In Colorado, an individual commits money laundering when he or she engages in any financial transaction that involves money or other objects of value that they know are the product of a criminal offense. Money laundering can also occur if:
- They intentionally conceal or disguise the nature, location, source, ownership, or control of the proceeds of a criminal offense while knowing that the funds were the result of a criminal offense
- They transact any form of monetary instrument or actual money with intent to promote a separate criminal act or with the knowledge that the money is gained or representative of the proceeds from a separate criminal offense
- They avoid reporting transactions as required by federal law
Under the law, a monetary instrument is any form of currency, checks, gift cards, precious metals, banknotes, or other security instruments like titles to vehicles or deeds to property. A financial transaction includes purchases, sales, loans, gifts, transfers, or other payment types using any monetary instrument.
Denver Money Laundering Attorney
If you have been arrested for a white collar crime such as money laundering, it is essential to retain competent legal counsel as soon as you can. If you are convicted, you could face extremely harsh legal penalties and a criminal record that will affect your life for years to come. At Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C., our legal defense team provides steadfast criminal defense representation.
To have Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. work hard to secure the best possible outcome for your case, call (303) 725-0017 right now to schedule a free consultation. The Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. accepts clients in Denver, CO including cities such as Boulder, Englewood, Greenwood Village, Centennial, Aurora, and Golden.
- Penalties For Colorado Money Laundering
- How Money Laundering Is Tracked
- Defenses To Money Laundering in Colorado
- Additional Resources
In Colorado, any type of money laundering is a class 3 felony. After an individual is found guilty of money laundering, they may be required to serve anywhere from four to twelve years in prison and fines between $3,000 and $750,000.
Since money laundering is also a federal crime, the accused can face federal charges and penalties.
Under U.S.C § 1956, money laundering is a federal offense. Under federal law, money laundering is conducting a financial transaction or transporting monetary instruments with the intent to promote unlawful activity, with knowledge the transaction is designed to conceal or disguise the original nature of funds, with intent to avoid a transaction involved in reporting to either a state or federal authority, or with intent to facilitate unlawful activity.
If convicted of federal money laundering, a person can face fines up to $500,000 or twice the value of the property involved in the transaction. The federal government will use the greater of the two amounts. The accused can also serve up to twenty years in federal prison in addition to prison time required by the Colorado conviction.
To properly charge the crime of money laundering, law enforcement must prove that the individual in possession of the money knew it was “dirty money” that stemmed from an illegal source. The law enforcement officers do not have to prove what the source was. Instead, they just need to prove that the person who possessed the money knew the source existed.
Proof often includes circumstantial evidence that shows the current person in possession acted or used the money differently than their typical money transfers. Law enforcement will look at three major factors to determine if money laundering is happening.
The first factor is the placement of the money. If the accused put the money in a legal banking channel. The second factor is layering, where the accused takes a large amount of money and divides it into smaller pieces. The final factor is integration, or combining dirty money with clean money and spending it without law enforcement noticing or attracting attention.
The Colorado and federal money laundering statutes allow for defenses to money laundering. An individual may be charged with money laundering for several reasons and under several circumstances. If an individual’s transactions are monitored, law enforcement may find signs of money laundering even if the person is not associated with criminal activity.
Under both statutes, a conviction of money laundering requires the individual to know that it is occurring. Frequently, a person might be involved in a money-laundering operation and not even know or understand it. In this case, they may have a valid defense.
Other potential defenses can also play a role if an individual has been accused of money laundering. They include:
- The individual was unaware they were purchasing stolen property
- The individual did not knowingly conduct a transaction as a part of a criminal act
- The individual was not intentionally disguising or concealing the original money
- The money was not intended for criminal acts
- Failure to report transactions was unintentional
Many of these defenses turn on the fact that the accused did not knowingly commit the crime. Someone who accidentally becomes a part of a money-laundering scheme is unlikely to be charged either at the state or federal level.
In any case, an experienced criminal defense attorney in Colorado can build a defense to help anyone accused of money laundering, whether they had knowledge of the operation or not.
Colorado Revised Statutes § 18-5-309 –This link provides the full Colorado Money Laundering statute. It provides a more in-depth description of the crime and other helpful information.
Colorado Department of Labor and Employment – This link directs to a site by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, which provides directions and resources for reporting theft and fraud to the local law enforcement. This fraud may be unemployment fraud or perhaps an instance of money laundering.
Colorado Money Laundering Lawyer | Denver, CO
At Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C., we understand how terrifying it can be to face white collar crime charges. If you have been arrested for money laundering in Denver, criminal defense attorney Matthew Martin at Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. provides focused, compassionate, and effective criminal defense representation to clients in Colorado. He will consider every possible defense available for your case.
Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. accepts clients throughout Denver, CO including Adams County, Douglas County, Boulder County, Arapahoe County, Jefferson County, and Broomfield County. To schedule your first consultation free of charge, call (303) 725-0017 today.