What is Money Laundering?

Money laundering has been characterized as the “life blood” of narcotics trafficking and traditional organized crime. The Money Laundering Control Act (“MLCA”) of 1986 makes laundering proceeds from “specified unlawful activity” a federal crime. The MLCA also aimed to stem the flow of illicit profits back to the criminal enterprise used to capitalize and expand criminal activity.

To sustain a money laundering conviction, the prosecution must prove that:

  • the accused conducted or attempted to conduct a financial transaction
  • knowing that the property involved in the financial transaction represented the proceeds of some form of unlawful activity,
  • the property in fact involved the proceeds of “specified unlawful activity,” and
  • the financial transaction was conducted with the intent to promote the carrying on of “specified unlawful activity,” or knowing that the transaction is designed to conceal or disguise the source, ownership or control of the proceeds of “specified unlawful activity.”

Thus, proof that the laundered funds were derived from “specified unlawful activity” is central to a successful prosecution. Charges of money laundering are very serious and often involve very complex sets of facts.  John M. Colette & Associates has the experience and knowledge to defend those charged with money laundering offenses. If you have been charged with money laundering or believe that you are under investigation for that office, contact the firm today to discuss your options.


Money Laundering Control Act of 1986

Criminal Investigation investigates and recommends criminal prosecution for violations of Title 18, USC, Sections 1956 and 1957. These statutes make it illegal to conduct certain financial transactions with proceeds generated through specified unlawful activities, such as narcotics trafficking, Medicare fraud and embezzlement, among others.