Authorities detained and charged a group of eight men with running a multi-million dollar illegal gambling operation in South Florida after a police raid on Feb. 5. The arrests were the culmination of a lengthy investigation that began in 2013 and involved a total of 10 law enforcement agencies from across the country, which included the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Broward County Sheriff's Office.
Florida law defines money laundering as financial transactions that attempt to conceal profits gained from otherwise unlawful activities. In order for a defendant to be convicted, the prosecution must typically be able to provide evidence indicating the person's awareness of the income's unlawful source and intention to conceal it through the transactions in question. Someone convicted of money laundering may face serious penalties.
In Florida, people accused of money laundering may face felony charges and receive severe consequences if convicted. That is because money laundering is a serious criminal offense. According to state law, it is the deliberate act of using financial transactions to conceal the money generated by some form of unlawful activity.
Money laundering is a serious crime that comes with serious consequences if convicted. However, before a prosecutor can convict a defendant, he or she must show beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant's actions fulfilled the legal elements of the crime.
Business professionals in Florida may benefit from reviewing the state's 2014 statutes concerning offenses related to financial transactions. Chapter 896 of the 2014 Florida Statutes defines the Florida Money Laundering Act and describes laws pertaining to other transactions that are prohibited. The Florida Money Laundering Act focuses on people who knowingly conduct a financial transaction with property related to proceeds from unlawful activity that constitutes a felony under federal or state law.
On Sept. 26, a 61-year-old Miami man was taken into police custody for connections to an alleged heath care fraud scheme. In addition to the man's 10 counts for money laundering was an indictment from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida grand jury for conspiracy to commit health care fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering of health care fraud proceeds.
A couple who is facing multiple charges for their alleged involvement in an organized theft ring received a reduction of $20,000 on their bond after their defense attorneys challenged the amount of money they reportedly earned from selling stolen merchandise online. The pair was taken into custody on Aug. 21 on charges of dealing in stolen property, money laundering and racketeering.
According to the state of Florida, money laundering occurs when criminal activity generates proceeds which a person or group then attempts to conceal or process through one or more financial transactions. Money laundering activities are usually thought to be done concurrently with organized crime or racketeering, and they can lead to charges that range in severity from third-degree felonies to first-degree felonies.
In a case that some Florida taxpayers may find interesting, a military officer received a sentence of 42 months in federal prison for allegedly scamming $9 million in supposed training funds. He entered a guilty plea in December 2013 to money laundering and disclosing confidential information to a company seeking a government contract. The U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City also determined he would need to follow his sentence with three years of community supervision, which was delayed until August 4. The Internal Revenue was one of the agencies that investigated the case.
An alleged Spanish drug lord is on trial in federal court in Miami, where he faces charges of conspiracy and money laundering. U.S. attorneys have accused the man of attempting to "clean" over $20 million acquired in the drug trade by paying cash for real estate, cars and other luxury goods in Miami under the name of a shell company or straw buyer.