Georgia Money Laundering Laws

Ah, the ubiquitous crime of money laundering. “Dirty money” being made to appear as if it has been obtained by legal means. Because of the covert nature of money laundering, it is difficult to estimate the total amount of money that is illegally laundered in places like Georgia and beyond. The estimated amount of money laundered globally in one year is 2 -5 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP), or $800 billion -- $2 trillion in current US dollars. That’s a whole lot of money flowing through corrupt and illegal channels. Whether through drug trafficking or a range of other illegal activities, Georgia money laundering laws typically focus on the banking industry, while most of these crimes are prosecuted on a federal level.

What Does “Money Laundering” Mean?

Simply put, money laundering happens when someone attempts to conceal or disguise the nature, location, source, ownership, or control of the proceeds from unlawful activity. For example, let’s say a drug dealer owns a taxi service, but funnels money into the service via ill-gotten gains from drug sales. That would be money laundering. Because these crimes often cross state lines, they are typically prosecuted by the U. S. Justice Department under federal law.

Related Crimes

A person accused of money laundering can also be charged with related crimes, typically those activities that the laundering is attempting to hide. Money laundering is generally the anchor crime in a federal investigation. Defendants also may be charged with crimes such as drug trafficking, embezzlement, fraud (including mail and wire fraud), and other illegal activities while engaging in money laundering to hide the alleged criminal activity.

Georgia Money Laundering Laws at a Glance

The following table provides a basic overview of Georgia’s money laundering laws and penalties. Keep in mind, if you are charged under federal laws, you may also be charged with a violation of the federal racketeering laws known as “RICO.”

Statutes

  • Georgia Banking and Finance Code Section §7-1-912 (Financial Institutions)
  • Federal criminal statute: 18 U.S.C. §1956 (Laundering of monetary instruments)
  • Federal criminal statute: 18 U.S.C. §1957 (Engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity)

Penalties

  • Violation of 1956: Federal felony, up to 20 years in prison, fine, restitution to the victim(s)
  •  Violation of 1957: Federal felony, up to 10 years in prison, fine, restitution to the victim(s)

RICO Statute

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Additional Resources

If you have additional questions about Georgia money laundering laws or federal money laundering laws, click on the following links below:

Next Step: Get a Free Case Review

White collar crimes like money laundering are very serious business and not like you see in the movies or on television. These are major felony cases, oftentimes investigated by the feds. You’ll want the best representation possible if you’ve been charged under federal or state money laundering statutes. Learn more with a free case review from an experienced Georgia criminal defense attorney.

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