What is money laundering, and what are the possible penalties if I’m convicted of money laundering in Virginia?

Money Laundering Touch IconMoney laundering involves conducting a financial transaction with money derived from illegal activity. Virginia Code § 18.2-246.3 makes it a crime to use money obtained illegally in a financial transaction, and it makes it a crime to use money obtained illegally in cash conversions. While both offenses are money laundering, the crimes and the potential penalties are different.

Money Laundering Financial Transactions

Virginia Code §18.2-246.3(A) makes it illegal to conduct a financial transaction if you know the property involved in the transaction is the proceeds of an activity that is a felony in Virginia, any other state or territory, Washington D.C., or the United States.

For example, it is against the law to invest money in a legal business if you know the money came from selling illegal drugs.

The penalty for money laundering in this way is imprisonment for up to 40 years, a fine of up to $500,000, or both jail time and a fine.

Money Laundering Cash Conversions

The second money laundering crime is found in Virginia Code §18.2-246.3(B). According to this section of the law, it is illegal for a person to convert cash into negotiable instruments or electronic funds for someone else for compensation if the person knows the cash is the proceeds of an activity that is a felony in Virginia, any other state or territory, Washington D.C., or the United States.

The first time a person is convicted of this crime, it is a Class 1 misdemeanor. The penalties for a Class 1 misdemeanor conviction include a jail term of up to 12 months and/or a fine of up to $2,500.

If a person is convicted of this crime for a second or subsequent time, it is a Class 6 felony. The possible penalties for a Class 6 felony include a jail term of not more than five years and/0r a fine of not more than $2,500.

Contact a Virginia Money Laundering Defense Lawyer Today

Money laundering is a serious crime with significant potential penalties. However, there are possible defenses that could apply to your case. For example, if you acted under duress, if you did not know the money was obtained illegally, or if you lacked the intent to commit the crime, then you should not be found guilty of money laundering in Virginia.

Our experienced white-collar criminal defense lawyers will review every aspect of your defense and advise you so that you can protect your future. Call us, or contact us through this website, to learn more.