Houston Money Laundering Lawyer
Financial Criminal Defense — Houston, Galveston, League City, Texas
Money laundering is rarely a stand-alone criminal charge. In most cases, it gets tacked on to a list of even more serious charges that are filed in connection with a much larger criminal investigation. So why do prosecutors bother with money laundering when they already have enough other charges to begin with? Simply put, they want to take you to the cleaners even as they’re trying to send you to jail.
If you are under investigation or have already been arrested and charged in connection with drug trafficking or another type of criminal enterprise — call us at (281) 280-0100 or contact us directly for immediate legal help.
Money Laundering Charges in Texas
Under Texas law, money laundering is committed if a person:
- Possesses or transfers the proceeds of criminal activity;
- Oversees a transaction involving the proceeds of criminal activity;
- Invests, expends, or receives proceeds of criminal activity or funds the person believes are proceeds of criminal activity; or
- Finances or invests funds believed to further the commission of criminal activity.
The definition of money laundering covers a wide range of actions. As a result, a person involved with money that has a connection to criminal activity has the possibility of being investigated and/or charged with money laundering.
The Texas money laundering statute describes some specific defenses against this charge. However, it should be noted that these are not the only defenses available. If you are facing a money laundering charge, your attorney will discuss defense options that are based on the specific facts of your situation.
The first listed defense is if the person acted with the “intent to facilitate the lawful seizure, forfeiture, or disposition of funds or other legitimate law enforcement purpose.” The second is if the transfer of money was necessary in order for the person to obtain legal representation as guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment. Finally, a licensed attorney may receive funds if they are for legitimate legal fees and the attorney was not aware the funds came from criminal activity.
The penalties for money laundering are as follows:
- a state jail felony if the value of the funds are between $1,500 and $20,000;
- a third degree felony if the value of the funds are between $20,000 and $100,000;
- a second degree felony if the value of the funds are between $100,000 and $200,000; or
- a first-degree felony if the value of the funds are greater than $200,000.
It is important to note that, as with most white-collar crime, it is possible to be prosecuted federally for money laundering. The federal definition of money laundering is very broad, covering several activities. Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §1956, the federal penalties may include a fine of up to $500,000 or double the amount laundered, whichever is greater, and imprisonment for up to 20 years.
Experienced Money Laundering Defense Lawyer
Our firm provides experienced and highly skilled defense representation to people throughout Galveston County and the Houston metro area who are facing money laundering charges, asset seizures and IRS actions.
Because most of these cases are handled in the federal court system, having an attorney with federal court experience is ideal. Discussing white-collar crime in general terms can be difficult because there are many definitions of it and it includes many different types of crimes. However, Attorney Tad Nelson is a former assistant district attorney for Galveston County who has handled these types of federal cases in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. He has also met the rigorous qualifications set forth by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization that a lawyer must meet before they can be designated as a Board-Certified Criminal Law Specialist.
Get a *Board-Certified Criminal Law Specialist and
Former Assistant District Attorney on Your Side
Money laundering is one of many white-collar crimes. Each contains a great deal of complexity, which often results in lengthy investigations. If you are under investigation or have already been charged for any white-collar crime, you should contact the Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates as soon as possible. We have the experience in these matters to help you obtain the best possible outcome.
*The Texas Board of Legal Specialization certifies attorneys in 20 specific areas of law; certification in any of these areas requires substantial demonstrated experience and skill, positive peer evaluations, ongoing legal education commitments, and the passage of a rigorous test.