the original ownership of proceeds, generally from other criminal ventures. Each year, billions of dollars are laundered through the U.S. financial sector, often without the help of anyone in the finance industry.
Catching money-laundering activity involves tracing and tracking criminal financial transactions.
Attorney for Money Laundering Crimes in Georgetown, TX
If you or someone you know has been charged with money laundering in Georgetown, Texas, contacting an experienced criminal defense attorney is imperative.
At Law Office of Michael J. Price, founder Michael J. Price believes in fighting for the rights of criminal defendants. Understanding that a person is innocent until proven guilty is a crucial part of his practice and with more than two decades of experience, he is well-versed in fighting for those rights.
With offices located in Williamson County, Texas, Law Office of Michael J. Price accepts money laundering cases throughout Bell County, Milam County, Lee County, Bastrop County, Travis County, and Burnet County, Texas.
Call (512) 354-1880 now to schedule a free, no obligations, consultation with our firm.
Elements of Money Laundering under Tex. Pen. Code § 34.02
There are multiple ways to commit the crime of money laundering. In order to convict an individual under Texas Penal Code 34.02, the State must show any of the following:
- The individual acquired or maintained an interest in, conceals, possesses, transports, or transfers the proceeds of criminal activity;
- The individual supervises, conducts, or facilitates a transaction involving the proceeds of criminal activity;
- The individual invests, expands, or receives, or offers to invest, expend, or receive the proceeds of criminal activity or funds that the person believes are the proceeds of criminal activity; or
- The individual finances or invests or intends to finance or invest funds that the person believes are intended to further the commission of criminal activity.
To be found guilty under Texas Penal Code § 34.02, it is not necessary that the accused know the nature of the criminal activity that gave rise to the proceeds.
Moreover, the finder of fact in a money laundering case will be allowed to presume that funds are the proceeds of or are intended to further the commission of criminal activity if a peace officer or a person acting at the direction of a peace officer represents to the person that the funds are proceeds of or are intended to further the commission of criminal activity.
Proving Money Laundering
Essentially, the prosecutor will have to prove the above elements beyond all reasonable doubt in order to convict an individual of money laundering. However, the State will also have to prove that you at least had some knowledge that such proceeds being laundered were the product of criminal activity.
A defense to money laundering charges involves a person who acts wit the intent to facilitate the lawful seizure, forfeiture, or disposition of the funds or other legitimate law enforcement purposes pursuant to Texas or United States law.
Types of Money Laundering Activity
The process of laundering illegal proceeds involves cycling illegal money through the regular channels of commerce. The process generally involves three distinct stages.
- Placement –criminally derived funds are introduced into commerce.
- Layering –ownership of the funds are disguised, cycled through the financial system.
- Integration – the final stage where laundered money is re-introduced into the legitimate market.
Penalties for a Money Laundering Conviction
Money laundering in Texas is a serious criminal offense, and depending on the surrounding circumstances can be subject to both, federal or state laws.
The type of penalty handed down will depend on the amount of money that was laundered through the financial system. Charges may range from a state jail felony, to a first-degree felony.
Money laundering in Texas is penalized as follows:
- Laundering between $2,500 and $30,000 is charged as a state jail felony, punishable by up to two years in jail and up to $10,000 in fines.
- Laundering between $30,000 and $150,000 is charged as a third-degree felony, punishable by up to ten (10) years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
- Laundering between $150,000 and $300,000 is charged as a second-degree felony, punishable by up to twenty (20) years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
- Laundering ore than $300,000 is charged as a first-degree felony, punishable by up to life in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
What is Money Laundering – Visit the International Compliance Association, an organization dedicated to making the world more stable and successful by inspiring, educating, and enabling our global community of compliance specialist to perform to the highest standards of professionalism and practice. The website provides additional information about what is money laundering and how the process actually takes place.
Texas Penal Code § 34.02 – visit the official website of the Texas Legislature for the full statutory language associated with the Texas money laundering statute, including the penalties and punishments that may result from conviction.
Find a Georgetown Lawyer for Money Laundering
If you or someone you know has been charged with money laundering in Georgetown Texas, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Attorney Michael J. Price is an experienced defense attorney, who zealously advocates on behalf of those accused of money laundering and other economic crimes in Texas. He fights for clients throughout the courtrooms in Williamson County, and in the surrounding areas of Milam County, Lee County, Bastrop County, Travis County, and Burnet County, TX.
Contact Law Office of Michael J. Price at (512) 354-1880 now to schedule a no obligations, confidential, consultation with our experienced Texas criminal defense attorney.
This article was last updated on Friday, September 15, 2017.