Money Laundering Defense Attorneys in Michigan

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Money Laundering Defense Attorneys in Michigan

Money Laundering Charges in State and Federal Court

Michigan and the United States have laws against so-called “money laundering.” These are complicated cases and require a very sophisticated attorney with education and experience in business and accounting. The money laundering defense attorneys with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have business degrees, law degrees, and decades of experience handling complex state and federal criminal litigation. Money laundering charges are filed by the United States Attorney’s office in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan or state prosecutors in various circuit and district courts throughout Michigan.

Felony Money Laundering

You most likely have heard the term “money laundering” and have a general idea of what it means. Or do you? Money laundering is a simplistic title and does not reflect how complicated the money laundering laws are in the United States. An attorney experienced with defending money laundering charges can help you understand the allegations facing you and work with you to develop a winning defense strategy.

Money Laundering in Michigan

Money laundering is knowingly receiving the proceeds of a crime, including money or property, in a manner that helps someone get away with a crime and is designed to hide the source of the money or property or avoid legal reporting requirements. The government can change someone with additional crimes if the underlying offense is a controlled substance violation (drug deal). Importantly, if several money laundering actions take place, all of them that occur within 30 days can be added up, and the total is the amount that will determine the severity of the money laundering charges.

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Federal Money Laundering

There are three types of federal money laundering, including domestic transactions (within the United States), international transactions, and undercover “sting” transactions. There are two kinds of federal money laundering:

  • Type 1, Intent-Based: the federal prosecutor must prove the defendant acted with at least one of the following four specific intents: 1) the intent to promote the carrying on of a specified unlawful activity, 2) the intent to engage in tax evasion or tax fraud, 3) the intent to conceal or disguise the nature, location, source, ownership or control of the proceeds of a specified unlawful activity, or 4) the intent to avoid a transaction reporting requirement under State or Federal law. The intent requirement includes actual knowledge that the transactions in issue were for the reasons stated.
  • Type 2, $10,000 Monetary Transaction: the four possible intent requirements above are replaced by a simple $10,000.00 value threshold and are related only to monetary transactions (a deposit, withdrawal, transfer, or exchange, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, of funds or a monetary instrument by, though, or to a financial institution) as opposed to other illegal activities, such as tax evasion.

Both state and federal prosecutors may also file a civil forfeiture action against the money or property involved. A federal prosecutor also has the authority to seek civil monetary penalties.

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Are money laundering penalties severe?

Absolutely. Money laundering isn’t an error in judgment, a crime of passion, or the product of negligence. The law and judges treat deliberate, premeditated crimes harshly. As you can see below, the penalties are stiff.

Michigan Law Penalties

  • Fourth Degree (Up to $10,000.00 value): 2-year “misdemeanor” (treated as a felony) and a $10,000.00 fine or twice the value of the money or property;
  • Third Degree (Over $10,000.00 value or a drug crime): 5-year felony and a $50,000.00 fine or twice the value of the money or property;
  • Second Degree (Over $10,000.00 or a drug crime): 10-year felony and a $100,000.00 fine or twice the value of the money or property;
  • First Degree (Over $10,000.00 or a drug crime): 20-year felony and a $500,000.00 fine or twice the value of the money or property.

Federal Law Penalties

  • Type 1, Intent-Based: Up to 20 years in prison and a $500,000.00 fine or twice the amount of the transaction, whichever is greater, plus a civil fine of $10,000.00 or an amount equal to the value of the transaction, whichever is greater.
  • Type 2, $10,000 Monetary Transaction: Up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000.00 fine or twice the value of the transaction, whichever is greater. There is no civil penalty in these cases.

Because Michigan’s lowest possible charge (Fourth Degree) is a 2-year penalty crime, it technically constitutes a felony in Michigan, even though it is a “misdemeanor.” Therefore, not only will you face possible jail, but if you have such a crime on your record, you will suffer collateral consequences like the loss of a job, inability to get a new job, loss of ability to own guns, bankruptcy, loss of ability to vote while in jail, deportation, damage to your credit score, and more.

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Criminal Defense Law Firm for Money Laundering Charges

If you face money laundering charges, there is hope for you. The attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have extensive experience with all types of fraud cases, including money laundering. Our attorneys have business degrees from college, which are highly beneficial in understanding money laundering mechanics, and give us an edge over other attorneys who do not have such backgrounds, such as prosecutors.

The dedicated, experienced, and zealous defense attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have successfully represented thousands of clients on complex felony charges in the United States District Court and state courts in Oakland, Macomb, Wayne, Washtenaw, and Livingston Counties and throughout Michigan. Call us for a free consultation and confidential case evaluation. We have a well-earned reputation for providing the highest quality defense and aggressive representation, while showing empathy and care for each client.

Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete an online Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.

We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

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