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Tennessee Money Laundering Laws

Josh has been trying for years to make it as a country singer in Nashville, but has been unsuccessful. Having spent most of his time and money on trying to become a professional musician, he decides to become a drug dealer like one of his friends. It turns out, Josh is pretty good at selling drugs - he's made a lot of money. He's nervous, however, about the red flags it may raise if he deposits a large sum of money into his bank account. So, he decides to deposit small amounts of cash over a period time, which is less likely to raise suspicion about the source of the cash. Well, if Josh gets caught, it's likely he'll be charged with money laundering.

Although the definition of money laundering may vary from state to state, it's generally defined as trying to disguise money derived from a criminal activity to make it look like it came from a legitimate source. Money laundering often occurs with organized crime, terrorist activities, and drug transactions. In Tennessee, there are a variety of activities that are classified as money laundering and participating in such activities can result in a felony conviction.

Tennessee Money Laundering Laws: The Basics

Statutes aren't always written to be easy on the eyes, which is why having an overview of the law, without all the "legalese", can be a helpful resource. In the table below, you'll not only find links to the relevant money laundering laws in Tennessee, but also useful summaries of what they say.


Tennessee Code, Title 39, Chapter 14, Section 39-14-901, et seq. (Money Laundering Act of 1996)

Defining the Offense

There are a variety of activities that are classified as money laundering in Tennessee. Here's a sample* of illegal activities:

  • Knowingly using or attempt to use proceeds derived from unlawful activity to conduct or attempt to conduct a financial transaction with the intent to conceal/disguise the nature, location, source, ownership, or control of the proceeds.
  • Knowingly using proceeds derived from an unlawful activity with the intent to promote carrying on an unlawful activity.

*Please see Section 39-14-903 for more details about activities that are in violation of Tennessee money laundering laws.

Charges and Penalties

Money laundering is generally a Class B felony punishable by 8 to 30 years in prison and a maximum fine of $25,000. However, if a business knowingly uses property or funds with intent to (1) obtain, display, conceal sell, purchase, or transport criminal proceeds, or (2) commit or facilitate any violation Title 71, Ch. 5, Part 25, it's a Class E felony punishable by a fine of $5,000 and forfeiture of the assets.

Related Statute(s)

Tennessee Code, Title 40, Chapter 35, Section 40-35-111 (Authorized Terms of Imprisonment and Fines for Felonies and Misdemeanors)

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.

Tennessee Money Laundering Laws: Related Resources

For more information and resources related to this topic, please click on the links below.

Charged with Violating Tennessee Money Laundering Laws? Get Legal Help

If you have questions about a financial transaction, or you've been charged with money laundering, it's a good idea to speak with a local criminal defense attorney who can provide you with a confidential explanation of how Tennessee money laundering laws apply to you.

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