22nd Jun 2020
To curtail criminal enterprises, Florida lawmakers have passed a robust set of laws that criminalizes the structuring of financial transactions, otherwise known as “money laundering” activities. Scott Saul, an experienced South Florida criminal defense attorney, explains the nature of these charges below. After reading this information, do not be afraid to reach out to a knowledgeable South Florida criminal defense attorney to learn more.
Elements of Florida’s Money Structuring Law
For a prosecutor to secure a conviction for any criminal offense, he or she must prove by proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed each element of the crime. If one of these elements is not present or the prosecutor cannot meet this high burden, there should be no conviction.
The elements of Florida’s money structuring crime are based on the type of money structuring activity involved, as explained below.
The prosecutor must be able to show that the defendant knew that property involved in a financial transaction derived from illegal activity. This financial transaction must involve the proceeds of specified unlawful activity. Through involvement in the transaction, the defendant hopes to carry on the specified unlawful activity, to conceal or disguise the nature or source of the proceeds of specified unlawful activity, or knows that the transaction is used to avoid the transaction reporting requirement under Florida law.
Additional charges can result if the defendant transports or attempts to transport money with the intentions described above.
Specified Unlawful Activity
The Florida law criminalizes money structuring in most cases when it involves any of the following:
- A pattern of illegal activity that involves financial transactions above $100,000 in one year
- Violation of the Florida Controlled Substances Act
- Violation of the Florida RICO Act
- A violation of not reporting the receipt of $10,000 in U.S. funds received in the course of business
Get Help Today
Because these charges are very serious, it is important to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible once you know you are under investigation for these crimes.