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San Diego Money Laundering Criminal Lawyer

 

Money Laundering in San Diego

Money launderings deals with making clean the proceeds of criminal activity. When someone launders money, they take money obtained from criminal or other illegal activity and channel it into bank accounts or other legitimate uses. This way, no one will be able to trace its illegal source. In other words, money laundering in San Diego is taking dirty money and putting towards a clean purpose. Money laundering money laundering, is a serious criminal offense in San Diego under California Penal Code Section 186.10 PC. However, when the underlying illegal activity is the sale of a controlled substance, the defendant can prosecuted for money laundering pursuant to California Health & Safety Code Section 11370.9.

 

Money Laundering is Codified Under Two Different Bodies of Law: 

  • Health and Safety Code section 11370.9 deals with money only earned from drug crimes.
  • Penal Code section 186.10 deals with money that’s related to any kind of crime.

 

Understanding Health and Safety Code Section 11370.9

In consideration of the seriousness of money laundering in drug the sale of controlled substances, is unlawful for any person knowinglyto receive or acquire proceeds, or engage in a transaction involving proceeds,known to be derived from any violation of this division or Division 10.1 with the intent to conceal or disguise or aid in concealing or disguising the nature, location, ownership, control, or source of the proceeds or to avoid a transaction reporting requirement under state or federal law.

Basically, to convict someone under HS Code 11370.90, the prosecutor must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The money being laundered must be related to drugs;
  2. The money being laundered does not need to pass through a financial institution;
  3. The money being laundered does not need to be converted from cash to be charged;
  4. The money must have been committed with the intention to conceal the illegal source of the money.

 

Understanding Penal Code Section 186.10

In consideration of the seriousness of money laundering, California has criminalized it under Penal Code section 186.10. Under this law, “Any person who conducts or attempts to conduct a transaction or more than one transaction within a seven-day period involving a monetary instrument or instruments of a total value exceeding five thousand dollars ($5,000), or a total value exceeding twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) within a 30-day period, through one or more financial institutions (1) with the specific intent to promote, manage, establish, carry on, or facilitate the promotion, management, establishment, or carrying on of any criminal activity, or (2) knowing that the monetary instrument represents the proceeds of, or is derived directly or indirectly from the proceeds of, criminal activity, is guilty of the crime of money laundering. The aggregation periods do not create an obligation for financial institutions to record, report, create, or implement tracking systems or otherwise monitor transactions involving monetary instruments in any time period. In consideration of the constitutional right to counsel afforded by the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Section 15 of Article I of the California Constitution, when a case involves an attorney who accepts a fee for representing a client in a criminal investigation or proceeding, the prosecution shall additionally be required to prove that the monetary instrument was accepted by the attorney with the intent to disguise or aid in disguising the source of the funds or the nature of the criminal activity."

Basically, to convict someone of PC 186.10, the prosecutor must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The defendant conducted or attempted to conduct one or more financial transactions;
  2. Involving at least one monetary instrument;
  3. Through at least one financial institution.

 

Money Laundering Can Be Filed As a Misdemeanor or a Felony

Money laundering under both Health and Safety Code section 11370.9 and Penal Code Section 186.10  is a wobbler which means that the prosecutor can charge the crime as a misdemeanor or as a felony.

Penalties for Drug Money Laundering 

Misdemeanor Money Laundering

If charged with Misdemeanor money laundering, you could face:
  • A maximum of 1 year in the county jail;
  • A fine of up to $1,000.

Felony Money Laundering

If charged with Felony money laundering, you could face:
  • A maximum of 2, 3, or 4 years, or three years in state prison;
  • A fine of up to $250,000 or twice the amount of money laundered, whichever of the two is greater.  

Penalties for Other Money Laundering 

Misdemeanor Money Laundering

If charged with Misdemeanor money laundering, you could face:
  • A maximum of 1 year in the county jail;
  • A fine of up to $1,000.

Felony Money Laundering

If charged with Felony money laundering, you could face:
  • A maximum of 16 months, two years, or three years in jail;
  • A fine of up to $250,000 or twice the amount of money laundered, whichever of the two is greater.

 

Enhancements for Money Laundering

The maximum prison sentence for money laundering increases with the amount of money laundered. A felony sentence for money laundering can increase in the following circumstances:
  • For a second conviction for money laundering, the maximum fine goes up to $500,000 or 5 times the amount laundered, whichever is greater.
  • If the amount laundered is more than $2,500,000, the maximum prison sentence is increased by 4 years.

     

Best Defense

If you have been charged with money laundering, especially if you are facing a felony charge, the best thing you could do is find a skilled criminal defense attorney; particularly find a local criminal defense attorney who knows the San Diego judicial system. Local criminal defense attorneys know how local judges and local prosecutors work, and can use that knowledge to better represent you.  To make sure you get the best legal scenario possible, you should talk to Attorney Vik Monder at (619)405-0063 now!

 

Contact San Diego Money Laundering Criminal Defense Attorney Vik Monder for a FREE consultation today at: 619-405-0063

Contact San Diego Criminal Attorney Vik Monder for a free consultation today at: 619-405-0063

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