Money Laundering 18 USC 1957

Much like it’s counterpart found in Federal Statute 18 USC 1956, money laundering under section 1957 is a crime considered to be “white collar” in that it is often thought to be associated with a complicated scheme devised to hide money in some fashion. In fact, unlike money laundering under section 1956, prosecutions under section 1957 happen when one knowingly performs a monetary transaction in criminally derived property in an amount greater than $10,000, which is in fact proceeds of a specified unlawful activity. Thus, the “intent” element required in section 1956 is not present but in fact replaced with only the requirement that a $10,000 threshold amount for a transaction involving a financial institution be present. Due to the element requiring a financial institution, quite often an allegation using this statute is coupled with an allegation of wire fraud or mail fraud in that there is often an overlap in the elements of the crimes. Specifically as to wire fraud, because a banking institution is used in money laundering, there is very likely an electronic interstate communication used by the bank allowing for that charge to be filed. As with any Federal criminal allegation, it is extremely important to retain an experienced Federal lawyer to ensure your rights are protected and to represent you to the fullest.


18 USC 1957 governs this version of money laundering. Dispensing with any “intent” requirement, this version of this crime charges that one who while in the United States or in the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States or a United States person as defined in section 3077, knowingly performs or attempts to perform a monetary transaction in criminally derived property of a value greater than $10,000 and is derived from specified unlawful activity may be punished by a fine and imprisonment up to 10 years or both. In English this means that if a person makes a money transaction over $10,000 using money obtained from a criminal act and a bank is involved, they can be charged with this crime. Though the elements of this crime are really very simple, a logical defense is that one may not have the required knowledge that the money was obtained in an illegal fashion. As with any crime there are often defenses and the burden to prove guilt always rests with the government.


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