Money laundering charges cover any type of financial activity that is intended to conceal or promote illegal activity. The government uses the charge of money laundering to enhance the penalty for almost any kind of financial transaction. The money laundering statutes, 18 U.S.C. Sections 1956 and 1957, are extraordinarily broad and allow the government to base a money laundering charge on a simple deposit of money that the government deems to have been illegally obtained. If you have been charged with money laundering and/or structuring in federal court, it is imperative that you work with an experienced criminal defense lawyer who understands the critical distinctions and will hold the government to its burden of proof. A conviction for federal money laundering can have dire consequences including up to 20 years in prison, and enormous financial penalties including forfeiture and restitution.
Hope Lefeber has been defending people accused of money laundering and other white-collar crimes for more than 30 years. She is a fierce, tenacious, and passionate advocate who is extremely aggressive in her pursuit of justice for her clients. She is well-known for her meticulous analysis and thorough preparation of every case she handles from start to finish.
Ms. Lefeber began her career as an enforcement attorney with the United States Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), where she learned first-hand how the federal government prepares and prosecutes criminal cases. Today, she uses that experience to defend people who have been charged with money laundering and other financial crimes in federal court.
Ms. Lefeber is well-known and respected by her colleagues in the federal bar, federal prosecutors, federal judges, and her clients for her meticulous preparation, thorough analysis, and knowledge of the law. She is an aggressive litigator who vehemently defends her clients’ constitutional rights, and is passionately opposed to government overreach and over-charging by federal prosecutors. Ms. Lefeber cares deeply for her clients, their rights, and their freedom.
Historically, prosecutors only sought money laundering charges against drug dealers. But the definition of money laundering has expanded to include a broad range of financial activities that involve money that the government alleges has been earned illegally, deposited in bank accounts, or converted to any form of exchange. Today, the federal government brings money laundering charges in almost every white-collar case as a means to seek harsher penalties by invoking enhancements under the federal sentencing guidelines.
As with any criminal case, a federal criminal defendant is innocent until proven guilty. In a federal prosecution for money laundering, it is critical that the government be held accountable and forced to meet its burden of proof on every element of a federal money laundering charge. To secure a conviction for federal money laundering, the government must prove that a defendant knowingly engaged in a transaction that promoted or concealed the proceeds of illegal activity. If the money was not obtained illegally, the defendant did not know that the money came from illegal activities, or did not promote or conceal the financial activities, the government cannot prove its case.
The amount of money that was allegedly laundered is a critical question in federal cases involving allegations of money laundering. The government often relies on a forensic accountant to prove its case. These accountants make assumptions and extrapolate details to “prove” the amount of money that was laundered. By showing that these assumptions are flawed, a criminal defense lawyer can drastically reduce the amount of money at issue, which can have a significant impact on the overall results in the case.
To defend her clients who have been accused of money laundering, Ms. Lefeber routinely works with forensic accountants and other financial experts to attack the prosecution’s assumptions about the transactions at issue in a money laundering case. By showing that the assumptions of the government’s “experts” are flawed, she can dispute the amount of money that was allegedly laundered and thereby significantly reduce the penalties a criminal defendant might face.
Federal money laundering charges are serious and conviction carries a lengthy prison sentence, hefty fines, restitution, and forfeiture. If you have been charged with money laundering in federal court, you need an experienced, aggressive criminal defense lawyer on your side who will challenge the government’s evidence, protect your rights, and do everything possible to help you avoid a conviction.
Ms. Lefeber has earned a reputation as a fierce and tenacious litigator who meticulously prepares every case she handles. She is well-known for her thorough analysis of the government’s evidence and her hands-on approach to every case. She has a deep knowledge of federal criminal law, and especially federal financial crimes and money laundering. Ms. Lefeber has defended Fortune 500 Company executives, businessmen and women, professors, lawyers, doctors and other high-profile clients who have been facing federal criminal charges, has lectured on federal criminal law topics, and has appeared on TV as a legal expert.
If you are facing federal money laundering charges, Hope Lefeber should be your first call. Contact Ms. Lefeber today by calling 610-668-7927 or completing the online form.