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Anti-Money Laundering

Virginia Tax Attorney – Discussing Money Laundering Crimes

Money laundering is a crime whereby the launderers utilize transactions and other activities to disguise money derived from illegal activities (“dirty money”) by making the money look like it has been generated from a legitimate or “clean” source.  These types of crimes are generally very complicated with the dirty money typically being laundered through numerous financial transactions and outlets.

Money laundering is not limited to the United States.  These financial schemes occur in almost every country and it is estimated that each year hundreds of billions of dollars, if not trillions, are laundered through the global financial sector.  The money laundering process is generally described as involving three stages or components:

  1. Placement - In this first stage the launderer places the illegitimate or dirty money into a legitimate financial institution.
  2. Layering - The second stage, known as “layering,” involves using multiple financial transactions designed to conceal the original dirty money making it difficult to track or follow.
  3. Integration - In the last stage additional transactions are used to integrate the funds into the mainstream economy by making the funds appear to have originated from a legitimate transaction. 

In the United States multiple agencies including the IRS, the Department of Justice and the FBI, as well as state and local law enforcement, work to identify and combat money laundering activities.  The international community has also joined the effort to halt money laundering and terrorist financing.  One such global initiative is the establishment of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) - an inter-governmental body with 36 members that works to develop international standards for combatting money laundering and other threats to the integrity of the international financial system.

Anti-Money Laundering Laws -The Bank Secrecy Act

The Currency and Foreign Transactions Act of 1970 generally referred to as the “Bank Secrecy Act” or “BSA,” along with more recent acts such as the USA PATRIOT Act, are aimed at detecting, prosecuting and preventing money laundering and terrorist financing activities. 

Pursuant to the BSA, suspected money laundering and terrorist financing crimes are to be reported to the United States Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCen) via a Suspicious Activity Report or “SAR.”  Financial institutions that fail to comply with BSA reporting requirements are subject to harsh civil and criminal fines and penalties, regulatory restrictions, and even potential revocation of their charters and licenses.

Thorn Law Group has the Experience You Need

Both individuals and financial institutions can face serious fines and penalties when money laundering crimes are suspected.  If you have been accused of money laundering or are being investigated for failing to comply with the anti-money laundering procedures applicable to financial institutions, Thorn Law Group can help.  We are a skilled team of tax law attorneys with an extensive understanding of how the government investigates and prosecutes activities under the Bank Secrecy Act and other anti-money laundering laws. Our firm represents individuals, corporations, banks, financial institutions and other entities in Virginia and around the world in high stakes criminal and civil tax disputes and controversies. 

Contact us today to find out how we can work with you to resolve your issues quickly and effectively.  To schedule a confidential consultation in our Virginia satellite offices please call 703-752-3752 or email ket@thornlawgroup.com.


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