Money laundering is generally defined as disguising the source of money derived from criminal activities so that it looks like it comes from a legal and legitimate source. Money laundering is commonly associated with drug cartels and organized crime. However, it can also occur when any individual is involved in a criminal activity.
For example, a person who sells prescription painkillers, but isn't involved in a specific drug cartel, can still be guilty of money laundering if they're disguising the money they receive from the drug deals. Money laundering is treated as a serious offense in most states, including Missouri.
An Overview of Missouri Money Laundering Laws
In order to ensure that you're not committing a crime, it's important to understand what's prohibited; but statutory language is rarely clear and straightforward. For this reason, it's beneficial to read an overview of a statute in plain English. In the following table, you'll find an overview of money laundering laws in Missouri as well links to relevant statutes.
Missouri Revised Statutes, Title XXXVIII. Chapter 574. Section 574.105 (Money Laundering)
|Defining Key Terms
Key terms related to money laundering in Missouri:
- Conducts: participating in initiating or concluding a transaction.
- Criminal Activity: any act that's punishable as a felony under the laws of Missouri or the U.S.
- Currency Transaction: transaction that involves the physical transfer of currency from one person to another person.
- Person: a natural person or any entity that's capable of being known as a legal personality (i.e. corporation, estate, trust, etc.)
|Defining the Offense(s)
Money laundering occurs when a person conducts or attempts to conduct a transaction involving currency with the purpose to:
- Aid or promote the carrying on of a criminal activity;
- Disguise or conceal the nature, source, ownership, control, or location of the proceeds of criminal activity;
- Avoid reporting requirements under federal law; or
- Aid or promote the carrying on of criminal activity for the purpose of making or furthering a terrorist threat or act.
|Charges and Penalties
Money laundering is a class B felony punishable by 5 to 15 years in prison and a fine up to $500,000 or twice the amount involved in the transaction, whichever is greater.
Missouri Revised Statutes, Title XXXVIII. Chapter 574:
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.
Missouri Money Laundering Laws: Related Resources
For more information and resources related to this topic, please visit the links listed below.
Arrested for Violating Missouri Money Laundering Laws? Speak with an Attorney
Money laundering is a serious offense in Missouri, and a conviction can not only land you prison but also result in hefty fines. Your best defense to these charges is a good offense, which is best achieved by hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney. A lawyer can evaluate your case and explain how to best present your defense.