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NY Penal Law § 470.24: Money Laundering in Support of Terrorism in the First Degree

July 3, 2020 Federal Criminal Attorneys

America’s war on terrorism has a goal of stopping terrorist activity in several ways. One way is to hold those who provide financing to terrorists, as well as those who help terrorists launder money criminally liable for these actions. Money laundering is a method for people involved in criminal activity to make it seem as though the funds obtained from illegal activity was actually obtained through legal activities. When money laundering is carried out with the intent to assist terrorists, it is referred to as money laundering in support of terrorism. There are 4 offenses in the New York criminal code that cover this money laundering in support of terrorism in the first, second, third and fourth degrees. First degree money laundering in the support of terrorism is the most egregious of the four offenses. Under New York Penal Law § 470.24 you could face prosecution for the crime of money laundering in support of terrorism in the first degree if you:

  • Are aware that property involved one or more financial transactions represents the gains from an act of terrorism, or that a monetary instrument given, received or intended to be employed in support of an act of terrorism and you
  • Carry out at least one financial transaction with the awareness that it was designed to conceal the nature, location or control of the criminal conduct, or
  • Carry out at least one financial transaction that is set up to avoid obligatory transaction reporting and the amount of the transaction or transactions is greater than $75,000
  • Carry out at least one financial transaction that involves property that is the gains from an act of terrorism or a monetary instrument given, received or intended to be used to support an act of terrorism:
    • With intentions of  promoting or carrying out that act of terrorism or concealing the nature, location or source of ownership or control of property that is the proceeds of an act of terrorism or a monetary instrument given, received or intended to be used in support of an act of terrorism; or 
    • to avoid mandatory reporting of such a financial transaction or transactions as required by law; and
    • the total value of the property involved is greater than $125,000.

An Example

Jean Claude is a wealthy entrepreneur. While he has customarily had strong political views, in recent years, he has grown more radical in his perspective on American politics. In fact, he recently joined the inner circle of an extremist political organization that is notorious for its anti-American terrorist activities. Jean Claude made a decision to provide financial backing to this political group. To date, he has invested $150,000 in a company that many believe to be no more than a front for supporting the activities of the extremist group. Jean Claude could face prosecution for money laundering in the first degree if the prosecutor is able to prove that the business that he has invested in is simply a front for a terrorist group.

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 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

Possible Defenses

To convict you of money laundering in support of terrorism in the first degree, the prosecutor needs to demonstrate that your intention was to support terrorism or that you were aware that the money involved was the proceeds of an act of terrorism. If the prosecutor’s case falls short of these obligations, then you cannot be convicted of money laundering in support of terrorism.

The Sentence

Money laundering in support of terrorism in the first degree is categorized as a class B felony. If you are convicted of this crime, your sentence could include as much as 25 years in prison and 5 years of probation. In addition, New York Penal Law § 470.24 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.

NY Penal Law § 470.23: Money Laundering in Support of Terrorism in the Second Degree

In this era, stopping future acts of terrorism from occurring is a priority of both state and federal law enforcement.  Should you be suspected of assisting a terrorist organization in any fashion, the police and prosecutor will aggressively seek to apprehend you and prosecute you. Many crimes that are associated with helping terrorists are covered in the criminal code.  These include several money laundering offenses. Money laundering is an egregious criminal offense that entails accepting money that was the proceeds from some sort of criminal conduct and making it appear as though the money was gained from a lawful activity.  When this money laundering activity  is carried out with the intent to help terrorists or if the money is the proceeds of terrorist activities, the crime is referred to as money laundering in support of terrorism. There are 4 offenses in the New York criminal code that cover this: money laundering in support of terrorism in the first, second, third and fourth degrees.  You could be prosecuted for money laundering in support of terrorism in the second degree under New York Penal Law § 470.23 if you:

  • Are aware that the property involved in one or more financial transactions is the proceeds of an act of terrorism or a monetary instrument given, received or intended to be used to support of terrorism, and 
    • you conduct one or more such financial transactions with intent to promote the carrying on of such criminal conduct, avoid tax laws, or to conceal the nature, the source, the location, the ownership or the control of the proceeds of an act of terrorism or 
    • avoid any transaction reporting requirement imposed by law and the total value of the property involved in such financial transaction or transactions is more than $25,000; or
  • Are aware that the property involved in one or more financial transactions is the proceeds of an act of terrorism or a monetary instrument given, received or intended to be used in support of terrorist acts, and 
    • you transport, transmit, or transfer monetary instruments from New York with the intention of promoting such criminal conduct; or 
    • being aware that such transportation, transmittal or transfer is purposed in whole or in part to hide or disguise the nature, the source, the location, the ownership or the control of either the funds earned from an act of terrorism or 
    • avoid any transaction reporting obligation imposed by law and 
    • the total amount of such monetary instrument or instruments is greater than $25,000; or
  • Perform one or more financial transactions involving funds that are the proceeds of an act of terrorism or a monetary instrument given, received or intended to be used to support terrorism with intent to promote the carrying on of such criminal activity or
    • hide or disguise the nature, the source, the location, the ownership or the control of property or a monetary instrument given, or 
    • avoid any transaction reporting obligation imposed by law and 
    • the total value of such monetary instrument or instruments is greater than $25,000.

For Example

Roland set up a program that made $30,000 scholarships available to eligible college students. However, the scholarship recipients are only students who are affiliated with terrorist groups.  They would then be expected to utilize the funds to help with their terrorist training.

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 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 first degree: New York Penal Law § 470.24

Possible Defenses

To convict you of money laundering in the second degree in support of terrorism, the prosecutor’s task is to not only demonstrate that there is a connection between the financial transactions involved and criminal conduct, but the prosecutor must inextricably tie the money to acts of terrorism. Moreover, the amount of money involved has to meet the requirements of the statute. If the prosecutor’s case falls short in any of these areas, then he or she will have a tough time convicting you of money laundering in support of terrorism in the second degree.

The Sentence

Money laundering in support of terrorism in the first degree is categorized as a class C felony. If you are convicted of this crime, your sentence could include as much as 15 years in prison and 5 years of probation. In addition, New York Penal Law § 470.23 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.

NY Penal Law § 470.22: Money Laundering in Support of Terrorism in the Third Degree

For the purpose of concealing proceeds from criminal activity such as drug dealing, gambling, fraud or theft, people who are involved in such criminal activity frequently take steps to make it look as though the money was obtained through legal transactions. This is known as money laundering. Money laundering is commonly employed not only by those involved in drug trafficking, illegal gambling, and prostitution, but some elected officials have even been known to be involved in money laundering in an effort to conceal the real source of campaign finances.  Four offenses in the New York criminal code have been established to target the crime of laundering for terrorism: money laundering in support of terrorism in the first, second, third and fourth degrees. You could be prosecuted under New York Penal Law § 470.22 for money laundering in support of terrorism in the third degree if you:

  • Are aware that the property involved in one or more financial transactions is the proceeds of an act of terrorism or a monetary instrument given, received or intended to be used to support of terrorism, and 
    • you conduct one or more such financial transactions with intent to promote the carrying on of such criminal conduct, avoid tax laws, or to conceal the nature, the source, the location, the ownership or the control of the proceeds of an act of terrorism or 
    • avoid any transaction reporting requirement imposed by law and the total value of the property involved in such financial transaction or transactions is more than $5000; or
  • Are aware that the property involved in one or more financial transactions is the proceeds of an act of terrorism or a monetary instrument given, received or intended to be used in support of terrorist acts, and 
    • you transport, transmit, or transfer monetary instruments from New York with the intention of promoting such criminal conduct; or 
    • being aware that such transportation, transmittal or transfer is purposed in whole or in part to hide or disguise the nature, the source, the location, the ownership or the control of either the funds earned from an act of terrorism or 
    • avoid any transaction reporting obligation imposed by law and 
    • the total amount of such monetary instrument or instruments is greater than $5000; or
  • Perform one or more financial transactions involving funds that are the proceeds of an act of terrorism or a monetary instrument given, received or intended to be used to support terrorism with intent to promote the carrying on of such criminal activity or
    • hide or disguise the nature, the source, the location, the ownership or the control of property or a monetary instrument given, or 
    • avoid any transaction reporting obligation imposed by law and 
    • the total value of such monetary instrument or instruments is greater than $5000.

An Example

From what Katarina had learned about her new boyfriend, Ray, he is in investment banking. To Katarina, it seems as though he does quite well in his profession, since he often gives her extravagant gifts. It is true that Ray is a businessman, but he is also involved with terrorist activities and gets money from his “customers” as compensation for acts of terrorism. Ray uses some of these proceeds to buy Katarina expensive presents. Unless Katarina was aware of Ray’s activities, she could not be prosecuted for money laundering in support of terrorism.  The statute for this crime requires knowledge or intent.

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 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 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

On many occasions, the person or institution carrying out the money laundering has no way of knowing that the money was obtained from criminal activity. For instatnce, if a person involved in criminal conduct uses earnings from that criminal activity to buy expensive gifts for his girlfriend, the girlfriend could never be convicted of money laundering if she had no clue that the money used to buy the gifts was associated with acts of terrorism.

The Sentence

Money laundering in the third degree is categorized as a class D felony. If you are convicted of this crime, your sentence could include up to 7 years in prison and 5 years of probation. In addition, New York Penal Law § 470.22 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.

NY Penal Law § 470.21: Money Laundering in Support of Terrorism in the Fourth Degree

Money laundering is a serious criminal offense that entails accepting money that was the proceeds from some sort of criminal conduct and making it appear as though the money was gained from a lawful activity. Money laundering is commonly associated with illegal drug activity, gambling, and organized crime. That said, in the last several decades, involved in acts of terrorism have also used money laundering techniques to support terrorist activities. There are 4 offenses in the New York criminal code related to money laundering and terrorism: money laundering in support of terrorism in the first, second, third and fourth degrees. The specific crime that you will face depends on the amount of money involved in the money laundering scheme. You could be prosecuted under New York Penal Law § 470.21 for money laundering in support of terrorism in the fourth degree if you:

  • Are aware that the property involved in one or more financial transactions is the proceeds of an act of terrorism or a monetary instrument given, received or intended to be used to support of terrorism, and 
    • you conduct one or more such financial transactions with intent to promote the carrying on of such criminal conduct, avoid tax laws, or to conceal the nature, the source, the location, the ownership or the control of the proceeds of an act of terrorism or 
    • avoid any transaction reporting requirement imposed by law and the total value of the property involved in such financial transaction or transactions is more than $2000; or
  • Are aware that the property involved in one or more financial transactions is the proceeds of an act of terrorism or a monetary instrument given, received or intended to be used in support of terrorist acts, and 
    • you transport, transmit, or transfer monetary instruments from New York with the intention of promoting such criminal conduct; or 
    • being aware that such transportation, transmittal or transfer is purposed in whole or in part to hide or disguise the nature, the source, the location, the ownership or the control of either the funds earned from an act of terrorism or 
    • avoid any transaction reporting obligation imposed by law and 
    • the total amount of such monetary instrument or instruments is greater than $2000; or
  • Perform one or more financial transactions involving funds that are the proceeds of an act of terrorism or a monetary instrument given, received or intended to be used to support terrorism with intent to promote the carrying on of such criminal activity or
    • hide or disguise the nature, the source, the location, the ownership or the control of property or a monetary instrument given, or 
    • avoid any transaction reporting obligation imposed by law and 
    • the total value of such monetary instrument or instruments is greater than $2000.

For Example

Marshall operated a tech business that provided technical support to individuals and small businesses. Secretly, Marshall was also a huge supporter of a domestic organization that was rumored to have been engaged in several acts of terrorism. Anytime a customer ordered a particular service from Marshall, instead of getting any type of tech service, the customer’s funds would be funneled to the terrorist’s group to support its activities. In this scenario, Marshall could be charged with money laundering in support f terrorism in the fourth degree, if the money involved in these transactions is more than $2000.

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 the first degree: New York Penal Law § 470.20

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 to convict you of money laundering in the fourth degree in support of terrorism, the prosecutor’s task is to not only demonstrate that there is a connection between the financial transactions involved and criminal conduct, but the prosecutor must inextricably tie the money to acts of terrorism. Moreover, the amount of money involved has to meet the requirements of the statute. If the prosecutor’s case falls short in any of these areas, then he or she will have a tough time convicting you of money laundering in support of terrorism in the second degree.

The Sentence

Money laundering in support of terrorism in the fourth degree is categorized as a class E felony. If you are convicted of this crime, your sentence may include up to 4 years behind bars and 5 years of probation. In addition, New York Penal Law § 470.21 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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