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What Is Money Laundering?

Money laundering refers to the process of concealing the source of illegally obtained money. Money laundering is a federal crime and is generally prosecuted by the US Governement through the USA District Attorney's Office and is most often investigated by the FBI, CIA, Secret Service or potentially the INS. The methods by which money may be laundered are varied and can range in sophistication. Many regulatory and governmental authorities quote estimates each year for the amount of money laundered, either worldwide or within their national economy. The FATF, an intergovernmental body set up to combat money laundering, admitted that "overall it is absolutely impossible to produce a reliable estimate of the amount of money laundered and therefore the FATF does not publish any figures in this regard." Regardless of the difficulty in measurement, the amount of money laundered each year is in the billions of dollars and poses a significant policy concern for governments. Governments and international bodies have undertaken efforts to deter, prevent and apprehend money launderers. Financial institutions have likewise undertaken efforts to prevent and detect transactions involving dirty money, both as a result of government requirements and to avoid the reputational risk involved. Much of the money laundering was supported (or overlooked) in past decades. Swiss and Cayman bank accounts were commonly used to hide assets from govenernmental agencies. Fortunately, or unfortunately, the use of computers and the government's insistence on turning over records has made much of this formermethod both obsolete and banking more transparent than ever. Money laundering is a very serious felony charge in the United States. The punishment is generally up to 20 years in prison as well as substantial fines, costs and forfeiture of money and assets. If you have been charged or are involved in an investigation, you should consult an attorney as soon as possible. For a consultation, contact Michael Bouldin in Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky at 859-581+6453 or email at [email protected]

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