Los Angeles Money Laundering Defense Lawyer
At the Law Offices of Stanley L. Friedman, we understand the intricacies of financial fraud cases based on several years prosecuting such cases as an Assistant U.S. Attorney and many times more years spent defending people charged with healthcare and financial fraud offenses. One serious charge often brought in connection with allegedly illegal activity is the crime of money laundering – taking maneuvers to make illegally derived proceeds appear legal. This complex financial crime is deeply layered and often intersects with other alleged criminal activities, making a robust defense strategy from a seasoned attorney imperative for those accused. If you are being investigated or have been charged with money laundering in Los Angeles, contact our law firm right away to consult with an experienced and successful white-collar criminal defense attorney.
What Is Money Laundering?
The U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) defines money laundering as “disguising financial assets so they can be used without detection of the illegal activity that produced them.” “Through money laundering,” says FinCEN, “the criminal transforms the monetary proceeds derived from criminal activity into funds with an apparently legal source.”
Money laundering typically involves three steps: placement, where the illicit funds enter the financial system; layering, where the funds are concealed through a series of transactions; and integration, where the funds re-enter the economy as apparently legitimate. Each phase requires astute awareness and comprehensive legal understanding to dissect and challenge the prosecution’s case.
In the healthcare context, money laundering charges might stem from a doctor taking payment for illegal (e.g., unauthorized, unnecessary, unprovided) services and then diverting the funds elsewhere, such as creating false billings run through a third-party company and banked in offshore accounts. Another example might be a doctor creating a company that appears to be a vendor of the doctor’s healthcare practice, where in reality the doctor controls the other company as well. In the eyes of the DOJ or the FBI, this arrangement could be set up for the purpose of laundering funds.
Attorney Stanley L. Friedman has decades of legal experience practicing law in the fields of healthcare and financial fraud, and he can help determine when the prosecution has a strong case and when it doesn’t, formulating a strategy to achieve the best outcome given the charges you are facing.
Understanding Money Laundering in Federal Law
Money laundering is criminalized by two main federal statutes: 18 USC 1956 (Laundering of monetary instruments) and 18 USC 1957 (Engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity).
A prosecution under section 1956 requires proving that the defendant acted knowing that the property involved in a financial transaction represents the proceeds of some form of unlawful activity. The government must prove the defendant conducted or attempted to conduct the financial transaction either:
- with the intent to promote the carrying on of the unlawful activity or engage in conduct constituting a violation of section 7201 or 7206 of the Internal Revenue Code, or
- knowing the transaction is designed at least partly to conceal or disguise the nature, location, source of ownership, or control of the proceeds or avoid a transaction reporting requirement under state or federal law.
A conviction for violating this section of the law can result in a fine up to the greater of $500,000 or double the value of the property involved in the transaction, plus a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
To secure a conviction based on section 1957, the government must prove the defendant knowingly engaged in a monetary transaction in criminally derived property of a value greater than $10,000 that was derived from “specified unlawful activity.” Note that the government is not required to prove the defendant knew the property was derived from specified unlawful activity. Penalties for conviction can include a large fine and up to ten years in prison.
The Implications of Money Laundering Charges
Being charged with money laundering can have profound consequences. Not only does it carry the potential for severe legal penalties, including substantial fines and prison time, but it can also have lasting effects on one’s personal reputation and professional relationships. This is why it is essential to have an advocate who is knowledgeable in not just the letter of the law but also the nuances of the justice system and financial regulations.
The Defense Expertise of Stanley L. Friedman
Stanley L. Friedman brings nearly 40 years of distinguished legal experience as a prosecutor and defense attorney to your aid. His unique perspective as a former federal prosecutor on healthcare and financial fraud cases means he knows the legal landscape from the inside out. As a recognized authority in white-collar criminal defense in Los Angeles, Mr. Friedman leverages his extensive courtroom and trial experience to protect your rights and fight for your freedom.
Contact the Law Offices of Stanley L. Friedman for Defense Against Money Laundering Charges in Los Angeles
If you are facing accusations or charges related to money laundering, immediate legal counsel is crucial. In Los Angeles, contact the Law Offices of Stanley L. Friedman by calling 213-629-1500 for a consultation to discuss your case. We are committed to ensuring that your side of the story is heard and that your rights are upheld throughout the legal process. Reach out today to safeguard your future.