If you have been arrested in the Orlando area for a violation of Florida statute 560.123 titled the “Florida Control of money laundering in money Services Business Act” you will need attorneys experienced in defending white collar crimes.
The purpose of this law is to require certain records of payments or money transfers to be kept in order to deter the use of a legitimate business to conceal proceeds from criminal activity. The State also wants to ensure that these records will be readily available for criminal, tax, or regulatory investigations or proceedings.
Any person who willfully violates any provision of the money laundering law by failing to keep or file the proper records commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable by up to one year in county jail and a $1000 fine.
In addition, if the violation involves:
- Currency or payment instruments exceeding $300 but less than $20,000 in any 12-month period, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable by five years in prison.
- Currency or payment instruments totaling or exceeding $20,000 but less than $100,000 in any 12-month period, commits a felony of the second degree, punishable by 15 years in prison.
- Currency or payment instruments totaling or exceeding $100,000 in any 12-month period, commits a felony of the first degree, punishable by 30 years in prison.
- In addition to the prison penalties, a person who has been convicted of, or entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, to money laundering charges may be sentenced to pay a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the value of the currency or payment instruments, whichever is greater.
- For a second or subsequent conviction for or plea of guilty or nolo contendere, regardless of adjudication, the fine may be up to $500,000 or quintuple the value of the currency or payment instruments, whichever is greater.
- You may also liable for a civil penalty in addition to the criminal fines, of not more than the greater of the value of the currency or payment instruments involved or $25,000.
THIS IS IMPORTANT!! In most cases, the State must show that a crime has been committed before any of the Defendant’s statements can be used against them. This is known as the rule of “corpus delecti.” In any prosecution brought pursuant to this section, the common law corpus delicti rule does not apply. Your confession or admission is admissible during trial without the state having to prove the corpus delicti if the court finds that your confession or admission is trustworthy!! This means it is VERY important to have an attorney who knows the rules of Miranda and has extensive experience in suppressing statements and admissions!!
This charge can be very intensive and very complicated!! If you hire an inexperienced firm or an inexperienced attorney, they may not have the resources to fully defend you. These charges usually involve the testimony of forensic accountants. These “experts” will need to be deposed and records will need to be provided. Failing to request the right documents or overlooking a critical entry could be the difference between your guilt or innocence. As discussed above anything you have said or done will need to undergo close scrutiny to make sure it can not be used against you later at trial.
Don’t trust amateurs! Hire the experienced attorneys of Finebloom & Haenel today. Our firm has the time and resources necessary to properly defend your case. Our attorneys are available for consultation 24/7 by calling 407-218-6277.