Money Laundering & Embezzlement Defense

Money Laundering & Embezzlement Defense

Money Laundering and Embezzlement Defense Lawyer

Bank Fraud

Money laundering and embezzlement are two crimes that are considered “white collar” offenses. While these crimes may be non-violent offenses committed by individuals who often have no criminal history, the consequences of money laundering and embezzlement charges can be significant. 

Our team of attorneys at Delahunty & Edelman LLP are skilled not just at defending clients against money laundering and embezzlement charges, but are also experienced at prosecuting these offenses as former federal prosecutors. From this perspective, we focus on resolving such matters discreetly and efficiently without our clients’ challenges resulting in a civil claim or criminal charge.

Money Laundering Defense Attorney in California

Money laundering is a federal crime that involves transferring money generated by illegal activity into a legitimate source or through multiple bank transactions to “clean” the money and disguise the source, so as to avoid criminal prosecution for the illegal activity and protect the money from seizure. 

Money laundering is a “specific intent” crime. This means that the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant not only intended to engage in money laundering but did so with the desire to transfer or disguise illegally generated funds. 

Money Laundering as a Federal Offense

Under the Money Laundering Control Act of 1986, an individual can be punished for knowingly engaging or attempting to engage in transactions involving $10,000 or more of criminally derived property. 

Money Laundering as a California State Crime

Under the California Penal Code, defendants can be prosecuted for money laundering as a state criminal offense. Prosecutors must prove that more than $5,000 in a seven-day period or more than $25,000 in a 30-day period was laundered. They must also prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant made the transactions with the intent to promote illegal activity or that the defendant knew the funds were the proceeds of illegal activity. 

Penalties for Money Laundering 

If convicted of federal money laundering, an individual may face fines of up to $500,000 or twice the value of the money laundered. They may also face prison time of up to twenty years. 

Individuals who are convicted of money laundering under California state law also face significant penalties. If convicted of misdemeanor money laundering, a defendant may face up to a year in jail plus court fines. 

A felony money laundering conviction under California law may result in up to three years of prison and fines of the greater of up to $250,000 or twice the amount of funds that were laundered. 

Embezzlement Charges in California

Embezzlement is a crime defined as the misappropriation or theft of money or other property belonging to an individual’s employer or which an individual is holding in trust for another. 

To prove embezzlement, the prosecution must prove three elements: (1) funds were entrusted to defendant, (2) defendant used the money fraudulently, and (3) the defendant intended to use the money for their own benefit or to deprive the owner of its use. 

Penalties for Embezzlement in California

An individual convicted of embezzlement in California may face both fines and prison time. Potential penalties depend on whether an individual is convicted of misdemeanor embezzlement or felony embezzlement. Both the value of the property and specific facts of the case will determine whether the crime is classified as a misdemeanor or felony.

If convicted of misdemeanor embezzlement, a defendant may face summary probation, up to $1,000 in fines, and up to one year in jail. Felony embezzlement convictions carry potential sentences of formal probation, up to $10,000 in fines, and up to 3 years in prison. 

Money Laundering and Embezzlement Defense Attorneys in San Francisco and Throughout California

If you have been accused of money laundering or embezzlement, or if you have been asked to answer questions in an investigation that may give rise to money laundering or embezzlement charges, it is important that you seek legal advice as soon as possible. 

As former Assistant U.S. Attorneys, Patrick Delahunty and Will Edelman bring the perspective and experience of federal prosecutors who have obtained convictions against multiple defendants in money laundering and embezzlement cases in California. With experience on both sides of white-collar defense cases, our team is able to contribute a unique advantage when examining evidence in your case and developing a defense strategy. Our goal is to resolve these allegations as quickly as possible and fully exonerate our clients or substantially mitigate the charges against them. 

For more information contact us today at (415) 891-6210 for a confidential consultation of your case.


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