Are you facing charges of dealing in the proceeds of crime?
Dealing in the proceeds of crime, also known as money laundering, is a serious criminal offence with severe penalties, including imprisonment.
If the amount involved is more than $1,000,000, the offence carries a possible penalty of up to 25 years in prison.
If you have been charged with this offence, it is important that you find an experienced criminal lawyer to help you mount a proceeds of crime defence, and ensure you get the best possible outcome in your case.
What is a proceeds of crime offence?
The proceeds of crime are defined by section 400 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 as “any money or property that is derived or realised, directly or indirectly, by any person from the commission of an offence that may be dealt with as an indictable offence.”
Proceeds of crime offences include purchasing assets or services with money obtained from criminal activities, as well as moving money in or out of Australia.
It also includes purchasing or selling property with money obtained from illegal activities, although in some cases, this may be tried as a summary offence.
The severity of the charges you face if you are alleged to have been knowingly dealing in the proceeds of crime will depend on the amount of money or value of the goods involved, as well as whether or not you attempted to conceal the source of the money or goods.
Your level of involvement in the original criminal activity will also be taken into consideration when deciding the charge and potential penalties.
What are the penalties?
Dealing in the proceeds of crime can come with heavy penalties, including a prison sentence of up to 25 years.
Other penalties include fines, and the confiscation of any property or assets that are believed to have been purchased with money obtained from criminal activities.
This can cause extensive financial hardship to the families of those involved.
Is there a proceeds of crime defence?
The main defence to a proceeds of crime charge is if you can prove that you had no knowledge of the source of the money.
In order for this defence to be successful, you must prove that you had no reasonable grounds to suspect that the money was obtained from criminal activity.
If you believe this defence is appropriate for your situation, your lawyer will be able to advise you on the best way to obtain the evidence to support your case.
The law has variations when it comes to property.
It is possible that you may be charged with a summary offence if you deal in property that is suspected to have been obtained from the proceeds of crime.
This carries a penalty of up to two years in prison. If the property can be proven to have been used as an instrument of crime, or in the facilitation of a crime, however, you may be facing higher penalties.
What should I do next?
If you have been, or suspect you will be charged with a proceeds of crime offence, your first step should be to contact an experienced criminal lawyer who has a good track record of defending proceeds of crime charges.
This is a very complicated area of the law with high penalties, so talking to a lawyer can help to make sure you have the best possible chance of a positive outcome.