If you have seen a Hollywood movie about a wolf and a place called Wall Street, then you almost certainly have a basic ideology of what is involved in money laundering. And no, it doesn’t involve cleaning money!
But, in a way, it does. Many people who are accused of money laundering are actually being accused of making money that was gained through illegal means (such as drugs or prostitution) look clean and gained through legal actions (such as business transfers and sales of products). In some cases, money laundering can take place in brokerage firms or loan firms, as these areas have a high amount of money moving around. If you have been accused of money laundering, you will need the help of a fraud solicitor as soon as possible as this can get very serious very quickly.
Do you want to learn more? Read on for common FAQs about money laundering being answered.
What is money laundering?
Money laundering is the process by which a person or group makes money that was gained through illegal practices seem legally gained. This is usually done by reporting the money as being gained via fake invoices or the selling of goods while trying to hide the illegal activity. Money laundering also goes hand in hand with tax evasion. So if you have been accused of money laundering, you really need the help of a trained solicitor to defend your corner.
What should I do If I am accused of money laundering?
As mentioned earlier, the first thing you need to do is hire a solicitor who is trained in fraud. They will sit down with you, go through the required documentation and start to build a case. It is important to comply with any investigation either by the police or HMRC; if you don’t, this will be deemed as suspicious behaviour and can actually make things worse for you.
What is the prison sentence for money laundering?
In the UK, money laundering is punishable by a jail sentence of up to 14 years and a large fine. Of course, this will depend on the severity of the money laundering activities, how much was being laundered and the level of deception that you or your associates were willing to engage in to cover it up.
Will I go to jail?
This depends on the outcome of the trial. If you were found guilty of money laundering, then yes, you will serve a custodial sentence under UK law. But the length of this will vary, as mentioned earlier, by the levels involved in money laundering and the illegal activities from which the money was obtained. So you may be charged for multiple offences.
What if the money laundering was done by a colleague? Can I still go to jail?
If you were associated with money laundering in any way, you may still go to jail. This will depend on a myriad of factors, one of which is your involvement in money laundering. If you simply happened to work for somebody who has engaged in money laundering, and you knew nothing about it, then it is unlikely you will face a jail sentence. If you were involved and you are named (and the evidence points to you), then you may face a jail sentence.