Lawtons Solicitors has a dedicated team of lawyers ready to offer guidance and advice on all issues relating to money laundering.
The legislation regarding money laundering in the UK is amongst the toughest compared to anywhere in the world, and with the possibility of significant time in prison, it is essential to seek legal support as soon as possible.
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.
Money Laundering & The Law
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. Whilst the topic itself is complicated, there are two distinct forms:
- Self-laundering, which is committed by someone with their own proceeds.
- Someone who is controlling someone else’s proceeds.
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 now 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.
The court process will also 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.
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.
What to do if you are accused of Money Laundering?
Money laundering is a particularly specialist field of law, which is 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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