A money laundering charge may seem to come out of nowhere. In business, red flags may lead the authorities to believe that a company is funneling funds inappropriately.
Money laundering converts illicit cash into legitimate funds. Money laundering converts illicit cash into legitimate funds. Sometimes, this becomes part of another criminal enterprise. Other times, one person with the right access uses a legal business without the owner’s knowledge. Discover the basics behind the crime, most often prosecuted at a federal level.
Getting illegal funds into the business
When a company earns money through the proper channels, depositing it into the bank does not raise suspicion. Even if the amount is larger, if the records show the money came from legitimate work, the bank has no cause to sound an alarm. To accomplish this task, someone may intermingle illegal funds with legitimate business money.
Doctoring paperwork to conceal
Once the cash is in the business, it still needs concealing. Someone in the company with access to bookkeeping and accounting software may falsify records to make the illegitimate money appear as if it came from credible business sources. Taking a large sum of cash and depositing it slowly and in smaller amounts may also make it appear legit.
Withdrawing from the business account
The final step in a money-laundering enterprise is transferring or withdrawing the cycled funds. Once they go from business to financial institutions cleanly, those running the operation may send it or use it as they choose.
Getting caught up in a business accused of money laundering may result in serious legal consequences.