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Ohio Money Laundering Laws

Money laundering occurs when an individual takes measures to hide the fact that certain money was obtained through criminal activities. The reasoning behind the name is based on the idea that money laundering involves attempts to "clean" the dirty money through a series of transactions to make the money appear as though it was earned legitimately; the goal is it to make it difficult to trace the real source of the income. For example, a drug trafficker purchases gift cards with funds that he earned from selling methamphetamines. Next, he uses the gift cards to buy electronics, which he then sells to a legitimate purchaser. After the purchase is made, the trafficker deposits the money into a bank account for a company that he uses as a front.

Those who engage in money laundering can face charges under both federal and state laws. Additionally, many money laundering charges in Ohio can also include other related charges such as conspiracy, racketeering, especially if the money launderer is involved with organized crime or with other federal crimes.

Ohio Money Laundering Laws at a Glance

The chart below provides a summary of laws related to money laundering in Ohio, including links to important code sections.

Statutes and Elements of the Crime

Money laundering occurs when you participate in the following prohibited actions:

  • Conduct a transaction (for example, deposit money in a bank account) if you know that the funds are the proceeds of illegal activity.
  • Conduct a transaction that involves the proceeds of illegal activity valued over $10,000 if you know or should know that the transaction involves proceeds of illegal activity.
  • Conduct a transaction with intent to conceal/disguise the nature, location, source, ownership, or control of the property or to prevent the transaction from being reported under state or federal law.

Penalties and Sentencing

  • The charges and the penalties depend on the specific circumstances in your case.
  • Generally, money laundering in Ohio is a felony in the third degree, which is punishable by a fine of $7,500 or two times the value of the property involved, whichever is greater.

Possible Defenses

  • Lack of intent
  • Duress
  • Entrapment
  • Lack of knowledge: You were unaware that the money received was obtained illegally.

Related Offense

  • Money laundering in support of terrorism: Ohio Revised Code Section 2909.29

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.

Ohio Money Laundering Laws: Related Resources

Discuss Your Money Laundering Case with an Ohio Attorney

Ohio's money laundering laws are complex and often overlap with a myriad of federal laws. If you're facing money laundering charges in Ohio, then you probably want to discuss your case with an Ohio criminal defense attorney who can help explain your options. Find an Ohio attorney near you to get started today.

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