The Illinois Criminal Code provides for serious penalties for those convicted of money laundering offenses. Criminal sanctions for money laundering are designed to punish individuals or organizations who hide the proceeds of unlawful activities through the means of questionable financial transactions. These transactions often involve otherwise legitimate accounts. The types of unlawful activities than can serve as the underlying criminal act can range far and wide, but they must be of a certain level of seriousness in order to trigger money laundering charges.
Illinois law closely mirrors federal law, splitting money laundering activities into two categories: transaction and transportation. A wide variety of transactions can be considered laundering, including gifts, loans, sales, purchases, investments, exchanges of currency, and wire transfers. Transportation involves delivering funds or property derived from illegal activities, even if there is no complete transaction that can be pointed to.
A prosecutor must show that you intended to promote the unlawful activity that was the source of the funds, or that you knew or should have known that the transaction that you carried out was designed to conceal the origin of the criminally-derived funds or to avoid a state reporting requirement on the funds.
Penalties for money laundering depend on the alleged amount in question:
- Less than $10,000 laundered is a Class 3 felony
- Between $10,000 and $100,000 laundered is a Class 2 felony
- Between $100,000 and $500,000 laundered is a Class 1 felony
These charges, whether they are for attempted or completed transactions, can carry long prison sentences and large fines. Penalties can also be increased when certain underlying crimes are involved. In some serious cases, probation will not be an option. Check with a defense attorney to find out how a particular crime may be treated under the law.
Defenses to Allegations of Money Laundering
Prosecutors must prove that an alleged money launderer was aware of that the funds or property that they handled in their transaction came from an unlawful source. Because of this requirement, lack of knowledge of the source of certain funds or the purpose of a particular transaction can serve as viable defenses to charges of money laundering. An experienced attorney can help you plan an aggressive defense if you are facing money laundering charges. Goldman & Associates has years of experience representing defendants accused of money laundering and other white collar crimes. To preserve your reputation and your liberty, contact our Chicago area office today for a consultation on your Illinois money laundering charges.