Freehold Money Laundering Defense Lawyer
Money Laundering is the process of taking illegally procured property and concealing that property as being the product or asset of a legitimate business. The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and Office of the Attorney General are active in identifying those individuals and entities that engage in these illegal practices. Whether the money or property is derived from distribution of drugs, gambling, insurance fraud, prostitution or theft by deception, the consequences are serious if you are found guilty of money laundering. Depending on the value of the property involved, an individual can face as much as twenty (20) years in jail and hundreds of thousands of dollars in financial consequences.
Marshall, Bonus, Proetta & Oliver employs a team of experienced criminal attorneys that appear at the Monmouth County Superior Court in Freehold NJ on almost a daily basis. We know the players well, having litigated criminal cases at this courthouse for decades. Several of us have also served as prosecutors in the past. We have the tools and legal-savvy necessary to protect your interests and will fight to ensure that you receive the best outcome possible. If you were arrested, are under suspicion, or have already been arrested in Eatontown, Howell, Freehold, Wall, Avon or Marlboro, call us. Our money laundering offense defense lawyers are available for free consultation 24/7 in our Red Bank Office or Freehold Office.
Money Laundering Offense
Although anti money laundering laws were originally the product of efforts to fight organized crime, these statutes have taken on a whole different role over time. The statute has been applied in a wide array of contexts whenever one of the three (3) varieties of money laundering arise. In this regard, it is a crime under N.J.S.A. 2C:21-25 (“Money laundering and illegal investment; crime”) for a person to engage in the following when they know or reasonably should realize the related property was derived from criminal activity:
- Transport or possess the property;
- Make a transaction involving the property; or
- Direct, organize, finance, manage, supervise, or control the transportation or transport of the property.
This violation, unlike most crimes, incorporates a standard that is akin to normal negligence as opposed to intentional, purposeful, or even reckless conduct. In this regard, a reasonable person standard is applied by the court in determining whether someone accused of money laundering violated this law. More specifically, should the defendant have been aware of the substantial and unjustifiable risk that the property was derived from a drug transaction, fraud, theft, or some other criminal activity such that engaging in 1-3 above would represent a gross deviation from the standard that a reasonable person would employ under the circumstances.
Evading A Mandatory Regulatory Reporting Requirement
The State of New Jersey and Federal Government, including the tax authorities, have reporting rules for many transactions (e.g. transactions over a certain amount must be reported to the IRS). When someone purposely evades these rules, the money laundering law makes it a third degree crime. In order for someone to be guilty of this violation, they must purposely engaged in: (1) one of the three practices identified above with a financial institution, including a casino, check cashier, person engaged in a trade or business or any other individual or entity required by State or Federal Law; (2) cause or attempt to cause such an entity to fail to file a report that would otherwise be required by law; OR (3) structured, assisted, or attempted to structure a transaction to evade currency transaction reporting requirements.
Grade of Crime for Money Laundering
Money Laundering is an offense that can result in a crime of the first, second or third degree depending on the underlying facts. Since these are all indictable crimes, the only court that can deal with this charge is the Freehold Superior Court. A violation of 2C:21-5 is a first degree crime if the value of the property or money involved is $500,000 or more. An offense involving at least $75,000 but less than $500,000 is a second degree crime. Transactions involving property or money of less than $75,000 result in a third degree crime. Purposely evading a mandatory reporting requirement is also a third degree crime.
Penalties for Money Laundering
First degree Money Laundering results in a prison term of up to twenty (20) years with a minimum term of parole ineligibility set at between one-third (1/3) and one (1/2) of the sentence imposed. a fine of up to $200,000 may also be imposed. In addition, judges presiding over these charges in Freehold may impose an Anti-Money Laundering Penalty as high as the greater of three (3) times the value of the property involved or $500,000, as well as the costs incurred during the civil and criminal investigations. Second degree Money Laundering carries a maximum jail term of ten (10) years and fine of up to $150,000. The same Anti-Money Laundering Penalty may be applies except that it is capped at $250,000 if the charge is a second degree. If convicted of Money Laundering as a third degree crime, a defendant must serve up to five (5) years of imprisonment. The court, at the request of the prosecutor, may also impose a Anti-Money Laundering Penalty capped at $75,000.
Red Bank NJ Money Laundering Lawyers
If you were charged with Money Laundering, are awaiting indictment, or have already been indicted, please take the time to education yourself regarding your options in terms of defense attorneys to defend you. Your best alternative is a criminal lawyer who has experience in not only handling complex offenses like this but also in dealing with prosecutors in Freehold. Our law firm, Marshall, Bonus, Proetta & Oliver, possesses these qualifications as we have been building our knowledge and contacts for over twenty years throughout this county. Call us if you were arrested in Holmdel, Eatontown, Tinton Falls, Red Bank, Long Branch or Middletown. One of our Money Laundering lawyers will be more than happy to help you understand the charge and what we can do to help you avoid jail and other penalties.