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Money laundering Penalties?

Money laundering involves the concealment of the origins of illegally obtained money, and making it appear legal, by transferring the illegally obtained money to legitimate business bank accounts.

Money laundering disguises the proceeds of crime to make the illicit money look legitimate. Criminals or criminal organisations usually launder money, because they need to be able to make it appear the money has come from legitimate business dealings, in-order for them to be able to spend it, without drawing attention to themselves from the Police or the taxation department.

A typical example of money laundering is what is referred to as Smurfing or Structuring.  Smurfing occurs when criminals make small deposits of money over a period-of-time into various accounts. This reduces the risk of raising suspicion, and is a more safer money laundering scheme.

The 3 methods & stages of Money Laundering

It involves three steps in the process, which are Placement, Layering & Integration. Ultimately, the illegitimate funds are introduced into the legitimate financial system.

Placement money laundering stage

The Placement stage occurs when the cash is moved from its original source. The cash is then placed into circulation through banks or financial institutions, casinos, shops and businesses alike.

Layering money laundering stage

The Layering stage is when cash is converted into monetary instruments, and is more difficult to detect for authorities because it is meant to make the trail of the illegal proceeds of crime harder for Police to follow. An example is where cash may be used to purchase material assets and then may be sold. Material assets that are bought with the cash from the proceeds of crime and are then sold, and may be more difficult to trace and then be seized by law enforcement.

Integration money laundering stage

The Integration stage is the final stage in the money laundering phase, and is the movement of previously laundered money into the economy, mainly through banking systems. For example, criminals may use property dealings by integrating the sale of their properties back into the economy. For example, criminals use shelf companies to buy property, and when the sale concludes, makes the proceeds from the sale look legitimate.

Other types of money laundering integration may include False imports or invoices, False bank loans and so on.

Money Laundering Offences in NSW

  1. A person who deals with the proceeds of crime:
  2. A person who deals with proceeds of crime knowing that it is proceeds of crime is guilty of an offence.
  3. A person who deals with proceeds of crime being reckless as to whether it is proceeds of crime is guilty of an offence.

Learn more on money laundering offences here:

Once the person has been charged with money laundering offences, they will be subject to seizure orders from the Crimes Commission. These seizures may include their house, cars, jewellery, shares etc. It is then the responsibility of the accused to prove the origins of their assets, to ensure their assets weren’t purchased from the proceeds of crime.

In the states of Australia, penalties range from 10 years imprisonment to 20 years imprisonment, depending on the charges. However, under Federal law penalties may range from six-months imprisonment to 25 years imprisonment.

Click here to see the penalties for money laundering offences:

Money laundering offences are viewed as serious crimes in Australia and can incur harsh penalties for people who are charged with money laundering offences. Once you have been charged with a money laundering offence, it is extremely important to seek the services of experienced money laundering defence lawyers who can successfully represent you in court.

Benjamin Leonardo are Money Laundering Criminal Defence Lawyers. With offices in Sydney and Parramatta they are conveniently located near the district courts. They understand the strain Money Laundering cases have on their clients and families alike, and provide sympathetic and non-judgemental advice and support to their clients. Having defended more than 3,800 cases and with a success rate of over 90%, Benjamin Leonardo are Money Laundering Lawyers in Sydney & Parramatta, and they provide their clients with informed legal advice and flexible payment terms. If you have been charged with a criminal offence, please contact Benjamin Leonardo on (02) 9283 3033, for your first Free Consultation.