DC Federal Money Laundering Charges


The term money laundering encompasses a couple of different potential activities. If someone engages in a transaction with money or other property that comes from the result of committing a crime and uses the proceeds to either further conduct criminal activity or to hide the source of the money, then that’s money laundering. That’s one potential charge.

An individual might expect to face DC federal money laundering charges if they engage in a transaction with property acquired through criminal activity just over the threshold of $10,000. They don’t necessarily have to know that it comes from a specific crime but could potentially be charged with money laundering. It’s a lesser charge, but there is still a potential money laundering charge that could be derived from that. Working with an adept money laundering attorney can help you defend yourself from unfair money laundering charges.

Money Laundering as an Additional Charge

A lot of times the government likes to add a money laundering charge into a variety of other charges. They add it in narcotics cases where for example someone is accused of selling drugs and the government finds money or bank account that’s been used. They try to trace it back to the drug activity because there can be enhanced potential sentences. The government tries to use that to enhance their position when they’re plea bargaining.  

Money laundering is sometimes used in healthcare fraud cases because depending on what happens to the money that is derived from, it can drive the sentence up. So, DC federal money laundering charges can be used in a variety of contexts, particularly narcotics cases. If an individual is involved in a chain of the criminal activity, they can be convicted of conspiracy. Someone convicted of conspiracy faces the same penalties as someone who actually committed.


Penalties associated with DC federal money laundering can be very harsh.  Statutory penalties can be up to twenty years. The issue is the United States Sentencing Guidelines. In order to determine possible penalties, examining how money was involved will indicate what the potential sentence could be.

Maximum Sentence

 It really depends a lot on the specifics of the case because no two cases are the same.The general rule is that it would have to be a very large amount of money involved for someone to reach a maximum penalty. If the cases involve money laundering, narcotics, an act of terrorism, or weapons. Those are just some of the aggravating factors that can drive the sentence up.


To be convicted of money laundering, an individual must be the person who performed the criminal activity that the funds came from. It may seem that if the government cannot prove the person did the crime, they cannot be convicted for using the money and trying to make it look like it was legitimate, however that is usually not the case.The statute does not have to link a person to performing the criminal activity.

If the person knew that the money was criminal in nature, they do not have to be the one who did the criminal activity.The government has to prove that the person who’s using these funds in the transactions knew that they were derived from an illegal activity and yet they persisted in using it. The government has to show evidence as to where the money went.

Someone who acts as the launderer or the accountant for a criminal conspiracy can be charged for underlying conspiracy and charged with money laundering. They can be convicted of both. The common misconception about money laundering is that the person must do the underlying crime.

Contact a Lawyer

If you face DC federal money laundering charges, you have options. A local attorney will be familiar with the elements of a DC money laundering case and can use their familiarity to help you fight these charges.