Under California Penal Code 186.10 money laundering is a financial crime referring to transactions intended to promote or facilitate criminal activities, or transactions knowingly made with proceeds from criminal activity.
To prove money laundering under Penal Code 186.10 the prosecutor must prove the following elements:
- Defendant conducted or attempted to conduct a financial transactions or a series of transactions through a financial institution.
- The total sum of transactions was more than $5,000 in a seven day period or more than $25,000 in a 30 day period.
- Defendant made the transaction with intent to promote criminal activity or he knew that the money involved were from the proceeds of criminal activity.
What Qualify as “Transactions” in Money Laundering Cases?
Money laundering is the act of using stolen funds to conduct a transaction through a bank or some other financial institution. California law lists the types of activities which can qualify as transactions, those are: withdrawals, bank deposits, wire transfers, fund transfers, payments, and other financial activities. Attempts to conduct business can also qualify as money laundering even if the transaction isn’t finished. In case the funds are used for making purchase or for any other reason, they won’t be considered to have been laundered under California law.
California Health & Safety 11370.9 Money Earned From Drug Crimes
In California there are two specific laws that relate to money laundering: California Penal Code Section 186.10 and California Health and Safety Code Section 11370.9. Penal Code Section 186.10 deals with money that is related to any type of criminal activity, California Health & Safety Code covers money earned from drug crimes.
Health & Safety Code Section 11370.9
In order to be convicted of Health & Safety Code Section 11370.9 money laundering in connection with drug crimes, the prosecutor needs to prove the following elements:
- Defendant received, acquired, or engaged in a transaction involving money or property that he knew was derived from a controlled substances offense, such as selling or transportation of a controlled substance;
- Defendant committed the money laundering transaction with intent to conceal the illegal source of money;
- The total amount of laundered money was more than $25,000 in a thirty day period.
Criminal Charges for Money Laundering of Drug Proceeds
In contrast Health & Safety Code doesn’t require the money to pass through a bank or other financial institution. A person can be charged with money laundering of drug proceeds even if the money was never converted from cash.
Penalties for Money Laundering in California Misdemeanor
In California law both forms of money laundering are considered wobblers. Penalties for misdemeanor money laundering include:
- Up to one year in county jail; and/or
- Fine of up to one thousand dollars
Penalties for Felony Money Laundering Penal Code 186.10 Charges
Penalties for felony money laundering under Penal Code 186.10 include:
- Sentence of sixteen months, two or three years in county jail; and/or (the sentence increases in case the amount of money laundered is more than $50,000)
- Fine of up to $250,000 or twice the amount of money laundered (the fine increases if is not the first conviction for money laundering)
Penalties for Felony Health & Safety Code 11370.9 Charges
Penalties for felony Health & Safety Code 11370.9 criminal charges include:
- Two, three, or four, years in state prison; and/or
- Fine up to $250,000 or twice the amount laundered
Money Laundering Video
California Money Laundering Defense Lawyer
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