24/7 call for a free consultation 212-300-5196

AS SEEN ON

EXPERIENCEDTop Rated

YOU MAY HAVE SEEN TODD SPODEK ON THE NETFLIX SHOW
INVENTING ANNA

When you’re facing a federal issue, you need an attorney whose going to be available 24/7 to help you get the results and outcome you need. The value of working with the Spodek Law Group is that we treat each and every client like a member of our family.

Defending Complex Federal Money Laundering Conspiracy Cases in NY

Defending Complex Federal Money Laundering Conspiracy Cases in NY

Federal money laundering cases can seem really complicated and intimidating at first glance. There’s usually pages and pages of financial records, wire transfers, bank statements, and other evidence to sift through. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the details. But when you break it down, these cases boil down to some common elements that any good defense lawyer needs to focus on.

First, let’s back up a second and define what money laundering actually is. Basically, it’s when someone takes money from an illegal source – like drug dealing, fraud, bribery, etc. – and hides where it came from by funneling it through legitimate businesses or accounts. The goal is to make that dirty money look clean on paper so the criminal can spend it without raising red flags. Money laundering allows criminals to profit from illegal activities.

According to federal law, money laundering involves financial transactions that:

  • Promote illegal activity
  • Conceal the source of illegal funds
  • Avoid reporting requirements
  • Etc.

There’s a few main laws that target money laundering on the federal level:

  • 18 U.S.C. § 1956 – Laundering of monetary instruments
  • 18 U.S.C. § 1957 – Engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity
  • 18 U.S.C. § 1960 – Prohibition of unlicensed money transmitting businesses

Violating these laws can lead to some pretty serious criminal penalties – we’re talking decades in prison here. So defending complex money laundering cases in federal court is no joke. Let’s break down some tips for building an effective defense:

Follow the money

First and foremost, you need to intimately understand all the financial transactions involved in the alleged scheme. Get copies of all the bank records, wire transfers, shell company documents, etc. Create detailed flow charts showing where the money came from originally, how it moved between people and accounts, where it ended up ultimately. Look for any weak links or missing steps that you can exploit.

Question the source

A huge element the prosecution must prove is that the money came from an illegal source, aka the “specified unlawful activity.” But how solid is the evidence of that? For example, if they claim the money came from drug trafficking, can they conclusively trace it back to actual drug deals? Or is the connection speculative? Look for any doubt or logical leaps you can raise about the source of funds.

Christine Twomey
Christine Twomey
2024-03-21
Just had my Divorce case settled 2 months ago after having a horrible experience with another firm. I couldn’t be happier with Claire Banks and Elizabeth Garvey with their outstanding professionalism in doing so with Spodek Law Group. Any time I needed questions answered they were always prompt in doing so with all my uncertainties after 30 yrs of marriage.I feel from the bottom of my heart you will NOT be disappointed with either one. Thanks a million.
Brendan huisman
Brendan huisman
2024-03-18
Alex Zhik contacted me almost immediately when I reached out to Spodek for a consultation and was able to effectively communicate the path forward/consequences of my legal issue. I immediately agreed to hire Alex for his services and did not regret my choice. He was able to cover my case in court (with 1 day notice) and not only was he able to push my case down, he carefully negotiated a dismissal of the charge altogether. I highly recommend Spodek, and more specifically, Alex Zhik for all of your legal issues. Thanks guys!
Guerline Menard
Guerline Menard
2024-03-18
Thanks again Spodek law firm, particularly Esq Claire Banks who stood right there with us up to the finish line. Attached photos taken right outside of the court building and the smile on our faces represented victory, a breath of fresh air and satisfaction. We are very happy that this is over and we can move on with our lives. Thanks Spodek law 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼❤️
Keisha Parris
Keisha Parris
2024-03-15
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko Beauty
Taïko Beauty
2024-03-15
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence. Thank you team!
Anthony Williams
Anthony Williams
2024-03-12
Hey, how you guys doing? Good afternoon my name is Anthony Williams I just want to give a great shout out to the team of. Spodek law group. It is such a honor to use them and to use their assistance through this whole case from start to finish. They did everything that they said they was gonna do and if it ever comes down to it, if I ever have to use them again, hands-down they will be the first law office at the top of my list, thank you guys so much. It was a pleasure having you guys by my side so if you guys ever need them, do not hesitate to pick up the phone and give them a call.
Loveth Okpedo
Loveth Okpedo
2024-03-12
Very professional, very transparent, over all a great experience
Bee L
Bee L
2024-02-28
Amazing experience with Spodek! Very professional lawyers who take your case seriously. They treated me with respect, were always available, and answered any and all questions. They were able to help me very successfully and removed a huge stress. Highly recommend.
divesh patel
divesh patel
2024-02-24
I can't recommend Alex Zhik and Spodek Law Firm highly enough for their exceptional legal representation and personal mentorship. From the moment I engaged their services in October 2022, Alex took the time to understand my case thoroughly and provided guidance every step of the way. Alex's dedication to my case went above and beyond my expectations. His expertise, attention to detail, and commitment to achieving the best possible outcome were evident throughout the entire process. He took the time to mentor me, ensuring I understood the legal complexities involved to make informed decisions. Alex is the kind of guy you would want to have a beer with and has made a meaningful impact on me. I also want to acknowledge Todd Spodek, the leader of the firm, who played a crucial role in my case. His leadership and support bolstered the efforts of Alex, and his involvement highlighted the firm's commitment to excellence. Thanks to Alex Zhik and Todd Spodek, I achieved the outcome I desired, and I am incredibly grateful for their professionalism, expertise, and genuine care. If you're in need of legal representation, look no further than this outstanding team.

Follow disclosure laws

One way the government proves money laundering is by showing the defendant intentionally avoided reporting requirements for large transactions. But make sure the disclosure limits and timeline match the actual transactions. For example, a $10,000 cash transaction threshold must be hit within one business day, not spread out over time.

Review the paper trail

Meticulously review all the transaction records yourself and make sure the paper trail actually shows intent to conceal. Just because funds moved through many accounts doesn’t mean it was specifically to hide the source. Make sure the records match the prosecution’s timeline and allegations. Look for any legitimate reasons for the financial activity and transactions.

Knowledge is key

An essential element the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt is that the defendant knew the funds came from illegal activity and intended to conceal that source. But what exactly did the defendant know about the accounts, businesses, and transactions involved? Can they prove your client knew without a doubt the money was dirty? Look for weaknesses in their proof of knowledge and intent.

Follow the regulations

If the charges include operating an unlicensed money transmitting business, dig into the exact definitions and regulations around licensing requirements. Make sure the government isn’t stretching the interpretation of “money transmitting business.”

Crack the conspiracy

Often money laundering involves a conspiracy charge as well. This means prosecutors must prove there was an agreement between parties to launder funds. But look closely at the communications and actions of the co-conspirators – does it actually show agreement and intent to deceive together? Conspiracy charges can be defeated by raising reasonable doubt about the alleged agreement.

Follow the sentencing guidelines

If convicted, closely analyze the sentencing guidelines for where your client might fall based on the specific charges and amounts involved. Look for ways to argue for the lower end of the range. The guidelines provide some flexibility depending on the circumstances of the case.

Coordinate with other jurisdictions

Don’t forget that state prosecution is also possible, as NY has its own money laundering laws. Be prepared for parallel or related cases elsewhere. Work with prosecutors to get an overall fair outcome for your client across all jurisdictions.

Explore a plea deal

Given the steep penalties possible, a plea bargain may be the best option if the evidence is overwhelming. But conduct thorough negotiations to get charges dropped or reduced as much as possible. Offer cooperation against higher targets in exchange for leniency.

Dig up exculpatory evidence

Don’t just rely on the evidence the prosecution shares – aggressively hunt for any records or witnesses that might exonerate your client. File discovery motions and use investigators to turn over every stone. Any evidence raising doubt could tip the scales at trial.

Undermine witness credibility

If the case relies heavily on cooperating witness testimony, look for ways to undermine their credibility. Probe their background, bias, incentives to lie, and inconsistencies. Effective cross-examination of shaky witnesses can make a big difference.

Highlight legitimate income sources

To counter the dirty money allegations, make sure to document all your client’s legitimate income, assets, and business dealings that could account for the funds. Establishing lawful sources of money weakens the prosecution’s case.

There are many other creative legal and investigative tactics that skilled defense lawyers bring to the table as well. The main takeaway is that successfully defending complex money laundering charges requires in-depth knowledge of the financial paper trail, finding holes in the government’s narrative, establishing legitimate reasons for transactions, and raising reasonable doubt around intent and knowledge.

With sharp attention to detail, zealous investigation, and strategic negotiation, achieving fair outcomes for clients facing federal money laundering allegations is certainly possible.

The most important thing is having an experienced attorney intimately familiar with the complex web of money laundering laws and the array of defenses available. Fighting these challenging charges takes creativity, rigor, and tenacity.

Schedule Your Consultation Now