Once upon a time, the state rarely pursued money laundering charges. Prosecutors did not have the resources or know-how to investigate money laundering schemes properly, and the cases were difficult to prove in court. Now, things are different. Most prosecutorial agencies include a financial crimes division. And, due to changes in forfeiture laws, there is a presumption that any property connected to a crime is subject to seizure.

An assertive Rochester defense attorney evens the odds. Rochester defense attorneys understand business and financial operations laws and procedures. Additionally, they understand the way the law works. So, a reliable defense attorney can often successfully resolve money laundering charges, so you can move on with your life. Here are some common money laundering charges that require the help of a competent attorney.


A person breaks proceeds from a major drug sale or other crime into small amounts. Then, the person makes deposits into multiple accounts to bury the money and avoid reporting requirements. Almost all U.S. and foreign banks have reporting requirements. And, the IRS aggressively enforces these requirements. So, prosecutors almost always telltale signs of smurfing schemes.

Grand juries often subpoena bank and other financial records to nail the coffin shut. Then, since Rochester defense attorneys cannot appear before grand juries, the jurors only hear the prosecutor’s interpretation of that circumstantial evidence.

Frequently, it’s best to voluntarily disclose these transactions, as long as a Rochester defense attorney is at your side to protect your rights.

Investment in Cash Businesses

It looks like New York lawmakers might legalize recreational marijuana in 2020. Since marijuana is illegal under federal law, most banks won’t touch marijuana dispensaries. So, for the most part, these businesses are cash-only. It’s very easy to hide money in such businesses. Other mostly-cash businesses include strip clubs, parking structures, and casinos.

Prosecutors often look for relationships with such businesses to help them establish money laundering charges. However, these transactions are difficult to trace, so these allegations often do not hold up in court.

Gambling and Rochester Defense Attorneys

If prosecutors connect illicit funds to gambling casinos, they can often claim title to all the winnings and sue the defendant for the difference. Commonly, a person pays cash for casino chips and plays for a short time. As long as the amount is not more than a few thousand dollars, most casinos do not ask questions about the money’s source. Then, the person cashes out. The casino usually gives the person a check or at least a receipt, so the person can claim the money as a gambling loss.

So, if the defendant visited a casino shortly after committing the crime, aggressive prosecutors almost always try to seize the gambling winnings. Rochester defense attorneys often use this over-aggressiveness against prosecutors. Frequently, they seize funds but there is little hard evidence of wrongdoing.

Black Salaries

Construction companies are notorious for employing off-the-books workers and paying them in cash. Sometimes, the cash is dirty cash.

Black salary money laundering cases are quite complex because the people who were paid in dirty money usually lose that money. That means state agencies that enforce payday laws get involved. As a result, owners could lose their business licenses.

In these cases, the ripple effects are often worse than the direct effects. Your Rochester defense attorney must deal with both direct and indirect effects.

Property Purchases

This money laundering scam is a lot like the gambling money laundering scam. People buy property, often from Craigslist or other cash-only online platforms, with dirty money.

Grand juries can usually subpoena emails and other records related to these allegations. Buying a prepaid debit card with dirty money is much the same. In these cases, the state can usually seize everything the person bought with that card.

Frequently, Rochester defense attorneys negotiate buybacks in these situations. Prosecutors drop forfeiture cases if defendants pay a portion of the estimated value.

Contact The Law Office of Frank Ciardi, Rochester Defense Attorneys

Prosecutors commonly file money laundering charges to supplement drug trafficking and other such crimes. For a free consultation with an experienced Rochester defense attorney, contact the Law Office of Frank Ciardi. We routinely handle matters in Monroe County and nearby jurisdictions.

The information in this blog is provided for general informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter.

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