Using a chain of financial transactions in order to give money obtained illegally under the cover of legitimacy is a serious criminal offence with potentially serious consequences.
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Those found guilty of money laundering charges face a prison sentence in the most serious cases. If you are being investigated in connection with money laundering, it’s essential to speak to a solicitor as a matter of urgency.
Money Laundering is a serious type of criminal fraud whereby illegal money is acquired and turned into legal tender. Money laundering can be broken down into two categories:
- Those who commit offences and then launder the proceeds of those criminal offences. The criminal offences are referred to as “predicate offences”.
- Those whose only criminal involvement is to launder the proceeds of crimes committed by others.
The primary money laundering offences carry a maximum penalty of 14 years’ imprisonment and an unlimited fine. Offences under the Regulations are punishable with a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment (for individuals) and an unlimited fine. For a legal entity, the maximum penalty is an unlimited fine.
No matter the scale or circumstances of the alleged offence, every money laundering case is unique. However, the important thing to remember is whether the case involves a business owner who has been accused of laundering the proceeds of crime through their business, an estate agent who has allegedly failed to carry out the necessary due diligence checks when selling a property or a large company which has failed to prevent the laundering of money through its systems, the allegation of money laundering is a serious one.
- Tax evasion
- Terrorist Financing
Money laundering can be tried in a Magistrates’ Court or a Crown Court by judge and jury. The more serious cases go to the Crown Court.
Magistrates’ Court cases give the maximum prison sentence of 6 to 12 months with an uncapped fine.
Crown Court cases can be given the maximum of 14 years’ prison sentence. The fine depends on the severity of the crime.
- Financial institutions
- Credit institutions
- Tax advisers
- Insolvency practitioners
- Legal firms who deal in property and other financial transactions
- High value dealers – any business or sole trader who takes or makes cash payments of 10,000 euros or more in exchange for goods, including when the cash is deposited into a bank account or paid to a third party on their behalf.