Money Laundering Miami
What is Money Laundering & Racketeering
Racketeering is the act of running an unlawful business in order to obtain profit, carried out as part of an ongoing criminal organization. It includes a list of specified felonies such as, bribery, fraud offenses, weapon offenses, drug offenses, sexual exploitation of children, illegal gambling, and extortion among many others. Racketeering is closely associated with organized crime, since both are conducted by groups. Money laundering Miami is a very serious crime from which large amounts of money are obtained from illegal sources.
A Federal law called RICO Act was originally used to prosecute and give extended penalties to the Mafia and others that were involved in U.S. criminal operations during the 1970's; later on the Act had been used to prosecute all type acts of crime. Both money laundering Miami and racketeering are charges for prosecutors looking for to start a grand jury investigation when truly existing charges are unavailable.
How does money laundering work?
Usually, people who do this crime carry a parallel legal business to disguise the provenance of the money obtained through illicit activities, so it can begin circulating as lawful money in the financial system of the country. This act is done through banks or financial institutions.
Among legal businesses that lend themselves to money laundering are nightclubs, casinos, restaurants, automobile dealers, insurance companies and trading companies where the capital is constantly circulating.
Money laundering Miami occurs in three stages: placement, layering and integration.
How Money Laundering was initiated in the United States
It originated in the 1920s, when the American Mafia had established a network of Laundry Marts to disguise the real origin of the money coming from criminal activities. As payments for the laundry were usually made in cash it was very difficult to distinguish money from extortion, drugs, prostitution, from lawful money.
During the 1960's in the United States there was so much lawlessness in the banks that the money from drug trafficking was deposited without control.
The term "money laundering" was used from the legal point of view formally in 1982 in U.S. when the laundered money was confiscated from Colombian cocaine.
What are the effects of Money Laundering Miami?
Laundered money has critical consequences on the economy, social welfare and security. It affects business decisions and encourages people smuggling and other criminal activities. It reduces the government revenue since it becomes difficult to collect revenue from transactions that usually report in the underground economy.
Money laundering supplies the fuel for corrupt public officials, drug dealers, arms traffickers, terrorists, credit cards swindlers and others to conduct their criminal enterprises. The globalization of the financial services industry has facilitated that criminals transfer immense amount of dollars instantly using computers and satellite dishes.
Legitimate small businesses cannot compete with money laundering front businesses since they do not sell for profit. They even sell their products or service below cost.
Statistically, money laundering focus on two prime industries, terrorist organizations and drug trafficking. People that support terrorist organizations send them the money in indirect ways; they do not write down checks or use credit cards, keeping anonymity. Every year, criminals launder between $500 billion and $1 trillion.
Money Laundering Control Act
This law was passed in 1986 by the Congress of the United States, where this illegal act became a federal crime. It consists of two sections: 18 USC § 1956 and 18 USC § 1957.
The first section prohibits individuals from participating in a financial transaction with money derived from illicit activities. Additionally, this financial transaction need not include a financial organization, or even a business, by simply moving proceeds from one person to another with the intent to conceal its origin, ownership, location or control of money is to consider financial operation by law. The second section prohibits spending more than $ 10,000 from specified unlawful activities (SUA).
Money Laundering Stats in the United States
The number of dirty money is very difficult to estimate because this criminal activity is very difficult to control, but experts have been able to get a rough estimate.
Researchers at the U.S. Congress with international banking experts agree that criminals annually launder between half a billion and a trillion dollars in U.S. and Europe where it is estimated that half of that money goes to the U.S. banks.
It is shown that dirty money will cover part of the U.S. trade deficit in goods that is about $ 300 billion. Without this money the external accounts of the U.S. economy would be untenable, as this would impact the living standards to collapse, the dollar would debilitate, investment and loan capital available would shrink and Washington could not keep its global empire.
Excluding illegal transfers, capital flow of corrupt political leaders and tax evasion, it has been confirmed that U.S. banks has laundered between 2.5 and 5 trillion dollars.
Money Laundering Examples
- In late 1990's the Bank of New York laundered $ 7 million coming from Russia capital through accounts registered by executives. Manhattan and Brooklyn Attorneys said the money involved originated in Russia, came to U.S. accounts and then moved to other accounts worldwide. At least nine people including former Vice-President of the Bank were convicted for their participation. The bank did not adequately supervise the suspicious accounts. The bank accepted responsibility and was not processed since they met the terms of the agreement for three years. Moreover, the bank agreed to allow an independent investigator to control operations. The fine the bank paid was the largest ever applied against a bank of the United States for violations of money laundering. It was $ 14 million for declining to monitor suspicious Russian accounts and $ 24 million for a series of fraudulent activities implicating a branch of Long Island.
- Another case was in the 2000's when there was money laundering at HSBC coming from drug traffickers, terrorists and sanctioned governments like Iran. HSBC is being blamed for major failures of supervision. They came to an agreement after they admitted the charges against them by government agencies for 5 years, if they violated the terms prosecutors may accuse the bank immediately. A Senate report confirms that a branch of HSBC in the Grand Cayman Islands had virtually no management of people despite having about 50,000 customer accounts in 2008. In December 2012, HSBC had to pay $ 1.92 billion dollars.
- Last year in May, the creator of digital currency Liberty Reserve was captured by authorities by bleaching of 6,000 million dollars, this is considered the largest laundering money case ever judged, until today. Liberty Reserve had more than a million users and processed over 12 million transactions annually. It was known as the worlds financial center cyber crime, used by hackers and other cyber criminals to transfer money around the world without problems and in anonymity. This web site was already disconnected and taken by the U.S. team of Global Illicit Financial. This is not the first digital currency blocked by the federals. In 2005, the Gold and Silver Reserve Company was created in Florida that handled E-Gold money laundered and operated a money transmitting service without a license.
RICO is a U.S. federal law that focuses specifically on organized crime to prevent criminal penalties for civil acts in a criminal organization.
Published and approved on October 15, 1970 by Richard Nixon to condemn the Mafia and people engaged in organized crime. Its application is more widespread nowadays. After 1972, 33 states of the United States passed the RICO law to adjudicate this behavior.
Under the RICO law a person who has been convicted under this Act has committed at least two acts of racketeering activity from a list of 35 crimes (27 federals and 8 states).
Accused persons could be fined up to $ 25,000 and judgment to 20 years for each count of extortion and the defendant must give up all profits from this event and any business acquired by an organized crime activity. When someone is charged under RICO Act a injunction to temporarily seize the assets of the defendant is applied, this will prevent from transferring confiscated properties.
Important cases of RICO violation in United States
In June 1984 the police department located in Key West, Monroe County, Florida, after a lengthy investigation accused an enterprise under RICO laws. The Deputy Chief of Police was arrested under federal charges for the protection of a business that worked for cocaine smugglers.
Another case was that of October 16, 2006 in Tampa, Florida where four members of the Gambino family were judged and sentenced to prison with a life sentence for a case of RICO violation.
In Pennsylvania, there was an indictment of 48 charges against former Court of Common Pleas. Two judges were charged with RICO after having committed electronic fraud, tax evasion, money laundering, briber, and misdemeanors. On February 18, 2011 the jury found one of them guilty of involving in organized crime, accepting illegal payments.
Why is important to hire a Criminal Defense Attorney in cases of Money Laundering and Organized Crime?
Money Laundering and racketeering are serious crimes that require a skilled and knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer to take immediate action to effectively fight the case.
If you suspect you may be accused or investigated by the federal government, it is vital to get the services of criminal lawyers. Sometimes consulting with a lawyer at an early time in the process can prevent for further charges.
In certain situations, the government prosecutes individuals involved in drug trafficking and adds money laundering charges. Nevertheless, the laws have changed recently and it is important to hire an competent criminal defense lawyer who will defend against these accusations.
Gallardo Law Firm assisting Cases of Money Laundering Miami
The defense on the issue of money laundering requires specific techniques used by our criminal lawyers. Gallardo Law Firm has been handling criminal cases obtaining favorable results. Our criminal defense attorneys at Gallardo Office are devoted to defend the rights and provide an effective defense strategy in any criminal case.
Questions and Answers about the Organized Crimes and Money Laundering Miami
- Differences in the degree of severity of crime regarded as sufficient to predicate an offence of money laundering. For example in some jurisdictions it is defined as being any crime that would be punishable by one or more years imprisonment. In other jurisdictions the necessary punishment may be three or five years imprisonment; or
- Differences in the requirement for the crime to be recognized both in the country where it took place and by the laws of the jurisdiction where the laundering activity takes place or simply a requirement for the conduct to be regarded as a crime in the country where the laundering activity takes place irrespective of how that conduct is treated in the country where it took place.
- In practice almost all serious crimes, including, drug trafficking, terrorism, fraud, robbery, prostitution, illegal gambling, arms trafficking, bribery and corruption are capable of predicating money laundering offences in most jurisdictions.
- Any violation of state laws such as occupation of toxic substances, murder, extortion, arson, robbery, trafficking in, kidnapping.
- Any violation or act of embezzlement, counterfeiting, theft, bribery, fraud, obstruction of justice, money laundering, and commission of murder for hire.
- Assisting aliens to enter the country illegally. (if the action was for profit).
- Acts of terrorism.