If you have been accused of money laundering, the consequences under UK law can be extremely severe both in terms of prison sentences but also financial penalties, with assets and houses/cars being confiscated and removed. It is crucial that you seek expert legal guidance as soon as possible in order to achieve the best outcome in your case.
Lawtons Solicitors has a dedicated team of lawyers ready to offer guidance and advice on all issues relating to money laundering.
What Lawtons can do for you
The legislation around money laundering in the UK is among the toughest in the world. With the possibility of significant time in prison, it is essential to seek legal support without delay.
Our lawyers often act for professionals, who may unexpectedly find themselves caught up in an investigation relating to money laundering. Our aim is to minimise the consequences on work and life in general, seeking the very best outcome for you.
What does money laundering mean?
At its basic level, money laundering is the concealing of the origins of proceeds that have contributed to a crime (or come from criminal activity).
However, the recent number of high profile cases together with new Acts and Regulations* coming into force has opened up money laundering offences to cover a much broader spectrum of activity.
How do money laundering cases proceed in court?
The Crown Court will seek to base any case on proven evidence of the following:
- Integration – where criminal money is shown to be absorbed into an economy through, for example, investment in property.
- Placement – where criminal money is processed into a financial system.
- Layering – where money has been moved, often through offshore companies and via a complex web of transactions.
During the court process the prosecution will have to prove that that property or money has come from criminal enterprises. In doing so they will seek to prove a full audit trail of activity and reasoning behind any deemed transactions that could be defined as money laundering before judgement is passed.
What should you do if you are accused of money laundering?
Money laundering is a particularly specialist field of law, and offences are taken extremely seriously in the UK. It can involve many different agencies, a significant amount of potential evidence and an intensive series of interviews.
Therefore, as soon as you realise you may be included in any investigation, it is important to seek legal advice with a dedicated team entrusted by you to examine all the evidence. It is also important to be seen to cooperate with all involved parties throughout your case.
*New Acts relate to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (as amended by the Crime and Courts Act 2013 and the Serious Crime Act 2015) together with The Money Laundering Regulations 2007.
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- Financial Fraud Solicitors
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What is the sentence for money laundering?
Sentences will very much depend on the unique factors of the case but may attribute significant focus on the amount of money involved, with a maximum penalty of 14 years’ imprisonment.
Are there different types of money laundering?
Broadly speaking, there are two distinct types of money laundering:
- Self-laundering, which is committed by someone with their own proceeds
- Someone who is controlling someone else’s proceeds