Money laundering is the process of disguising financial proceeds from illegal activities so that they appear legitimate. Although the definition of what constitutes money laundering varies from country to country, the money laundering process itself generally involves the same basic components. First the proceeds from criminal activity are placed in a legitimate financial institution. Then, they are separated from their illegal origins through layers of complex financial transactions, wire transfers and series of deposits and withdrawals among various banks. Finally, the funds are integrated into circulation in the mainstream economy by an apparently legitimate explanation for the illicit proceeds.
Pursuant to laws aimed at detecting and preventing money laundering activity, financial institutions and many non-financial institutions are required to identify and report financial transactions of a suspicious nature to the financial intelligence unit in the respective country.
In the United States, anti-money laundering laws are implemented primarily under the Bank Secrecy Act of 1970 as amended in addition to more recent anti-money laundering acts, such as the USA PATRIOT Act. Under the Bank Secrecy Act, suspected money laundering and terrorist financing activities are reported to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) via a Suspicious Activity Report (“SAR”). Financial institutions face penalties including heavy fines, regulatory restrictions and even charter revocation for failure to properly file SARs.
If you are accused of money laundering, or if you are a financial institution under investigation for failure to follow anti-money laundering procedures, contact Kevin E. Thorn at 202 349-4033 today. Thorn Law Group attorneys are experienced in the laws regarding money laundering and anti-money laundering procedures. In addition, we work with seasoned anti-money laundering investigators, including Certified Fraud Examiners and Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists, to assess your case and prepare your defense.
For examples of IRS Money Laundering Investigation Activity, visit:
IRS Examples of Money Laundering Investigations