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Your Virginia Business Could Be Involved in Illegal Money Laundering


Posted in on November 30, 2018

If you own a business, you could be at risk of providing an instrument for money laundering. This is especially true if you operate a business where cash transactions are a normal part of day-to-day business operations.

Consider these types of businesses that could be easily used in a scheme designed to launder, or hide, illegally obtained money:

  • Restaurants where purchasing supplies in cash and receiving cash payments for meals and service is the norm
  • Used car dealerships, especially those that offer in-house financing
  • Independent retail stores where inventory could be hard to track and a large number of sales are in cash
  • Any type of professional firm, including law firms, accounting firms, and even physician offices
  • Car washes, car detailing services, pet groomers or any other labor-intensive business

Of course these are just a few of the types of businesses that are ripe for money laundering. In reality, almost any business can be used to hide the fruits of an illegal enterprise. A Virginia criminal tax attorney can discuss your particular business exposure with you.

Money Laundering Overview

You may think that your business is unlikely to be involved in criminal enterprise, but becoming involved in a money laundering scheme –- even unwittingly – is easier than you might think.

Basically, all you have to do to be involved in money laundering is provide a means to conceal money obtained illegally by disguising the money’s origins and making it appear like it is obtained through legitimate businesses.

Money laundering, however, is more than just obtaining money illegally – like through drug dealing  – and then making purchases with it. To be a money launderer you would need to participate in a multi-layered scheme that conceals where the money came from and who actually obtained it.

Laundering money can be done in such a way that a business owner might not even be aware it is happening. Business partners and employees could be involved without your knowledge.

Why Worry About Money Laundering?

The penalties for money laundering can be severe. Lengthy prison sentence and extremely high fines and penalties are not unusual. Even in cases where a business owner can show he or she is unaware that money laundering was happening can suffer great losses if an employee or business associate is involved in the practice.

Rather than leaving yourself susceptible to becoming a victim of money laundering, you can set up some internal protocols to discourage the practice and protect your business interests.

A Virginia criminal tax attorney will be able to assess your particular business risks and help you design an internal review program that is tailored to your enterprise. For example, he or she might recommend that you conduct regular employee trainings on how to avoid money laundering and have a third party auditor come in to review your books. You could even set up a confidential hotline where employees could notify company officials if they suspect illegal activity.

Consult a Virginia Criminal Tax Attorney Today

Our Virginia criminal tax attorneys understand how businesses and owners can fall victim to money laundering. If you are worried that your business could be at risk, contact attorney Kevin Thorn through our website or by calling 703-752-3752.


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