Money laundering occurs when a person or company converts money made from illegal activity into cash that is seemingly earned in a legal manner. For instance, an Oklahoma restaurant might be used as front to funnel illegal money into a legitimate bank account. By passing illicit gains off as profits from a legal enterprise, it makes it possible to deposit the cash into an account that can be accessed at any time.

Criminal enterprises may split dirty money into smaller amounts that are deposited into several different bank accounts. They may also convert the money into other currencies to make their activities less obvious to spot. It is also common for criminals to smuggle money overseas to take advantage of money laundering laws that aren’t as strict. In some cases, cash will be converted into gold or other items that will later be sent to other countries.

The Financial Action Task Force is designed to stop money laundering activities throughout the world. The Banking Secrecy Act of 1970 requires banks to report cash deposits of more than $10,000 to the government as well as take note of other transactions that it believes to be suspicious. The Money Laundering Control Act as well as the Patriot Act have also made it illegal to launder money inside of the United States.

Individuals who are charged with money laundering or other white-collar crimes may face a variety of penalties if convicted. It may be possible to spend decades in prison as well as pay steep fines. An attorney may dispute assertions that an individual engaged in money laundering or other financial impropriety. For instance, a legal representative may claim that a person wasn’t aware that he or she was performing transactions on behalf of a criminal organization.