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Trusted Defense For Complex Criminal Cases Money Laundering

Orange County Money Laundering Lawyer

Southern California Defense Firm Serving Federal Cases Nationwide

Profits made from illegal activity such as organized crime, drug trafficking, or the funding of terrorist activities result in funds that cannot be easily explained away. Money laundering consists of “cleaning” dirty money obtained from an illegal source; it is meant to disguise the funds as earned through a legitimate activity. If state law enforcement or the federal government suspects your financial transactions as obtained from criminal offenses, they may begin an investigation into those funds.

Money laundering charges are serious federal offenses that could result in financial penalties, extended stays in state prison, and strict probation. If you have been arrested on felony or misdemeanor money laundering criminal charges, it is essential to speak with a criminal defense lawyer immediately.

At Law Office of Diane C. Bass in Irvine, defense attorney Diane C. Bass has decades of experience providing legal representation to clients in and around Orange County, CA. She has earned an outstanding reputation across Southern California for her white collar crime legal knowledge, skills, and positive results. 

Schedule a one-hour consultation with our Orange County money laundering attorney by calling (949) 990-4195. You can also email us using our online contact page

Overview of Money Laundering

Money laundering is a financial crime that involves disguising funds obtained from illegal activities as legitimate income. 

The process of money laundering can be complex, often involving three stages: 

  • Placement: introducing the illegal profits into a financial system.
  • Layering: concealing the source of the money through a series of transactions and bookkeeping tricks.
  • Integration: the now “clean” money is introduced into the economy, appearing as legitimate business earnings. 

This crime affects the integrity of financial institutions and has broader implications for society by enabling criminal organizations to expand their operations.

Money laundering cases are serious matters of both financial and criminal law. The penal code related to these crimes can be complex, and the lawyers for the prosecution will aggressively pursue criminal charges. It is dangerous to face these accusations without the legal advice of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. 

Example of Money Laundering

Well-documented examples of money laundering involve the laundering of profits from illegal drug sales. Criminal organizations often generate large amounts of cash from narcotic sales. To legitimize this money, they might invest it in seemingly legitimate businesses, such as laundromats or car washes, which are cash-intensive operations. 

Blending their illegal profits with the legitimate income these businesses generate obscures the drug cash origins. After integrating these funds into the business's financials over time, the cash appears as lawful income. This process effectively “washes” the money, making it difficult for authorities to trace it back to its illicit origins.

Burden of Proof Required in Money Laundering Charges

The burden of proof in money laundering cases rests on the prosecution in both California and at the federal level. 

The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:

  • You conducted or attempted to conduct a financial transaction intending to promote illegal activity or
  • Intending to conceal the proceeds of that activity or
  • To avoid reporting requirements under the law. 

This includes the prosecution demonstrating that the money involved in the transaction represented the proceeds from a form of unlawful activity.

What Other Charges Can Be Connected with Money Laundering?

In the past, money laundering has been chiefly associated with organized crime and drug trafficking. However, in more recent years, white collar crimes have also been connected to money laundering. Even banks and big corporations have gotten involved in money laundering issues.

Charges that can accompany money laundering can include: 

  • Bank fraud
  • Drug trafficking, manufacturing, and other drug transactions
  • Financial crimes
  • Identity theft
  • Mail fraud
  • Wire fraud
  • Money laundering activity conducted using a deadly weapon can also incur enhanced penalties if a trial leads to a conviction. 

Financial transactions and other business conducted using currency linked to money laundering are also criminal offenses. One could be convicted of looking to promote criminal activity. 

What Is the Money Laundering Control Act?

Congress introduced the Money Laundering Control Act in 1986, making money laundering a federal crime. Laws combating money laundering have only gotten more substantial in the years since. In 1989, multiple countries and organizations formed the Financial Action Task Force to crack down on money laundering on an international scale.

Anti-money laundering laws were broadened after 9/11 and the creation of the Patriot Act, with new provisions demanding that corporations take measures to prevent financial crimes. Those handling large amounts of money could no longer claim ignorance that money was being used to fund terrorism, conspiracy, or other criminal activity.

These revised laws allow for a thorough federal investigation into any business or financial institution suspected of being involved with the handling, hiding, or laundering of dirty money.

Statute of Limitations for Money Laundering

The statute of limitations sets the maximum time after an event within which legal proceedings may be initiated.

  • For California money laundering: The statute of limitations for money laundering in California is generally four years. This is according to the California Penal Code, which covers a wide range of criminal conduct, including fraudulent activities related to money laundering.
  • For Federal money laundering: At the federal level, the statute of limitations for money laundering is typically five years. This is outlined in Title 18 of the United States Code, which governs crimes and criminal procedure. However, certain circumstances can extend or pause the usual limitations period, such as if the laundered money affects a bank or if the laundering is connected to terrorism.
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How Law Office of Diane C. Bass Can Help Fight Money Laundering Charges

Those facing charges of cleaning dirty money or benefiting financially from criminal activity may risk jail time, costly civil fines, probation, or some combination of punishments.

Being prosecuted does not automatically lead to a conviction. Our firm can work with you against aggressive prosecutors by establishing a counter-narrative. It is up to the prosecution to prove, beyond all reasonable doubt, that you committed money laundering criminal acts. 

Our attorney can take multiple strategic actions to defend against money laundering charges in state or federal court. Ms. Bass may challenge the prosecution's evidence, highlighting any ambiguities or inconsistencies in their arguments. This could involve questioning the legality and reliability of the evidence gathered against you, such as the admissibility of financial records or how evidence was obtained, potentially arguing that it was collected in violation of the Fourth Amendment's protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.

Furthermore, she can also scrutinize the source of the alleged laundered funds, aiming to demonstrate that these funds were derived from a legitimate source, not criminal activities. In cases where the integration of illicit funds with lawful business earnings is alleged, proving the legitimacy of all business transactions and earnings could significantly undermine the prosecution's case.

Defense strategies could also include negotiating plea bargains with the prosecution to reduce the severity of the charges or penalties. In situations where the evidence of money laundering is overwhelming, engaging in such negotiations can be crucial in securing a more favorable outcome.

Our firm understands the stress, confusion, and helplessness involved in facing any criminal charge. We are here to help you understand your unique challenges and provide ongoing support. From handling bail through sentencing, Diane C. Bass can walk with you every step of the way.

Call (949) 990-4195 to consult with our Orange County money laundering lawyer. Or contact a team member online

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Reviews & Testimonials
    "She will put your anxiety at ease and get you through the tangled system."
    Diane is the perfect mix of gentle understanding and fierce action you’ll need if you find yourself dealing with the OC court system.
    - Angie T.
    "Whatever you’re going through, I’m confident Diane will achieve the best outcome you could hope for."
    My first impression was that she’s very experienced, no-nonsense, knows the law, how the system works, and was very busy as a result. I quickly realized that she exceeded even those first impressions but also cared very much about my story, needs, an
    - Daniel B.
    "From the start of my case, she has been there for me."
    First of all, I would like to thank Diane for everything she has done for me. From the start of my case, she has been there for me. Only very few people were granted bond and she pulled it off in my case. I know for a fact not too many lawyers could have done that. I am on probation for three years.. while “the others” will not have the chance to raise their children and live their lives. I was headed to prison….I am free.. and for that, I am forever grateful.
    - John H.
    "Diane Bass is a phenomenal attorney."
    After meeting with Diane I felt immediate comfort, and I was sold on the fact that I could trust this amazing person with my life. Diane Bass was there for me every step of the way like no other attorney had ever been.
    - Ryan O.
    "She is not afraid to battle for you. With her, you will never be alone."
    Diane is a brilliant attorney. She listens carefully to your problems and clearly advises you with honesty. She was with me from the first day of my case and I have never been disappointed in any way.
    - Maria K.
    "I highly recommend Diane if you are dealing with legal troubles of your own."
    Since this being my first Federal offense, I had no idea what to expect. I was extremely anxious. After talking to Diane, I felt like she was the attorney I needed to help me get through these challenging times. Her professionalism and knowledge of the law
    - Adam P.
    "Diane’s work is second to none."

    Diane’s work is second to none. I was charged with felony DV, and after working with one firm in Irvine that did absolutely nothing, I did some hard research and found Diane. She worked quickly and diligently and got the case dismissed. I absolutely don’t foresee me needing a criminal lawyer down the road, but if I do, it’ll be Diane hands down!

    - Shadic A.
    "Diane is the most professional, thorough attorney I have ever met."
    Her expertise, connections, analysis, and comprehensive review of my situation were more than I could ever ask. I am extremely grateful and couldn't be happier with my choice!
    - Jeff R.

Why Choose Law Office of Diane C. Bass?

  • Top-Rated & Award-Winning Legal Representation
    We consistently deliver results that exceed expectations, earning the trust of clients and accolades from the legal community.
  • 25+ Years of Criminal Defense Legal Experience
    With over 25 years of criminal defense legal experience, we bring a wealth of seasoned insight and a proven track record of success to every case we handle.
  • Extensive Knowledge & Experience With Federal Cases
    With extensive knowledge and experience in federal cases, we offer comprehensive legal strategies tailored to the complexities of each situation.
  • An Outstanding Reputation Amongst Clients & Peers
    Our reputation among clients and peers alike reflects our unwavering dedication to achieving the best possible outcomes for those we represent.
  • Featured in the Media
    Attorney Bass is frequently featured in media outlets such as The Washington Post, LA Times, ESPN, Forbes, the Wall Street Journal and more.
  • Track Record of Success
    With a track record of handling some of the most significant cases in the Central District of California, our firm brings unmatched experience to every client's defense.
  • Selected by Super Lawyers Since 2022
  • Avvo 10.0 Rating
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Orange County Bar Association
  • Top 100 Lawyers

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