You may own your own business in New York that you have started from the ground up. As a business owner you strive to operate your business in a way that complies with New York law and federal law. So, to find you are under investigation for a white-collar crime such as money laundering you may be very confused and worried about your future and the future of your business
What is money laundering?
Money laundering is a federal offense. It takes place when a person enters a scheme with the goal of concealing the identity, source and destination of illegally obtained funds. There are three general stages of money laundering. First, the illegal enterprise places illicit funds in the money launderer’s possession. Second, the launderer places the funds in a scheme of transactions that aim to hide where the funds came from. Third, the scheme replaces the funds in the hands of the launderer in a hidden and indirect manner.
Shell companies and money laundering
Money laundering oftentimes includes the use of shell companies and offshore accounts. A shell company is one that is incorporated but does not have any assets and does not undertake any business operations. The shell company presents itself as a business that needs the cash of its customers, that is then transferred through the scheme. Cash transactions can be harder to detect than other transactions. The launder then places those funds into its own accounts and has fake invoices and receipts executed. This makes “dirty” money look like “clean” money.
Are you concerned about allegations of money laundering?
You may have been operating your business in a manner that seems fit, but that does not necessarily mean you will not be accused of illegal activity. One of these illegal activities includes money laundering. If you are accused of money laundering, you will want to make sure you understand the accusations against you so you can defend yourself and your business.