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NY Penal Law § 470.10: Money Laundering in the Third Degree

July 2, 2020 Federal Criminal Attorneys

In order to conceal the proceeds from criminal activity such as drug dealing, people who are involved in the criminal activity have been known to take steps to change money received from the criminal conduct into money that appears to be gained through legitimate means. This activity is referred to as money laundering. If you are suspected of money laundering, the specific charge you could face will be heavily dependent upon the amount of money involved and the reasons behind the money laundering.  You could face prosecution for money laundering in the third degree under New York Penal Law § 470.10 if you:

  • Are aware that a financial transaction represents the proceeds of criminal conduct and you:
    • Carry out at least one financial transaction with intent to carry on the criminal activity or with intent to violate federal tax legislation,
    • Carry out at least one financial transaction with the awareness that it was designed to hide the nature, location or control of the criminal activity
    • Carry out at least one financial transaction that is designed to avoid necessary transaction reporting and the amount of the transaction or transactions is greater than $10,000
  • Are aware that at least one money instrument represents the proceeds of criminal conduct and you transport the money instrument with intent to:
    • Promote carrying on the criminal activity
    • Conceal the nature, location or control of the criminal activity
    • Avoid transaction reporting and the amount of the money instrument or instruments is greater than $50,000 combined.
  • Perform at least one financial transaction that:
    • Involves property that is the proceeds of criminal activity or property that was used to carry out or facilitate criminal activity with intent to promote that activity,
    • Conceal the nature, location or control of the activity or 
    • Avoid transaction reporting and the transaction or transactions is greater than $50,000.

For Example

Earl runs an illegal gambling operation in the basement of an apparel shop he owns. To conceal the proceeds from the gambling, Earl falsifies the transactions for his apparel store so that it looks as though the gambling money was really from retail sales at the apparel store. Over a one month period, Earl earned $65,000 from the gambling activity which was equal to the $65,000 that he claimed to have raised in sales from his apparel shop for the same period. Earl could get prosecuted for money laundering as the apparel shop is simply a “front” to clean up the money he obtained from his illegal gambling operation into legitimate profits.

Offenses that are Related

Money laundering in the fourth degree: New York Penal Law § 470.05

Money laundering in the second degree: New York Penal Law § 470.15

Money laundering in the first degree: New York Penal Law § 470.20

Money laundering in support of terrorism in the fourth degree: New York Penal Code § 470.21

Money laundering in support of terrorism in the third degree: New York Penal Law § 470.22

Money laundering in support of terrorism in the second degree: New York Penal Law § 470.23

Money laundering in support of terrorism in the first degree: New York Penal Law § 470.24

Possible Defenses

In order for you to be successfully convicted of money laundering in the third degree, the prosecutor has to demonstrate that you had the intention of laundering money. If you can show the court that you were not aware that the money was derived from a criminal conduct, then you would not have possessed the requisite intent to launder money.

The Sentence

Money laundering in the third degree is categorized as a class D felony. If you are convicted of this offense, your sentence could include as much as 7 years in prison and a 5 years probation term.  Additionally, New York Penal Law § 470.25 states that you would also be obligated to pay a fine of up to double  the amount of money involved in the money laundering scheme.

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