West Palm Beach Money Laundering Criminal Defense Attorney David W. Olson
Money laundering has been defined in the following manner:
- “Any act or attempted act to conceal or disguise the identity of illegally obtained proceeds so that they appear to have originated from legitimate sources.” 1
Money laundering charges are prosecutable under Florida and federal laws. A conviction for money laundering in Florida can potentially result in a first, second or third degree felony, a prison sentence of up to 30 years, and thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines, or more.
The numerous statutes that govern money laundering and other related criminal activities are extremely complex and are intentionally interconnected so that state and federal authorities will have the tools at hand to ensure that justice is meted out to alleged offenders. They require the understanding and knowledge of a highly experienced and effective Florida Criminal Defense Attorney.
With this in mind, it is essential for an individual charged with money laundering and/or other offenses to remember that an arrest is never a conviction. Charges that are presented by state and/or federal prosecutors must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. The accused has the benefit of due process and all the rights and privileges afforded by the United States Constitution.
That being said, it is crucial to retain a skilled, experienced and devoted attorney who understands that an individual’s freedom and future is likely at stake. It is up to your lawyer to present a vigorous, thorough and effective legal defense and to avail himself of all the legal protections that will result in the most favorable resolution possible.
Attorney David W. Olson has more than three decades of experience successfully representing and defending clients charged with money laundering and other white collar crimes, financial crimes, theft offenses, fraud, and other serious felonies and misdemeanors. If you have already been charged with money laundering or are aware of an ongoing investigation or impending charges, it is highly advisable to retain legal counsel immediately.
This will allow your attorney to immediately intervene on your behalf. In fact, many cases have been favorably resolved because of early intervention. Attorney Olson offers a complimentary appointment to discuss your case and to review possible options.
Florida Money Laundering Act – Proceeds of Unlawful Activity
Under Florida Statute 896.101, Florida Money Laundering Act:
(2) (a) “Knowing that the property involved in a financial transaction represents the proceeds of some form of unlawful activity” means that the person knew the property involved in the transaction represented proceeds from some form, though not necessarily which form, of activity that constitutes a felony under state or federal law, regardless of whether or not such activity is specified in paragraph (g).”
What does this mean?
- If an individual has knowledge that a financial transaction involves the proceeds of unlawful activity, they can potentially be accused of and charged with money laundering.
What is Illegal Under Florida’s Money Laundering Laws?
A few of the many illegal actions under Sec. 896.101 include the following. It is illegal to:
- Conduct or attempt to conduct a transaction involving illegal proceeds
- Conceal or disguise the nature, location, source, ownership or the control of proceeds of illegal activities
- Avoid a transaction reporting requirement or money transmitters’ state registration requirements
- Transport or attempt to transport a monetary instrument or funds with the intent to promote the carrying on of specified illegal activity
Money laundering generally involves the illegal creation of funds and then moving those funds around in such a manner to avoid detection by state and federal authorities. In many instances, money laundering charges are brought forth from money acquired through the sale of drugs. In truth, however, there are countless ways that money is illegally generated. Perhaps the simplest way to look at it is this: if a statute is violated in the creation of funds, and the funds are then hidden or attempted to be hidden, money laundering might be asserted.
At both the state and federal levels, the government has a vested interest in controlling the creation and flow of money. For one thing, if money is illegally generated and then hidden, the government will lose vast amounts of potentially taxable income. Additionally, of course, the government has an interest in controlling nefarious activity.
Illegal Transactions Related to Money Laundering
What is a Transaction?
Under 896.101(1)(c), a transaction includes a:
- Other disposition
Illegal financial institution transactions include:
- Transfer between accounts
- Exchange of currency
- Extension of credit
- Purchase or sale of stock, bond, certificate of deposit, use of safety deposit box, or any other payment, transfer, delivery by through or to a financial institution
“Smurfing” is a term that refers to structuring deposits so that they fall below the Bank Secrecy Act reporting threshold. Individuals make bank deposits or otherwise evade momentary reporting requirements. Monetary instruments such as cashiers checks or money orders may be purchased. Small deposits may be made with the intent to “fall under the radar.”
Florida Anti-Money Laundering Initiative
Florida created numerous statutes to deter money laundering and related offenses. These include the following:
- Money Transmitter Code
- The Florida Control of Money Laundering in Financial Institutions Act
- The Florida Anti-Money Laundering Statute
- The Florida RICO Act – Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organization Act
- Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act
Potential Florida Money Laundering Penalties
Penalties vary according to the dollar amount of financial transactions within a 12-month period:
- More than $300 but less than $20,000 – third degree felony
- More than $20,000 but less than $100,000 – second degree felony
- Totaling or more than $100,000 – first degree penalty
- If found guilty or pleads nolo contendere, may be required to pay a fine up to $250,000 or twice the value of the financial transactions, whichever is greater; or
- If found guilty or pleads nolo contendere for a second or subsequent violation, may be required to pay a fine up to $500,000 or quintuple the value of the financial transactions, whichever is greater
- Civil penalty: not more than the value of the financial transactions or $25,000, whichever is greater
- Asset forfeiture – any assets purchased with unlawfully acquired funds may be pursued and seized by the authorities. In addition to cash, assets may include real property, vehicles, jewelry, stock certificates and so on. If illegal funds are commingled with legally acquired funds the government may pursue its interest (and in some cases, more).
- Other penalties may apply – speak to your attorney
West Palm Beach and South Florida Money Laundering Criminal Defense Attorney David W. Olson
If you were charged with money laundering and/or related offenses, it is crucial to retain an attorney who has the experience and ability to properly and effectively defend you. Attorney David Olson has a proven record of accomplishment representing clients in West Palm Beach, South Florida and throughout the state. Attorney Olson’s practice areas include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Money laundering
- Drug offenses – sales, trafficking, possession, grow houses, cultivation, paraphernalia charges, all others
- DUI – 1st, 2nd, 3rd, subsequent DUI, DUI manslaughter
- Domestic assault and battery
- Violent crimes – murder, assault, battery, aggravated battery,
- Sex crimes – sexual battery, lewd and lascivious assault, all other sex offenses
- Juvenile matters,
- Violation of probation
Attorney Olson will always pursue the most favorable resolution possible for each client. Having represented thousands of defendants over a period of more than 30 years, Attorney Olson is intimately familiar with the criminal justice system. Favorable resolutions have included dismissed charges, reduced charges, not guilty verdicts, diversion programs, probation and other alternatives to harsh outcomes.
Attorney Olson is highly respected by his peers in the legal community and by his clients. Attorney Olson is the recipients of many professional awards, including the following:
- AV Preeminent – Awarded to only the top 5% of attorneys so rated for professional ability and high ethical standards
- “Top 100 Trial Lawyers” – National Trial Lawyers
- “Ten Best Member” – American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys
- “Nation’s Top One Percent” – National Association of Distinguished Counsel
“David was a tireless advocate and given his experience, was able to focus on the key elements of my case. He is the best person you can have on your side!”
“David is an utmost professional in his field, where there are not too many that I know with the knowledge that he carries. I’ve personally had David represent me and have referred him to many of my colleagues that have all subsequently raved about his honesty and integrity.”
Attorney David W. Olson Offers a Complimentary Case Review
Attorney Olson is a tireless advocate who will zealously fight for your freedom, your future and your legal rights. Attorney Olson makes himself available to his clients and treats each client with respect and compassion. He is truly here to serve his clients.
Attorney Olson represents clients throughout South Florida and the state, including West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County, Broward County and Miami-Dade County. Spanish is spoken in the office and we welcome all individuals. To schedule a complimentary, confidential, no-obligation case review, call The Law Offices of David W. Olson at 561-833-8866.
Florida Statutes, Chapter 896, Offenses Related to Financial Transactions
- 896.101 Florida Money Laundering Act; definitions; penalties; injunctions; seizure warrants; immunity.
- 896.102 Currency more than $10,000 received in trade or business; report required; noncompliance penalties.
- 896.103 Transaction which constitutes separate offense.
- 896.104 Structuring transactions to evade reporting or registration requirements prohibited.
- 896.105 Penalty provisions not applicable to law enforcement.
- 896.106 Fugitive disentitlement.
- 896.107 Rewards for informants.
- 896.108 Rewards for private entities combating international money laundering