Money Laundering

Money laundering charges often expose clients to additional penalties and liability, and sometimes prosecutors “tack on” these charges to underlying securities or mail fraud charges. In its most basic sense, money laundering involves the movement of or hiding of illicit proceeds (i.e. money) that derives from some sort of alleged criminal conduct. We have seen money laundering charges brought where the alleged conduct simply involved usual corporate transactions such as issuing stock, transferring funds under a contract, etc. We have also represented banking executives caught up in such investigations. As a result, our firm has had to aggressively attack the prosecutorial theory for bringing such charges, and we have sought to obtain dismissal of the charges prior to trial. Nonetheless, these charges remain a favorite prosecutorial tool to put more pressure on clients to plead guilty to avoid the risk of being convicted at trial. In one of our recent criminal securities fraud cases seeking the freeze and forfeiture of assets, we were able to obtain the dismissal of all money laundering charges prior to trial based on the prosecutor’s failure to properly establish a connection between the alleged tainted funds and unlawful activity. We also represented a partner with a prominent law firm who faced money laundering charges in connection with his representation of a client, and we were able to convince the prosecutor not to file any criminal charges.