Money laundering is commonly thought of as hiding the source of illegal proceeds. Meaning that it is washed to hide its origin. However, Texas law treats it differently. Money laundering includes a lot more than just hiding the source of proceeds.
Under section 34.02 of the Texas Penal Code, a person commits money laundering if:
Acquires or maintains an interest in, conceals, possesses, transfers or transports the proceeds of criminal activity;
Conducts supervises or facilitates a transaction involving the proceeds of criminal activity;
Invests, expends, or receives, or offers to invest, expend, or receive, the proceeds of criminal activity or funds that the person believes are the proceeds of criminal activity;
Finances or invest or tends to finance or invest funds that the person believes are intended to further the commission of criminal activity.
What kind of conduct does all of that stuff include?
A lot. It would include a person merely possessing the proceeds of criminal activity, which would include nearly every drug transaction or robbery. When the person receives the proceeds of criminal activity as an investment, but does not know the nature of the criminal activity, it could be money laundering if the recipient believed the money came from criminal activity. There are a number of other problems this statute
How much knowledge is required for money laundering?
The person does not need to know the specific criminal conduct that is the source of the proceeds. The person just needs to know that the money originates from criminal activity and, in some cases, believe that the money comes from
Money laundering cases can be complex only because of the vague statute that criminalizes this offense. The exact theory the State alleges is important. Learning that early is the key to preparing the best defense. If you would like to discuss your case, and begin working on your defense, call Brian J. Newman immediately at 817-231-0023.