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Is Money Laundering a State or Federal Crime?

Money laundering is a type of fraud or financial crime in which an individual takes money that was illegally obtained and funnels it through lawful businesses to conceal its origins. This type of offense could be charged as both a state and federal crime. A conviction could result in high fines, prison time, and a damaged reputation.

State Laws

Under C.R.S. 18-5-309, a person commits money laundering when they knowingly make a payment, sale, transfer or delivery of a monetary instrument that was obtained through criminal activity, such as drug sales, distribution, and manufacturing.

Specifically, an individual is prohibited from:

  • Performing, or attempting to perform, a financial transaction with any item of value; or
  • Transporting or transferring money, checks, drafts, or any other monetary instrument

The person must carry out these tasks to further the commission of a crime or with the knowledge that their actions will hide the source of the proceeds obtained from criminal dealings.

Additionally, under this statute, it is unlawful to willfully conduct a financial transaction with property known to have been obtained through illegal means to promote a criminal offense, hiding the nature of the property, or attempting to avoid federal reporting.

In Colorado, money laundering is a class 3 felony, and a conviction could result in up to 12 years in prison and up to $750,000 in fines.

Federal Laws

Similar to state laws, federal statutes prohibit knowingly conducting financial transactions, transferring or transporting monetary instruments, and concealing the nature of proceeds with the intent to promote criminal activities or avoid reporting requirements.

Depending on the individual’s specific actions, if convicted of federal money laundering, they could be fined up to $500,000. Additionally, if they are found guilty, they could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison.

Discuss Your Case with David L. Owen, Jr., P.C. – Your Initial Consultation Is Free

Attorney David L. Owen, Jr. has over 33 years of trial experience, and he knows the laws concerning your rights. If you were charged with money laundering on a state or federal level, contact him as soon as possible. Some individuals might be accused of committing this offense when they did not know they were involved in transactions related to criminal acts, or they did not intentionally hide the nature of the proceeds. Attorney Owen will thoroughly review the facts of your circumstances to develop an effective legal strategy on your behalf.

To schedule your free case review, call Attorney Owen at (303) 622-3281 or complete an online contact form.