Criminal charges related to money laundering are serious in nature and
carry hefty penalties. In cases where allegations and criminal charges
related to money laundering are filed by the federal government, targeted
individuals often face stiff penalties including prison time.
Los Angeles' garment district was recently targeted by investigators
with the U.S. Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and
nine people were arrested on charges related to laundering money to help
fund Columbian and Mexican drug cartels
The arrests were made last month as more than 1,000 law enforcement officials
descended on the garment district. In that raid, assets in excess of $90
million, that were believed to be used in the money laundering activities,
were seized from businesses and individuals.
Additionally, FinCEN has issued a Geographic Targeting Order which requires
some 2,000 garment district business owners to report "any instance
in which they receive at least $3,000 in cash." The GTO was issued
in the hopes of cracking down on money laundering activities in which
investigators claim cash was being converted to goods which were then
transported to Mexico and sold for the benefit of the drug cartels.
This case is indicative of the federal government's increased efforts
to target and root out individuals who it believes commit federal crimes.
Individuals accused of illegal activities related to money laundering,
fraud, computer crimes or other white collar crimes would be wise to seek
the advice and guidance of a criminal defense attorney who handles federal
Courthouse News Service, "L.A. Fashion District Under Scrutiny After
Cartel Drug-Money Raid," Matt Reynolds, Oct. 2, 2014