Advisory services to the accused of money laundering

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Do you know exactly what money laundering is? Do you believe to be exempt from ever being accused of committing this offense?

For the money or asset laundering offense to be committed, there must have been a previous criminal activity, that is to say, an offense that resulted in monetary income and by being obtained illegally is nothing but ¨dirty¨ money that might be have made through: thefts, drug trafficking, arms trafficking, terrorism, human trafficking, large vice rings, fraud, misappropriation of public funds, tax avoidance, etc.

Before this obtained money can be in circulation as cash, it needs to be laundered and for that there are methods that can be used.

These methods or procedures that legalize goods or assets that are nothing but the result of an offense, can be defined as ¨money laundering¨.

In the criminal code, the money laundering offense is among those that go against the socioeconomic order of a country, and it may happen that the incomes come from the country where the offense is detected or from a foreign country.

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Among the methods there are to launder assets we can find the purchase of properties, so if at some point you are the payee because someone buys a property of yours that was for sale, you might be unconsciously being used to launder the money obtained from other offenses.

As you can see, anyone can commit money laundering, for it is a financial offense that is mostly perpetrated by ¨white collar¨ delinquents, and not for the easy-to-identify typical offender. This kind of people may lead us to even unknowingly be a part of these doings. But still, the ignorance of the offense neither relieves you of being charged, nor exonerate you from the punishment demanded for this fact (according to the level of involvement that you have)

Do you know what the most common methods are to launder money and that might implicate you as an ordinary citizen in an offense of this kind?

One of the ways to draw people easy to capture for being used in money laundering, is to create ¨profitable and striking¨ businesses that with little investment guarantee high revenues.

Another way is to establish a trading where there is no bill, clients simply find some product offerings that are more expensive at the official market while at this one can be bought for a very lower price with the only condition that there is no bill for these trading.

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Obtaining loans through people and not financial institutions that are known and legal.

What should you do if you are accused of a money laundering offense?

First and foremost you should find your defense attorney, and in case you do not know any, you should know that you have the right to be offered counseling to find a lawyer that can defend you, as well as the right of not self-incriminate and remain silent until you meet for the first time with the defense attorney that will advise you, and from that first meeting on, this person will tell you how to proceed for the rest of the case.

Which are the common penalties for a money laundering offense?

Due to the fact that money laundering is directly related to serious criminal activities such as drug trafficking, kidnappings, thefts, actions against a country´s wealth, etc, in most cases money laundering lead to strict penalties, that can go from 5 to 15 years for those directly involved, and 5 to 10 years for those who conceal the offense.

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Can the defense attorney violate his client´s right to confidentiality and disclose the illegal actions committed by his client in an asset laundering case?

Between lawyer and client there is something called ¨professional secret¨. In this case, when the lawyer is defending his client, he must respect the client´s right to confidentiality. The lawyer will only disclose a money laundering case when he is involved in it (for instance, if it is a lawyer that works for a company and knows that this company is being used to launder assets).

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