White-collar crimes often involve the misappropriation of resources through fraud and other forms of trickery. People tend to think of white-collar crime as a type of theft. However, there are also white-collar crimes that focus more on technical rules of transfer rather than the theft or misuse of another party’s resources.
Money laundering is a perfect example. Technically, money laundering does not involve theft. Instead, it typically involves legitimizing money acquired through unregulated means, like drug trafficking or prostitution. Oftentimes, those who participate in money laundering schemes do so unknowingly.
Those who have been accused of money laundering could face both financial penalties and incarceration if they wind up convicted in criminal court. These professionals are at the highest risk of facing money laundering charges in federal court by virtue of their job duties.
1. Business owners
Sometimes, those with connections to criminal organizations intentionally start a business to obfuscate the true origins of financial resources. Even in cases where there isn’t an obvious connection between a business owner and criminals, prosecutors may seek to hold them responsible for laundering activities that occurred at their business.
2. Accountants and other financial professionals
Those that handle the money for an organization are often in a position to alter or fabricate financial records. Most professionals that disperse company funds and manage accounting records will do their jobs responsibly in accordance with professional standards and the law. However, occasionally those who manage businesses’ finances will end up implicated in the falsification of records for the purpose of money laundering.
3. Managers and team leads
Money laundering often takes place in customer-facing businesses, and it may be possible that neither the owners nor the executives of a business are aware of what happens there on a day-to-day basis. It may be someone who runs the restaurant on the weekends or covers the night shift at a local bodega who facilitates money laundering activities conducted by those with criminal connections.
Anyone who takes part in a money laundering operation could potentially face criminal charges, but not everyone involved will have been aware of the situation or profited from it. Learning more about the complexities of white-collar criminal charges can help those who are hoping to avoid or fight back against criminal accusations alongside an experienced criminal defense attorney.