The crime of money laundering in Ohio refers to a situation wherein a group of people, or organized network engage in activities designed to convert the cash that is created or obtained through illicit activities so that it appears to be legitimate money that comes from lawful sources. In many circumstances, money laundering is a common issue with many organized crime syndicates and racketeering groups.
Many criminal groups use businesses as a front to appear legitimate and lawful, so that they can create a respectable paper trail that allows the money they would otherwise obtain through criminal means to be used for everyday purchases. Most money laundering charges in Ohio include a consideration of matters, such as racketeering, conspiracy, and other federal crimes.
Laws and Penalties
In Ohio, money laundering is considered as a very serious offense, particularly if a conviction is made alongside others, such as conspiracy and racketeering. If you are convicted or accused of laundering money, then you might have to defend yourself also in an investigation against organized crime or international terrorism.
The guidelines for penalties regarding money laundering are provided by the United States code, and maximum sentences depend largely on the type of violation that was conducted, as well as any aggravating factors. Another point to consider may be the amount of money that was involved within the illicit transactions. Typically, the maximum sentences for any act of money laundering on a federal level will include a sentence in prison that lasts for a period of up to twenty years, and a fine that has a general maximum of $500,000. Importantly, it’s worth noting that the fine can be adjusted to twice as much of the value of the currency obtained during the laundering.
Federal and state money laundering laws are different in regards to the potential penalties that are associated with them. However, regardless of whether it is on a federal level, or a conviction in Ohio, most convictions will result in probation, prison, and fines.
Most money laundering is charged as a felony offense, but some states do allow for the charge of it as a misdemeanor, which means that a jail sentence will only be up to one-year long. However, in other circumstances, where a laundering conviction comes upon a person who has a history as an offender, or is found to have been a part of a long-lasting criminal enterprise, the sentence can be over 35 years. Probation sentences are also very common in money laundering penalties, and courts often impose that the sentences must last a specific amount of time. In some cases, a person convicted of money laundering may be given a prison sentence which is followed by a sentence of probation.
Money Laundering Defenses
If you are charged with money laundering in the state of Ohio, you will have the right to speak to a lawyer and create a defense in your name so that you can hopefully dismiss the charge or lower the penalties that you receive. The most common defenses used in money laundering cases include:
- A defense that suggests that the defendant was unaware that the money received was obtained illegally. For example, if the defendant can prove that he wasn’t aware that a criminal organization was in place, he cannot be charged with money laundering.
- Defense lawyers may also point out that their client had no intent to support or carry out criminal behavior in an attempt to launder money. A lack of intent can also suggest that the defendant had no intention to conceal the money that is being receiving for any reason, or did not try to hide that the proceeds earned might have been gotten through criminal conduct.
- Finally, legal professionals in Ohio might suggest that the defendant had been somehow entrapped by law enforcement officials, and thereby forced into a money laundering set of circumstances. This strategy means that lawyers are required to prove that the behavior of officials in law enforcement pushed the accused to engage in activities without their consent.
Statute of Limitations
In federal circumstances, a money laundering case cannot be brought to court, and defendants cannot be prosecuted or subjected to any penalty for an offense after five years within the time in which that offense was committed. However, this statute changes if the offense is deemed to be a capital one, or is linked to acts of terrorism or other areas of organized crime that might have longer statutes.
Ohio Money Laundering Cases
- Cleveland lawyer found guilty of money laundering for informant
- Fugitive wanted in Cleveland for money laundering
- Lancaster mayor’s wife pleads guilty to theft and money laundering
- Money seized during Steubenville gambling investigation to be forfeited to law enforcement
- Prosecutors indict five people in Belmont County money laundering scheme