Money laundering is an effort to disguise funds or profits acquired in an illegal manner. Because it is so closely tied to other illegal crimes, money laundering can often be charged in addition to the original crime. Other crimes, such as conspiracy, can also get attached. This happens if they prove that an individual did not act alone in procuring or laundering those funds. One common instance involves IRS fraud, as money laundering often involves deceiving the IRS about income that goes untaxed.
Money laundering is committed when the act of laundering occurs. Also, it occurs when there is suspicion or knowledge of the source of the funds used to launder money. If you are engaged in an arrangement such as a business arrangement, an investment arrangement, etc. that involves the proceeds of a crime, you will be charged with this crime. Even if you are not consciously laundering money, if you have a suspicion that money you are involved in is being laundered, you can be charged with this crime.
If you are convicted of money laundering, you can face serious crimes in the United States. If you violate section 7201 or 7206 of the US code, you face penalties. This includes a fine of as much as $500,000 or an amount that is twice the value of the property involved. In addition, you will face a prison sentence of up to 20 years. If charged with violating subsection (a)(1) or subsection (a)(3) of section 1957, you face penalties. You face a fine of $10,000. Or, you face one that is the value of the property involved in the money laundering action.
As you can see, the consequences for this crime in the United States can be severe. In order to fight your arrest and minimize the damages, you should hire a criminal defense attorney who has worked with these cases in the past. This will be the best way to create a solid defense given your situation.