If you routinely make large financial transactions, either for yourself or on behalf of a company or organization, there are some very important laws that you need to understand. The fact is, while small transactions do not typically receive attention from law enforcement officials, larger transactions are under constant scrutiny.
Financial institutions are required to report transactions that exceed $10,000 to the U.S. Department of Treasury. This requirement is part of a collection of laws related to the Bank Secrecy Act, which was created to give the government more power to track criminal activities. In fact, financial institutions must also inform the Treasury Department about any transactions that they deem suspicious.
Of particular interest to the Treasury Department are potential cases of money laundering. Simply put, money laundering involves taking money gleaned from criminal activity and moving it through channels that are apparently legitimate. The idea is to make it impossible to trace the money back to the illicit activities.
Money laundering charges often accompany charges for the crimes that allegedly generated the money. Drug crimes, acts of terrorism and racketeering are among the types of criminal activities that authorities will attempt to tie to incidents of money laundering.
Tracing alleged money laundering activities can involve trying to follow funds that bounce through innumerable accounts and may subsequently fan in even more directions. This means that if you are accused of money laundering and any associated crimes, you need experienced representation that understands not only the federal regulations but also their limitations. The attorney can act on your behalf to protect your rights and limit your exposure to serious penalties.