When large amounts of money are dealt with on a “cash-in-hand” basis, it can be enough for suspicions of money laundering to arise. Money laundering is defined as the act of attempting to make cash seem like it has been legitimately acquired when it is, in fact, the product of criminal activity.
To give an example of money laundering, imagine that a person is running a small grocery store. In addition to selling ordinary legal products to the community, they sell illegal drugs behind the counter to those who know about it. When they take drug payments, they may register the income by disguising it as just another legal transaction. This is a classic case of money laundering.
If you or someone you know has been accused of money laundering in New York, a strong defense will need to be built. Forming a strong defense requires that a good understanding of the elements of the crime is sought. By showing that at least one element of the crime is not true, it is possible to successfully defend yourself. The following are some common forms of defense for money laundering charges in New York.
Lack of knowledge of criminal activity
If you were, for example, an employee of a business that was engaging in money laundering, you may have been dealing with laundered cash without having any idea that it has come from illegal sources. In this case, it could be possible to argue that you did not know about the crime that was being carried out.
Lack of intent to support criminal conduct
You may have been active in concealing the nature of the cash, but this does not mean that you were aware that criminal activity was taking place. If you can show that you were not aware that you were inadvertently assisting a crime, you may be able to avoid charges.
Lack of intent to conceal the nature of money
You may alternatively be able to show that although you may have been aware of criminal activity, you had no intent to conceal the proceeds gained from this activity.
There are many ways to defend yourself from a money laundering charge, but the best defense strategy for you will depend on the specific circumstances surrounding your situation.