New York Penal Law § 470.15: Money laundering in the second degree

In order to hide proceeds from criminal activity such as drug dealing, gambling or theft, the perpetrators of these crimes sometimes take steps to convert money received from criminal conduct into money that appears to be from legitimate sources. This is called money laundering. There are 8 different money laundering crimes in New York. The distinguishing factors among the 8 crimes are the purpose for which the money was laundered and the amount of money laundered. Under New York Penal Law § 470.15 you could be prosecuted for money laundering in the second degree if you:

  1. Know that a financial transaction represents the proceeds of criminal conduct and you
    1. Conduct at least one financial transaction with intent to carry on the criminal conduct or with intent to violate federal tax law,
    2. Conduct at least one financial transaction knowing that it was designed to hide the nature, location or control of the criminal conduct
    3. Conduct at least one financial transaction that is designed to avoid required transaction reporting and the amount of the transaction or transactions exceeds $50,000
  2. Know that at least one money instrument represents the proceeds of criminal conduct and you transport the money instrument with intent to:
    1. Promote carrying on the criminal conduct
    2. Hide the nature, location or control of the criminal conduct
    3. Avoid transaction reporting and the amount of the money instrument or instruments exceeds $100,000.
  3. Conduct at least one financial transaction that:
    1. Involves property that is the proceeds of criminal conduct or property that was used to conduct or facilitate criminal conduct with intent to promote that conduct, hide the nature, location or control of the conduct or avoid transaction reporting and the transaction or transactions exceeds $100,000.
Example

Eugenia runs a prostitution ring, netting thousands of dollars each week. In order to avoid raising suspicion about how she really earns money, Eugenia set up a wholesale business and a number of supplier companies. Eugenia created phony transactions amounting to over $100,000 per month between the wholesale company and the supplier companies. It appeared as if she had a thriving business that allowed her to live a comfortable lifestyle. Because in reality Eugenia was earning money through promoting prostitution and "cleaning" the money through her other fake businesses, Eugenia could face second degree money laundering charges.

Related Offenses
  1. Money laundering in support of terrorism in the second degree: New York Penal Code § 470.22
Defenses

In order for you to be convicted of money laundering in the second degree, the prosecutor must prove that you had the intent to launder money. If someone "duped" you into being involved in the money laundering scheme so that you did not know that the money involved was the proceeds of criminal activity, then the prosecutor would have a difficult time convicting you of money laundering.

Sentence

Money laundering in the second degree is a class C felony. If you are convicted of this crime your sentence may include up to 15 years in prison and 5 years of probation. In addition, New York Penal Law § 470.25 states that you can also be required to pay a fine of up to two times the amount of money involved in the money laundering scheme.

New York Penal Law § 470.15: Money laundering in the second degree

A person is guilty of money laundering in the third degree when:

  1. Knowing that the property involved in one or more financial transactions represents:
    1. the proceeds of the criminal sale of a controlled substance, he or she conducts one or more such financial transactions which in fact involve the proceeds of the criminal sale of a controlled substance: (i) With intent to: (A) promote the carrying on of specified criminal conduct; or (B) engage in conduct constituting a felony as set forth in section eighteen hundred three, eighteen hundred four, eighteen hundred five, or eighteen hundred six of the tax law; or (ii) Knowing that the transaction or transactions in whole or in part are designed to: (A) conceal or disguise the nature, the location, the source, the ownership or the control of the proceeds of specified criminal conduct; or (B) avoid any transaction reporting requirement imposed by law; and (iii) The total value of the property involved in such financial transaction or transactions exceeds ten thousand dollars; or

    2. the proceeds of criminal conduct, he or she conducts one or more such financial transactions which in fact involve the proceeds of specified criminal conduct: (i) With intent to: (A) promote the carrying on of criminal conduct; or (B) engage in conduct constituting a felony as set forth in section eighteen hundred three, eighteen hundred four, eighteen hundred five, or eighteen hundred six of the tax law; or (ii) knowing that the transaction or transactions in whole or in part are designed to: (A) conceal or disguise the nature, the location, the source, the ownership or the control of the proceeds of criminal conduct; or (B) avoid any transaction reporting requirement imposed by law; and (iii) The total value of the property involved in such financial transaction or transactions exceeds fifty thousand dollars; or

  2. Knowing that one or more monetary instruments represent:
    1. the proceeds of the criminal sale of a controlled substance, he or she transports, transmits, or transfers or attempts to transport, transmit or transfer, on one or more occasions, monetary instruments which in fact represent the proceeds of the criminal sale of a controlled substance from a place in any county in this state to or through a place outside that county or to a place in any county in this state from or through a place outside that county: (i) With intent to promote the carrying on of specified criminal conduct; or (ii) Knowing that such transportation, transmittal or transfer is designed in whole or in part to: (A) conceal or disguise the nature, the location, the source, the ownership or the control of the proceeds of specified criminal conduct; or (B) avoid any transaction reporting requirement imposed by law; and (iii) The total value of such monetary instrument or instruments exceeds ten thousand dollars; or

    2. the proceeds of criminal conduct, he or she transports, transmits, or transfers or attempts to transport, transmit or transfer, on one or more occasions monetary instruments which in fact represent the proceeds of specified criminal conduct from a place in any county in this state to or through a place outside that county or to a place in any county in this state from or through a place outside that county: (i) With intent to promote the carrying on of criminal conduct; or (ii) Knowing that such transportation, transmittal or transfer is designed in whole or in part to: (A) conceal or disguise the nature, the location, the source, the ownership, or the control of the proceeds of criminal conduct; or (B) avoid any transaction reporting requirement imposed by law; and (iii) The total value of such monetary instrument or instruments exceeds fifty thousand dollars; or

  3. He or she conducts one or more financial transactions involving property represented to be:
    1. the proceeds of the criminal sale of a controlled substance, or represented to be property used to conduct or facilitate the criminal sale of a controlled substance: (i) With intent to: (A) promote the carrying on of specified criminal conduct; or (B) conceal or disguise the nature, the location, the source, the ownership or the control of property believed to be the proceeds of specified criminal conduct; or (C) avoid any transaction reporting requirement imposed by law; and (ii) The total value of the property involved in such financial transaction or transactions exceeds ten thousand dollars; or

    2. the proceeds of specified criminal conduct, or represented to be property used to conduct or facilitate specified criminal conduct: (i) With intent to: (A) promote the carrying on of specified criminal conduct; or (B) conceal or disguise the nature, the location, the source, the ownership or the control of property believed to be the proceeds of specified criminal conduct; or (C) avoid any transaction reporting requirement imposed by law; and (ii) The total value of the property involved in such financial transaction or transactions exceeds fifty thousand dollars.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

If you or someone you love has been charged with money laundering in the second degree, or is under investigation for money laundering, it is critical to meet with someone who has experience. In addition to possibly spending up to 15 years in prison, the judge could impose a significant fine. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been charged with money laundering, conspiracy, criminal facilitation, enterprise corruption, and other serious crimes. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of larceny in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

CONTACT US FOR A FREE CONSULTATION
1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529)