Tampa Money Laundering Attorney
The Florida Bar Journal defines money laundering as, “The process by which one conceals the existence, illegal source, or illegal application of income, and disguises that income to make it appear legitimate.” For example, a legitimate business may report increased earnings to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) while some of the business’ reported income is actually laundering money coming from selling illegal drugs. Those who engage in money laundering in Florida face serious criminal charges as well as potential federal charges and civil charges. As such, having an experienced criminal defense lawyer with vast knowledge in money laundering law on your side is crucial if you have been accused of money laundering. Call the Tampa law offices of Roman & Roman today at 877-767-1032 to speak with a Tampa money laundering attorney.
The Penalties for a Money Laundering Conviction in Florida
According to Florida senate statute 896.101, money laundering is punishable by the state with large stints of prison time, as well as incredibly hefty fines. An individual can be fined up to $250,000 or twice the amount of their illegal transaction, or whichever is greater. Or, if they have had prior convictions of money laundering, they can be fined up to $500,000 or five times the amount of their illegal transactions. In terms of prison sentencing, please note the following, according to the Florida senate:
- Financial transactions of $300 to $20,000 during a 12 month-period is a third degree felony and punishable by up to five years in prison;
- Financial transactions of $20,00 to $100,000 during a 12 month period is a second degree felony and punishable by up to 15 years in prison; and
- Financial transactions of greater than $100,000 during a 12 month period is a first degree felony and punishable by up to 30 years in prison.
The government can also confiscate your property if involved in a felony. This process is called asset forfeiture, and any personal property that was believed to be used to transport or aide in illegal money laundering can be confiscated by the government as part of evidence and also as part of the punishment, though you may never be able to get it back even if proven innocent. This personal property can include cars, boats, planes, business or home property, and other valuable assets to you and your family. An experienced defense attorney can not only help you win and beat the allegations of money laundering, but can also mitigate the damages caused by asset forfeiture.
As with many legal charges, money laundering is becoming more complex with emerging technology. For instance, The Miami Herald reported on a controversial case involving money laundering via Bitcoins, a virtual currency often associated with trafficking drugs. While previously this currency has been used for illegal purposes, there are also legitimate vendors within Florida who accept Bitcoin payments.
At the Tampa law offices of Roman & Roman we are committed to staying up to date with legal precedent that will impact the cases we take in the future so that we can offer the best legal support to our clients. Call us today at 877-767-1032 to speak with a Tampa Money Laundering Defense Attorney.