Money laundering is illegal, and “washing” money can get you into serious trouble if you’re caught. This is often a major plot point on criminal TV shows, so people tend to know about the term, but you may not fully be aware of what is meant when someone says that they are laundering money.
So what does it mean and what is the goal of this process?
Making the money look legitimate
Essentially, money laundering is an attempt to hide the source of that money. After all, that source is illegal to start with, so the money has to go through a legitimate source to give it the appearance of being earned properly.
For instance, someone who has made an incredible amount of money by selling illegal drugs knows that they can’t just start spending that money. It’s going to create a lot of red flags because there’s no realistic way they should have millions of dollars. But they might start a consulting business or a local restaurant and then funnel the money through that entity.
Bypassing the money through the business, they make it appear that the business is just incredibly successful and getting a lot of customers when the fact of the matter is that the business is merely a front for the money.
Are you facing charges?
If you’re facing charges for something like money laundering or other types of financial fraud, they can certainly be life-changing. You absolutely need to know about your legal defense options and you must understand what rights you have at this time. It may help to work with an experienced legal team that has taken on these types of cases before.