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Business owners may face trade-based money laundering charges

On Behalf of | Oct 29, 2021 | White Collar Crimes

Money laundering cases often center on individuals moving large volumes of cash through the U.S. financial system. Prosecutors may file charges alleging that defendants obtained their money through unlawful activities.

According to, certain money laundering techniques involve using invoices for goods and services. Also known as “trade-based money laundering,” it may lead to business owners coming under federal investigation for their invoicing practices.

Prosecutors may allege illegitimate invoices

Business professionals may face allegations of using TBML to disguise a source of illegitimate funds. To persuade a court to convict, prosecutors may attempt to prove an individual sent customers multiple invoices to conceal illicit proceeds. A business owner may, for example, have received more than one payment for the same item.

As described by the Department of Homeland Security, trade documents allegedly used to launder money may contain false descriptions of goods or services. Certain receipts may also show higher or lower prices than what a customer actually paid for a shipment.

Florida business owner faces federal charges

Individuals may face federal charges for both a felony offense and money laundering. As noted by the U.S. Department of Justice, officials filed wire fraud and money laundering charges against a Florida insurance company owner.

The business owner allegedly sold false insurance policies. In exchange, he received premium payments worth nearly $5 million. Instead of providing insurance policies, he purportedly used the funds to purchase personal items.

When money allegedly obtained through fraudulent means finds its way into a U.S. bank account, federal officials may file both fraud and money laundering charges. Money laundering convictions, however, require evidence that the proceeds originated from misconduct.


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