Money laundering is a white-collar crime that refers to the process of concealing money that was illegally obtained, usually by converting it to make it appear as though the money originated from legal, legitimate sources. Money laundering offenses can result in state and/or federal charges, both of which carry extremely stiff penalties.
Many alleged offenders who are accused of this crime were completely unaware of the illicit nature of the sources for many of these funds. If authorities based their accusations on a tip from a confidential informant, the information may have been manufactured in an effort by the informant to avoid criminal charges being filed against him or herself.
Lawyer for Money Laundering Arrests in Dallas, TX
Do you think that you might be under investigation or were you already arrested in North Texas for an alleged money laundering offense? Do not say anything to authorities without legal representation. Contact Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy as soon as possible.
Richard McConathy and Brian Bolton are experienced criminal defense attorneys in Dallas who represent clients all over the Dallas-Fort Worth area, including Carrolton, Mesquite, Grand Prairie, Irving, Garland, Balch Springs, Richardson, and many surrounding communities. You can have our lawyers provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case as soon as you call (972) 233-5700 to take advantage of a free, confidential consultation.
Overview of Money Laundering Crimes in Texas
- What constitutes a money laundering offense under state law?
- How are the consequences different for federal charges?
- Where can I find more information about money laundering in Dallas-Fort Worth?
Texas Penal Code § 34.02 establishes that an alleged offender commits money laundering if he or she knowingly does any of the following:
- acquires or maintains an interest in, conceals, possesses, transfers, or transports the proceeds of criminal activity;
- conducts, supervises, or facilitates a transaction involving the proceeds of criminal activity;
- invests, expends, or receives, or offers to invest, expend, or receive, the proceeds of criminal activity or funds that the person believes are the proceeds of criminal activity; or
- finances or invests or intends to finance or invest funds that the alleged offender believes are intended to further the commission of criminal activity.
Section (a-1) of this statute further states, “Knowledge of the specific nature of the criminal activity giving rise to the proceeds is not required to establish a culpable mental state under this section.” The grading of these crimes depends on the amount of money involved.
Money laundering crimes are classified as follows, based on the value of the funds involved:
- $2,500 or more but less than $30,000 — State jail felony punishable by up to two years in state jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000;
- $30,000 or more but less than $150,000 — Third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000;
- $150,000 or more but less than $300,000 — Second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000; or
- $300,000 or more — First-degree felony punishable by up to life or 99 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
Alleged offenders may face federal charges for money laundering instead of or in addition to state charges. The federal Money Laundering Control Act of 1986 consists of two sections, 18 U.S.C. § 1956 and 18 U.S.C. § 1957.
While 18 U.S.C. § 1956 prohibits certain acts related to specified unlawful activities, 18 U.S.C. § 1957 prohibits knowingly engaging or attempting to engage in monetary transactions in property of a value greater than $10,000 derived from specified unlawful activities. Most federal cases are prosecuted under violations of 18 U.S.C. § 1956.
Violations of 18 U.S.C. § 1956 are punishable by up to 20 years in prison, and some offenses are also punishable by fines of up to $500,000 or twice the value of the monetary instrument or funds involved in the transportation, transmission, or transfer, whichever is greater. Additionally, alleged offenders can also face civil penalties of up to the greater of the value of the property, funds, or monetary instruments involved in the transaction or $10,000.
North Texas Business Owners Guilty in Money Laundering Scheme — Three Dallas men were among the four people convicted of money laundering in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas on September 19, 2016. The three Dallas men-owned businesses that operated as money services business (MSBs) which utilized remitter services to facilitate the transmission of proceeds obtained from the distribution of methamphetamines. According to the press release, the MSBs laundered over $16 million in illicit proceeds from the North Texas area to Michoacán, Mexico between June 2013 and October 2015.
DeLay v. Texas, No. PD-1465-13 — Tom DeLay was a congressman in the United States House of Representatives who served as the Republican Party (GOP) House Majority Leader from 2003 to 2005. He was convicted in 2010 of money laundering and conspiracy charges related to illegal campaign finance activities, but the Third Court of Appeals of Texas reversed the judgments of the trial court and rendered judgments of acquittal. On October 1, 2014, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals issued this decision affirming the Court of Appeals decision, writing that it agreed “with the court of appeals that the appellant’s convictions cannot stand because there is no possible view of the evidence that can establish that any transaction alleged to comprise money laundering involved the proceeds of a felony violation of the Texas Election Code, under either theory of criminal proceeds.”
Find a Dallas Money Laundering Lawyer | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy
If you were arrested, indicted, or believe you could currently be under investigation of an alleged money laundering crime in North Texas, it is in your best interest to immediately retain legal counsel. Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy can fight to help you achieve the most favorable outcome to your case, including possibly having the criminal charges reduced or dismissed.
Our Dallas criminal defense attorneys represent clients all over Dallas County, Denton County, Tarrant County, and Collin County. Call (972) 233-5700 or complete an online contact form today to have our lawyers review your case and discuss all of your legal options during a free consultation.