How Common Is Money Laundering In Illinois?

How Common Is Money Laundering In Illinois?

money laundering

How Common Is Money Laundering In Illinois?

Money laundering is a white-collar crime that involves ‘washing money’ that has been acquired through criminal activity. Money laundering can also involve legally earned funds that are illegal because of tax evasion.

Money laundering is often associated with drug traffickers and other hardcore criminals. However, money laundering also may involve financial advisors, bankers, and money transfer agents. If you have been charged with money laundering in Illinois, our money laundering lawyers in Palos Heights at Michael D. Ettinger & Associates can assist you.

How Common Is Money Laundering?

Money laundering happens more than people realize. Approximately $300 billion is estimated to be laundered in the US annually. In addition, criminals launder hundreds of billions of dollars worldwide every year. More money laundering facts to consider include:

  • American money laundering comprises between 15% and 38% of the money that is laundered worldwide.
  • In addition, 90% of money laundering criminals are in jail, but up to 90% of money laundering crimes are never caught. In 2019, only 990 money laundering cases were prosecuted in the US.

Money Laundering Penalties In Illinois

Money laundering is always a felony in Illinois. You can receive a fine of up to $25,000 and a prison sentence between two and 15 years. The more money that was laundered, the most severe the penalties. The state government can also seize any property you own to make up for the money you laundered.

The federal government can also charge you with money laundering, and the penalties are more severe than in Illinois. You can be fined up to $500,000 and imprisoned for up to 20 years. The average federal money laundering sentence is 67 months.

What Are Money Laundering Defenses?

You need an excellent defense strategy to beat a state money laundering charge. An experienced white-collar crime attorney will be able to craft the best defense. The most common and effective defenses to a money laundering charge are:

  • Lack of evidence: For the state to convict you, there must be evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecutor must show that you acted intentionally and understood what you did was illegal. If they cannot prove intent, the case might be dismissed.
  • Honest mistake: People make mistakes, and you might not have realized your actions were illegal. Some bankers get charged with money laundering because they were engaged in activities they did not think were against the law. If your attorney can prove you made an honest mistake, the penalties could be less severe.
  • Duress: Someone may have threatened you or your family unless you laundered money for them.
  • Mental incapacity: Do you have proof that you were not mentally competent when the crime was committed? The case could be dismissed if you can prove through medical evidence that you did not understand what you were doing.

Contact Our Money Laundering Lawyers in Palos Heights Today

If you have been charged with money laundering, the government will dedicate vast resources to convict you. Your best chance for a favorable case outcome is to hire a skilled criminal defense attorney. Contact our money laundering lawyers in Palos Heights at Michael D. Ettinger & Associates by calling (708) 923-0368.