Money laundering is the action of making dirty money appear as if it has come from a legitimate source. To engage in money laundering, an individual or organization in Florida will take cash earned from an illegal activity and layer it. This is the process of using accounting tricks to conceal the source of the funds. When layering is complete, it will look as if a criminal entity has obtained money legally.
In some cases, money will be laundered through the use of wire transfers or currency exchanges. It can also be done by having someone physically smuggle the illicit cash into another country to take advantage of looser banking laws. Some criminal entities will create front organizations to funnel money into a bank. For example, the organization will filter money through a restaurant before it goes into a legitimate account with a financial institute.
However, banks do have the power to flag any transaction that seems to be suspicious in nature. As technology evolves, money laundering may take place using digital currencies as they offer a higher level of anonymity. Other methods of transferring illicit funds online include running gambling websites and engaging in online auctions. Money can also be laundered via the purchase and sale of real estate, gems and collectibles.
Individuals who are charged with money laundering or other types of fraud could spend years in prison. They may also be required to pay restitution or fines as part of a sentence. However, legal counsel might assert that an individual was engaging in legitimate business transactions when taken into custody. A lawyer may also assert that a client was compelled to commit illegal acts under the threat of harm. This could be enough to obtain a favorable outcome in a fraud case.