Money laundering is the criminal act of filtering illegally obtained (“dirty”) money through a series of transactions designed to make the money appear legitimate (“clean”). Money laundering often involves three steps. First, the money is deposited – typically into a financial institution such as a bank or brokerage. Next, the money is separated from its illegal origin by layers of often complex transactions, making it more difficult to trace the “dirty” money. The third step is integration. This is where the freshly “cleaned” money is mixed with legally obtained money, often through the purchase or sale of assets.
Depending on the charges in question, white collar crimes can involve a variety of state and federal laws. An experienced white collar defense attorney can help navigate potential criminal liability, as well as defenses that may be available.