15th Dec 2014

Money laundering allegations in Florida or in the Federal system are very serious allegations and often tied into other criminal allegations such as racketeering, theft, fraud and trafficking.

Since a person accused is very often notified that they are under investigation prior to a prosecution commencing, the failure to hire a Fort Lauderdale or South Florida criminal defense attorney can have negative strategic repercussions in handling such a situation.

Money laundering may typically arise in situations where people handle large amounts of money such as bankers, accountants, attorneys, securities brokers, trustees and business comptrollers. Very often, the evidence in money laundering cases involve the utilization of seized financial, business or transactional records along with a cooperating witness to explain away those records.

If that cooperating witness has admitted to criminal wrongdoing and has something to gain from their cooperation, that witness may be susceptible to credibility challenges because it is easy to establish that the witness is simply trying to please the prosecution and help themselves… they have a great incentive to bend the truth for their own benefit. In trial
situations, jurors are not automatically appreciative of the utilization of a cooperating witness. Even a judge, when instructing a jury on how to view a cooperating witness, will mandate that the jury should exercise caution in considering cooperating witness testimony.

As is in almost any criminal case, the necessary element of “criminal intent” must be established in order to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Defending these cases can involve challenging the credibility of a cooperating whiteness and challenging the ability to prove criminal intent beyond a reasonable doubt .

Even if a person is found or can be proven guilty, sentences vary widely depending on what the money laundering was linked to. The more serious a crime that is correlated with the money laundering, generally, will trigger more serious penalties. Therefore, an experienced criminal defense attorney must be able to recognize, develop and establish mitigating factors in order to assist their client with the best sentence possible. Knowing what to do in these circumstances definitely involves extensive experience in dealing with criminal cases.

As soon as a person learns that they are even possibly involved with a money laundering investigation they should immediately seek counsel from an experienced Fort Lauderdale or South Florida criminal defense attorney.

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