In order to hide proceeds from criminal activity such as drug dealing, gambling, fraud or theft, those involved in such criminal activity sometimes take steps to make it appear as if the money was obtained through legal activities. This is called money laundering. Money laundering is regularly used not only by those involved in drug trafficking, illegal gambling, and prostitution, but elected officials have even been known to be involved in money laundering in an effort to hide the true source of campaign funds. There are 8 different money laundering crimes in New York. Money laundering in the first degree is one of the 2 most serious money laundering offenses in the New York criminal code. Under New York Penal Law § 470.20 you could be prosecuted for money laundering in the first degree if you:
Bobby was a drug dealer. He also managed a string of restaurants. Calvin worked for Bobby, aiding him in distributing the drugs. He also operated a restaurant supply store. Every time Calvin needed to make a purchase from Bobby, Bobby compensated Calvin an inflated amount that would also cover the additional “services” that Bobby performed for Calvin. Among other crimes, Bobby could get prosecuted for a money laundering charge.
Offenses that are Related
Money laundering in the fourth degree: New York Penal Law § 470.05
Money laundering in the third degree: New York Penal Law § 470.10
Money laundering in the second degree: New York Penal Law § 470.15
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
Frequently, the person or organization carrying out the money laundering is not aware that the money was gained from criminal conduct. For example, if an individual who is involved in criminal conduct opens a number of bank accounts in order to conceal the total amount of money being deposited, neither the banks nor their employees can be convicted of money laundering if they had no clue that the individual making the deposits got the money from criminal activity.
Money laundering in the first degree is categorized as a class B felony. If you get convicted of this crime, your sentence could include up to 25 years in prison and 5 years of probation. In addition, 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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