Money laundering is the conversion of the proceeds of crime into other money or asset(s) in a fashion that creates a false impression of legitimacy and which hides the true origin of anything acquired by illegal means.
The money may have arisen from sources such as:
• VAT or other tax fraud
• drug trafficking
• credit card fraud
• boiler room fraud
• simple theft.
Effectively, the intent of money laundering is to convert ‘dirty money’ into ‘clean money or assets’.
The legislation regulating money laundering is extremely detailed but it is an offence for anyone to deal with property where that person knows, believes or suspects that it represents the proceeds of criminal activity.
How is money laundering achieved? | Money Laundering Defence Solicitors
Money laundering can be achieved by a number of techniques such as:
• basic cash smuggling, whereby funds are simply moved to a financial institution in a different jurisdiction where less regard is given to anti money laundering enforcement
• under valuing or over valuing trading invoices in order to disguise the movement of money
• passing cash through cash intensive businesses such as casinos, or other gambling scenarios, where it would be difficult to differentiate between ‘dirty money’ and ‘clean money’
• purchasing property with ‘dirty money’, often through companies constituted and designed to commit such fraud or through an individual nominee, and then borrowing money against the security of such property thereby enabling the release of the ‘clean’ borrowed money.
• the creation of fictitious loans which appear to be repaid by ‘clean’ money.
Who can walk into the trap of a potential charge of money laundering?
Absolutely anyone, however diligent that person thought they may have been.
Historical headline press stories may lead to the mistaken belief that only prominent multi- national companies or wealthy public figures can fall suspect such as:
• Bank of Credit and Commerce International – where an amount estimated to run into billions arose from criminal proceeds was laundered in the mid 1980s
• Standard Chartered – which was fined $330 million for laundering billions of dollars for Iran
• BNP Paribas – which company pleaded guilty in 2014 and paid an £8.9 billion fine for violating US sanctions against Iran and Cuba.
Some everyday scenarios | Specialist Fraud Solicitors
As examples of situations where you may innocently invite investigation by the authorities beware of:
1. the ‘friend’ who –
• asks you to look after and bank some money in order to prevent a husband or wife from finding out about it, or
• claims to have fallen out with his/ her bank manager and is unable to find a safe haven for the money or
• claims to have won it gambling or
• claims to be looking after it for somebody else
• asks you to act as a ‘nominee director’ on his/her behalf due to technical problems in them so acting.
2. the buyer of your house, car or other valuable asset who offers you a substantial cash payment
3. anyone with whom you conduct business and who only deals in cash
4. any other situation where substantial cash is offered to you.
Money laundering is either charged by the authorities as a single offence in its own right or in addition to another, normally, fraudulent offence.
Frequently, a wife of a principal defendant will be charged when her husband can be seen to have passed money through her account, often without her knowledge.
How we can help | Kangs Solicitors Fraud Defence
The team is led by Hamraj Kang who is only one of two lawyers nationally to be ranked as a ‘star individual’ for his work in financial crime and fraud.
At Kangs Solicitors we defend on a regular basis clients charged with committing money laundering offences.
As the result of this we are able to offer our great depth of knowledge to assist you in dealing with any situation with which you are confronted.
Contact Us | Money Laundering Defence Solicitors
Should you suffer as the result of, become involved in or be accused of any money laundering activity and require any guidance and advice then please do not hesitate to contact our team of lawyers below who will be pleased to meet you for an initial free consultation.