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Recklessly Dealing in Proceeds of Crime – $1,000,000 or More

Recklessly dealing in proceeds of crime – $1,000,000 or more is an offence under section 400.3(2) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth), which carries a maximum penalty of 12 years in prison.

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  1. You dealt with money or other property
  2. The money or property was the proceeds of crime, or there was a risk it would become an instrument of crime
  3. You were reckless as to whether the money or property was the proceeds of crime or would become an instrument of crime, and
  4. The value of the money and/or property was $1,000,000 or more.

You ‘dealt with’ money or property if you:

  1. Received, possessed, concealed or disposed of it
  2. Imported it into, or exported it from, Australia, or
  3. Engaged in a banking transaction relating to it.

‘Importing’ or ‘exporting’ includes transferring by electronic communication.

‘Property’ means real or personal property of any description, including any interest in the property.

The definition encompasses financial instruments, cards and other objects that represent or can be exchanged for money.

‘Proceeds of crime’ means wholly or partly derived or realised, directly or indirectly, by any person from the commission of an offence against the Commonwealth, a State or Territory, or a foreign country, that may be dealt with as an indictable offence.

An ‘indictable offence’ is one which may be dealt with in a higher court such as the District or Supreme Court.

An ‘instrument of crime’ is money or property used in the commission of, or to facilitate the commission of, an offence against the Commonwealth, a State or Territory, or a foreign country, that may be dealt with as an indictable offence.

You were ‘reckless’ if you were aware there was a substantial risk that the money or property was the proceeds of crime, or that there was a risk it would become an instrument of crime and it was unjustifiable to take that risk, but you went ahead with your actions regardless.

You are not guilty of the offence if you are able to establish ‘on the balance of probabilities’ that you mistakenly but reasonably believed the value of the money or property was less than $1,000,000.

In that event, you may be found guilty of an alternative, less-serious offence.

Duress is a defence to the charge.

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