When a person obtains money illegally, they may attempt to hide the money through various financial transactions. The idea is to avoid detection and keep law enforcement officials and financial institutions in the dark by putting the “dirty” money into a regular business.
For example, if you obtained thousands of dollars from selling heroin, you may decide to put the money towards a local car wash or restaurant. From an outsider’s point of view, everything generally appears normal. The money earned from the criminal activity is combined with the legitimate money from the customers of your business, and the commingled funds will be put towards business-related expenses. This makes it difficult for authorities to determine the original source of the income.
Under both Ohio and federal law, money laundering is considered a criminal offense and can result in serious consequences, including jail time, fines, and probation. Under Ohio law, anyone who knowingly conducts a transaction using proceeds stemming from illegal activity in Ohio may be convicted of a third-degree felony, resulting in a $7,500 fine or a fine twice as much as the value of the property involved, whichever is higher.
Defending against money laundering charges and charges stemming from other white collar crimes can be challenging, particularly if the value of the property in your case is substantial. Fortunately, there are criminal defense attorneys in your area that may be able to help. Your attorney can come up with an effective strategy to help get your charges dismissed or your sentence reduced.