Miami Money Laundering Lawyer

Miami Money Laundering Lawyer
Miami Money Laundering Lawyer

Miami Money Laundering Attorney

Money laundering is the concealment of money obtained through illegal activity, such as drug trafficking or fraud. It can take many forms, but typically involves multi-layered financial transactions, which are designed to conceal the true nature of the funds. Money laundering can involve simple banking transactions, sales of contraband prescription drugs or complex real estate purchases and the use of businesses to make it appear that money obtained illegally was gained from legitimate sources. If you have been accused of laundering money in any way, it is absolutely essential that you reach out to a skilled and experienced Miami money laundering lawyer who understands how to analyze and defend these cases.

Effects of Concealing Finances

Concealing finances in any way, shape or form can result in being investigated or charged with money laundering. Preparing a money laundering defense involves a review of bank records, contracts and financial transactions that can be complex. Reach out to me at the Law Offices of Barry M. Wax in Miami, Florida. You’ll work directly with me, an experienced money laundering defense lawyer, to go over the details of your case and build a strong defense.

Key Factors That Must Be Present to Be Charged With Money Laundering

Understanding the legal aspects of financial or white-collar crimes, especially regarding money laundering in Florida, can be challenging. Charging someone with money laundering in the state typically requires several key factors to be present, such as:

  • Illegally obtained funds. Typically, money laundering charges originate from funds acquired through unlawful activities.
  • Financial transactions. To be charged with money laundering, you must participate in financial transactions with the intent to conceal where they came from.
  • Knowledge and intent. There must be proof that you knowingly engaged in these financial transactions while intending to hide the proceeds’ illegal source.
  • Layering and integration. This includes using a series of transactions to make the illegal funds look like they are from legitimate sources.
  • Threshold amounts. Money laundering charges may apply when the amount of funds involved in the criminal activity exceeds a certain limit.
  • Reporting requirements. Financial institutions and businesses are often required by law to report suspicious transactions to local police, state agencies, and federal authorities.

Money Laundering in Florida

Money laundering in Florida constitutes a criminal offense involving various activities connected to the processing of funds originating from illicit sources. State laws on money laundering specifically target individuals who participate in financial transactions that are tied to unlawful activities like drug trafficking, fraud, corruption, theft, and other illegal practices

Florida’s legislation on money laundering also addresses the transportation of funds acquired through unlawful activities. Moving more than $300 of criminal funds within Florida or internationally is against state law, and moving more than $10,000 in criminal funds into or out of the United States is prohibited under federal law

For those traveling through Florida ports (airports, seaports, etc.) with over $10,000 in cash, you must declare it to customs officials, even if you obtained the money legally.

Florida considers money laundering to be a serious offense. The gravity of money laundering charges becomes apparent when considering the following facets:

  • Classification as a felony. Generally, money laundering is classified as a felony in Florida. The specific degree of the felony charge is based on the amount of money involved and other factors. The higher the amount, the more serious the potential charges.
  • Penalties. The penalties can include imprisonment, fines, and asset forfeiture.
  • Amount involved. The amount of money involved is a critical factor in determining the level of offense. Florida law upholds different penalties for money laundering, depending on how much money was involved in the transactions.
  • Intent. Money laundering charges generally require proof that you were engaged in financial transactions with the intent to conceal or legitimize illegally obtained funds.
  • Impact on victims and society. Money laundering can potentially perpetuate and facilitate criminal activities, such as drug trafficking, fraud and corruption, so it may be seen as a threat to the integrity of financial systems and community safety.
  • Federal implications. Money laundering can go above state law and be prosecuted at the federal level, which could result in additional penalties, including federal charges and prison sentences.

Money laundering can also be committed through Bitcoin and other virtual currencies in Florida. The state added “virtual currency” to the official definition of “monetary instruments” in the state law. Money laundering through cryptocurrencies might occur through placement, layering, and/or integration.

Placement is when illegally obtained funds are brought into the cryptocurrency system. This can involve purchasing cryptocurrency with cash, transferring funds into a cryptocurrency wallet, or receiving virtual currency as a payment for unlawful activities. Layering is a series of complex transactions that are used to obscure the origins of the money. This happens once the funds have entered the cryptocurrency system. Integration occurs once the funds have been layered. This is when cryptocurrency is converted back into traditional currency.

Just like in money laundering with traditional money, penalties for money laundering involving Bitcoin or other virtual currencies in Florida may include imprisonment, fines, and asset forfeiture

Working With Individuals and Businesses

Whether you’re facing a personal, corporate or business-related investigation into your finances, it’s important to have a defense lawyer who understands money laundering cases by your side. I represent both individuals and businesses and understand that there are many different circumstances that can be misinterpreted by law enforcement and prosecutors. If you have been visited by federal agents, law enforcement, or have been serviced with a grand jury subpoena for the production of records, it’s important that you talk to a lawyer.

When you consult with me, I will…

  • Analyze your specific situation.
  • Walk you through the legal process step by step.
  • Answer any questions you have.
  • Provide a “roadmap” for your case.

FAQs About Miami, FL Money Laundering Laws

How Long Do You Go to Jail for Money Laundering in Florida?

Money laundering penalties in Florida can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case and the amount of money involved. 

  • Less than $300 – Misdemeanor with up to 1 year in jail
  • $300 to $19,999 – Third-degree felony with as many as 5 years in prison
  • $20,000 to $99,999 – Second-degree felony with up to 15 years in prison
  • $100,000 or more – First-degree felony with up to 30 years in prison

Are There Fines If I Am Convicted of Money Laundering?

Yes, in addition to imprisonment, someone who is found guilty of money laundering can be required to pay a fine of $25,000 or twice the value of the financial transactions involved, whichever is greater. Greater fines may be issued if an individual is convicted of two or more money laundering offenses.

What Type of Transactions May Be Reported as Suspicious or Unusual?

Some of the types of transactions that could be scrutinized can include:

  • Sales out of proportion with the nominal business/industry
  • Unusual use of children’s bank accounts
  • Personal accounts being used for business transactions
  • Suspicious non-taxable transactions or capital gains
  • Purchase of high-value property not within the individual’s or business’s means
  • “Property flipping,” which refers to a scenario in which multiple transactions involving the same property occur within a brief timeframe
  • Transactions within “tax havens” that occur without reasonable explanations

Can I Be Charged With Money Laundering If I Didn’t Know That the Money Was Illegal?

Money laundering charges typically require proof that there was knowledge and intent. The filing of criminal charges would be dependent on the facts of your case, and it would be important to consult with an experienced money laundering lawyer if you are being investigated for or charged with this offense.

Is Money Laundering Hard to Prove?

Money laundering can be challenging to prove due to the complex financial transactions involved and the need to establish the intent to conceal the illegal origins of funds. Ultimately, the difficulty of proving money laundering can vary depending on the specific circumstances of each case, including the extent of the efforts to conceal the illegal funds and the strength of the prosecution’s case.

Contact Our Miami Money Laundering Lawyers Today

Start building your money laundering defense by working with me today. I am based in Miami, Florida, but I also represent clients throughout the United States. Reach out today and schedule a consultation directly with me, where we can discuss your case, and you can start the process of protecting yourself and your future.

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