One of the most common financial crimes prosecuted in federal court is money laundering, which involves the transfer of money that is a product of criminal activity. The two frequently used statutes in federal courts, 18, U.S.C., Sections 1956 and 1957, set out the specified unlawful activities that are the basis for federal money laundering. Oftentimes, a money laundering accusation will go hand in hand with another offense, such as a drug charge. Penalties for money laundering depend on the amount alleged to have been laundered and the underlying criminal scheme and are extremely serious.
It is likely that a civil forfeiture will accompany a money laundering violation which means the government will seize property, including real property, vehicles, cash and bank accounts, if it can show such property was used or acquired in violation of the law. Because of the strict civil rules that govern forfeiture actions, a quick response is key to protecting and preserving the rights and property of someone who has had their property confiscated by the government.