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Money Laundering

In New Jersey, money laundering is the act of taking illegally procured property and concealing that property as being the result or asset of a legitimate business operation. Examples of activities where money laundering is common include distribution of drugs,  gambling, firearms and prostitution operations. While these are the more frequently encountered situations where money laundering is encountered, the activities where this charge can crop up on virtually endless (i.e. fraud, loansharking, insurance scams, etc.).  Money laundering can be an extraordinarily serious offense, resulting in a much higher degree of crime and penalties than the illegal activity which generated the funds. The situation only gets worse when these activities result in Federal Charges. If you have been charged with money laundering, the defense of your case is not for the inexperienced. By calling our firm, the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, you will gain the benefit of a defense team with more than a century of combined experience. An attorney is available 24/7 at 973-710-1520.

NJ Money Laundering Offense Under N.J.S.A. 2C:21-25?

While many people are familiar with the term, very few actually understand what constitutes money laundering under current New Jersey law. To convict a defendant of money laundering under N.J.S.A. 2C:21-25, the State must prove the following elements:

  1. Transportation or possession of property known or which a reasonable person would believe to be derived from criminal activity;
  2. Engaging in a transaction involving property known or which a reasonable person would believe to be derived from criminal activity; or
  3. Directing, organizing, financing, planning, managing, supervising, or controlling the transportation of or transactions in property known or which a reasonable person would believe to be derived from criminal activity.

How Is The Degree of Crime Determined for with a Money Laundering Offense?

A charge for money laundering can come in the form of a first, second or third degree crime. All of these are indictable felony criminal offenses but also but third degree carry a presumption, a virtual certainty, that you will be imprisoned in the even that you are convicted. For the charge to rise to a crime of the first degree, the value of the property or money involved must be at least $500,000. Money laundering is a second degree crime where the value of the property or money involved is at least $75,000, but less than $500,000. When the property involved is less than $75,000, money laundering is a third degree crime.

What Are The Penalties If You Are Convicted Of Money Laundering?

The severity of a money laundering conviction will depend whether it is a first, second or third degree crime. If convicted of money laundering in the first degree, a defendant will serve up to twenty (20) years of imprisonment with a minimum term of parole ineligibility between one-third (1/3) and one (1/2) of the designated sentence. The court, at the request of the  County Prosecutor, may also impose a $500,000 Anti-Money Laundering Penalty. Alternatively, the court may require a monetary penalty that is three (3) times the amount of the property involved, as well as the costs incurred during the civil and criminal investigations.

If you are convicted of money laundering in the second degree, you face up to ten (10) years of incarceration. The court, at the request of the County Prosecutor, may also impose a $250,000 Anti-Money Laundering Penalty. Alternatively, the court may require a monetary penalty that is three (3) times the amount of the property involved, as well as, the costs incurred during the civil and criminal investigations.

If convicted of money laundering in the third degree, the defendant may serve up to five (5) years of imprisonment. The court, at the request of the County Prosecutor, may also impose a $75,000 Anti-Money Laundering Penalty. Alternatively, the court may require a monetary penalty that is three (3) times the amount of the property involved, as well as, the costs incurred during the civil and criminal investigations.

Beyond the above mentioned penalties, a defendant convicted of money laundering faces potential civil action, both by the State of New Jersey and privately.

For further assistance regarding a money laundering case, call our Newark Defense Firm at 973-710-1520.