Money Laundering: Financial Transactions with Proceeds from Allegedly Unlawful Activity

Money Laundering: Financial Transactions with Proceeds from Allegedly Unlawful Activity

Money laundering is a serious crime that can be charged at the state or federal level, and can carry steep penalties. Generally speaking, money laundering can be understood as a scheme that creates the appearance that significant amounts of money obtained through illegal activities were obtained from a legitimate source. The purpose of laundering money is to conceal the unlawful origin of the money. Specifically, there are federal and Arizona state statutes that define what activity constitutes money laundering.

Laundering Monetary Instruments

Under the federal Laundering of monetary instruments statute, it is illegal to knowingly be involved in, conduct, or attempt to conduct a financial transaction which involves the proceeds of a specified unlawful activity, while knowing that the transaction is designed “to conceal or disguise the nature, the location, the source, the ownership, or the control of the proceeds of specified unlawful activity[.]” 18 U.S.C. §1956(a)(1).

The code section defines “proceeds” broadly as “any property derived from or obtained or retained, directly or indirectly, through some form of unlawful activity, including the gross receipts of such activity. 18 U.S.C. §1956(c)(9). This broad definition means that “proceeds” are not limited solely to direct profits made from an unlawful activity.

To be convicted of domestic money laundering under this code section, the prosecutor must prove that:

  • The defendant knew that the money involved was the proceeds of any felony under State, Federal, or foreign law―that the defendant knew the funds were illegally derived in some way.
  • The money was in fact derived from a specified unlawful activity.

If the prosecutor cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt both of these elements to a jury, then he or she will not be able to secure a conviction at trial.

If you’re facing federal charges for money laundering, you need a fierce white collar criminal defense attorney on your side to poke holes in the prosecution’s case against you.

Money Laundering: Financial Transactions with Proceeds from Allegedly Unlawful Activity

If you are under investigation for or charged with Money Laundering in Arizona or by a federal agency, it is critical that you consult with a White Collar Criminal Defense Attorney. Charges for Money Laundering are serious felony charges that can carry stiff penalties and prison time. Mounting a strong defense as early as possible helps ensure the best possible outcome in your case.

When you hire us, we will thoroughly investigate the evidence and we may be able to dismantle the case against you. As a former fraud prosecutor with the United States Attorney’s Office, Ashley D. Adams understands the government’s tactics and knows how to establish the best possible defense for your case. We know how to combat aggressive prosecutors.

Contact us or call now (480) 219-1366 for a case evaluation.


The attorneys at Ashley D. Adams, PLC handle federal criminal cases throughout the United States, including Arizona, Oklahoma, Utah, and California.

The attorneys at Ashley D. Adams, PLC handle state criminal cases throughout Arizona including the cities of Phoenix, Scottsdale, Glendale, Mesa, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Maricopa, Gilbert, Peoria, Surprise, Goodyear, Litchfield Park, Avondale, Chandler, Casa Grande, Florence, Queen Creek, Deer Valley, North Pinal and Sun City as well as those living in and around Maricopa County, Pinal County, Pima County, Yuma County and Yavapai County.