We see it in the movies all the time. Individuals obtain money illegally, often through drug transactions, then they must find a way to “clean” it so that the authorities cannot trace that money back to illegal operations. This is often done by setting up a front business that is legitimate, then falsifying records to make it appear that the illegally obtained funds were obtained through legal means. Under Ohio law, such actions are illegal. However, those who have been accused of these crimes may want to look at the actual law to obtain a better understanding of what prosecutors must show before they can obtain a conviction.
Ohio law dictates that no one can conduct or try to conduct any kind of transaction when that individual knows that the property involved in that transaction was obtained through an illegal means. Furthermore, the law states that this is a crime when the purpose of the transaction is to commit or further a corrupt activity, or to conceal the source of illegally obtained property.
So, in short, prosecutors must generally prove knowledge and intent before they can obtain a conviction for money laundering. This is often hard to do, as it usually requires showing strong ties between the individual laundering the money and those who are performing illegal activities.
The severe penalties for a money laundering conviction can be devastating, as they may include a long prison sentence and fines that can destroy one’s financial stability. A felony conviction can also cast a long, dark shadow over one’s record, making it extremely difficult to return to normal life after a conviction. Therefore, those who face allegations of this type of crime should carefully consider how they can best attack the elements of a law with respect the prosecution’s case.
Source: Ohio Laws and Rules, “1315.55 Additional prohibited activities,” accessed on Jun. 4, 2017