Money Laundering

201504.20

Man counting 20 dollar billsCalifornia Penal Code 186.10 PC is specific about what is considered to be money laundering.

First of all, to be convicted of money laundering under this statute, a person must have knowledge that the money came from some type of illegal activity. Secondly, the money involved must travel through a bank or other financial institution such as a credit union.

There are many ways to move money through a financial institution. Methods can include: withdrawing money from an account, making a bank deposit, converting money to foreign currency, writing a check, or transferring money to a different bank account. If you have been charged with money laundering, you’ll want to contact a good bondsman to help get you out of jail.

Intent of Actions

Another element that comes into play is intent. Did someone intentionally attempt to launder money through the bank? In the case of a joint bank account it doesn’t matter who make the deposits, or withdrew the money, it can be money laundering if the person knew that the money came from illegal activity.

Something to keep in mind is that the California Penal Code only comes into play after a minimum amount of money is laundered. To be in violation of this law someone would have to launder a total of more than $5,000 within a 7 days; or more than $25,000 within 30 days. It doesn’t matter whether this is accomplished with transaction or several. The end result is the same.

“Wobbler Crime”

Money laundering is also known as a “wobbler” crime. This means that a person can either be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. Determining which way to go depends a lot on whether there is a past criminal history, as well as the circumstances of the case.

If charged with a misdemeanor, the money laundering carries a maximum sentence of one year in county jail, and/or a maximum fine of $1,000. If charged with a felony, the sentence would be either 16 months, two years, or three years spent in county jail, and/or a maximum fine of $250,000 or double the amount of money laundered. If there is a previous conviction of money laundering involved, then the maximum fine goes up to $500,000 or five times the amount laundered.

If the amount of money laundered is over $50,000, an additional year is added to the maximum sentence. If the amount of money laundered is over $2,500,000, then four years are added to the maximum sentence.

If someone has been arrested and charged with money laundering they may qualify to be released on bail. A bail bondsman can locate the person in the jail system and verify that they are in fact eligible to be released on bail. There is paperwork that will need to be filled out and an indemnity agreement signed. This basically minimizes the risk of putting up the bond money. The amount paid to the bail bondsman is a maximum of 10 percent of the total bail amount. At that time the person who was sentenced will be released.