Money Laundering cases are often unfair - Get the right lawyer to beat the case

Money laundering laws are often used against people who weren't part of a criminal enterprise, if they helped move cash or assets. But many people get caught in these cases just because they believed there was nothing suspicious going on.

If you're facing an allegation, our money laundering solicitors are here to help you get through it. On this page we explain the problem, the solution, and the concrete steps that you can take right now to make the situation better.

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Table of contents

Being accused of money laundering can be both a complete shock and very frustrating. Money laundering or 'transferring criminal property' is an offence which prosecutors typically use to target people who are not actually criminals.

It can seem unfair because it's not an offence of being involved in the main crime, but assisting it through transferring money or property, and people are often accused of money laundering even if they were not aware of any criminal activity.

Unbelievably, it is also used by prosecutors to target families and friends of alleged main offenders. In our society trusting friends is a quality we admire, but in these cases it can result in a person being linked to a crime without knowing. Finding that this has happened to you can be a terrible shock, especially if it means that you become tangled in a serious criminal case when you've never been in serious trouble before.

Money laundering solicitors know that these cases are made more difficult because there is an expectation on you to prove your innocence. The truth is that if money has been in your possession, the burden is on you to explain it. It can be very stressful having your actions under the microscope in this way.

Being naive isn’t an offence, but sometimes people only later realise the mistake and can’t believe they were so trusting. Then they worry about having to trust a jury they've never met to see the truth.

Money laundering cases often involve people who have no experience of the justice system, and that makes it harder to know how to respond. That makes it worse not just for the person, but also his or her family. They may be afraid that others will get into trouble, or even be scared of other suspects.

People can even get caught up in a big conspiracy case with people they've never met. This is daunting, especially if it's a large amount of money or there's a possibility of prison.

It doesn't have to be like this.

Having experienced money laundering solicitors can stop you from feeling you've been dragged into somebody else's mess. The law does not allow a person to be convicted if they did not know or suspect something criminal was going on.

Tough-minded money laundering lawyers never accept prosecution mudslinging. It is lazy and unfair for investigators or prosecutors to say 'you must have known' or 'there's no smoke without fire'. It's also not how the law works.

You have a right to be believed, even if you were naive, and even if you regret some things in hindsight. Specialist money laundering solicitors use their experience and know-how to stop the allegation from turning into a conviction based on cynical opinions.

You aren't guilty of the actions of others, and you shouldn't have to apologise for them. Having the right team of money laundering lawyers separating you from the criminal case can turn the whole situation in your favour.

When you meet our specialist money laundering solicitors, you will immediately feel that you have found experts who can make a difference in your case.

We do everything necessary to put a barrier between you and the allegation. We don't rest until the case is stopped, ideally without going to trial.

We assemble a group of barristers and finance experts to work together with our money laundering lawyers. We then do the investigation the other side should have done to show the true picture of what happened. This means a full analysis of the money trail, listening to you to understand all the facts and relationships around what happened. We then investigate to support what you have told us. Your story is the most important thing in your case. When that is solid, we go in to persuade and to fight.

Our money laundering solicitors focus on winning your case to clear your name. Clients tell us that seeing this effort and commitment gives them real confidence in their case.

  • Speak to a specialist money laundering solicitor or expert financial crime or fraud solicitor. This is niche and specialised work. It's not a good idea to just use a general criminal lawyer.

  • Call us to see if our money laundering solicitors can help - we'll speak to you even if you have been represented by another firm. There's no obligation to choose us.

  • Don't despair - even money going through a personal bank account is not the same as being guilty

  • Don't assume that the investigator is on your side and will help. They may be sympathetic but they get praised and promoted for getting convictions.

  • Don't assume that it will be all OK without you being proactive. You only get one chance in criminal proceedings. The justice system works for people who face the challenge and work for the best result.

  • Don't suffer the stress without support, for example a family member or a friend. If you're suffering with mental health or sleep problems, go to your GP.


Frequently asked questions

You cannot be convicted of transferring criminal property or money laundering if you didn't know or suspect that the money was from crime. You don't have to know exactly what type of crime to be guilty, only that it was from a crime of some sort.

It sometimes does happen that a person is in a criminal case with some people they have never met. A conspiracy means a plan to commit an offence or offences with someone else. With money laundering it could be that you are accused of transferring money for others even if you did not know who they were. It's important to remember though that you can't be convicted if you did not know or suspect that the money was criminal.

Transferring criminal property or converting criminal property under s. 327 of the Proceeds of Crime Act are legal names for the type of money laundering which is the most common in criminal cases. They are used to describe moving money around accounts or via electronic transfer methods, and in the case of converting criminal property, when something is exchanged or sold for cash or anything else with a value.

Money laundering is general term which describes doing various things to criminal money or other property to hide its origin. Examples might be transferring it through a clean bank account, buying physical property with it, moving it around, or just physically hiding it.

The jury in a criminal case cannot convict a person unless they are sure that he or she is guilty. With money laundering, they must be sure that the person knew or suspected that there was a criminal origin to the money. The jury will consider what you were told about the origin of the money, and who the person was who told you. If there was a relationship of trust with the person, for example if they were a friend, family member or work colleague, a jury might be more likely to find you not guilty.

Prosecutors will often take a case to court on the basis of a signed form or money that has gone through an account, but juries will often not convict a person on this basis alone if they have an explanation. Cases of family members or close friends asking a person to do a favour can result in a not guilty verdict if they are presented well. The jury will look closely at the relationship, and especially at why the person may have trusted that everything was above board. It's important to have a good firm of money laundering solicitors defending you if this is a situation you face.

Firstly, you cannot go to prison unless you plead guilty or are found guilty by a jury. Whether you get a prison sentence or a suspended sentence (or community order) in a money laundering case often depends on the amount of money involved. Figures in the tens of thousands might result in a person avoiding prison, and figures in the hundreds of thousands might be more likely to result in a prison sentence. BUT every case is different, and there are always exceptions. If you're concerned about the possibly of prison, we recommend you speak to a firm of specialist money laundering solicitors.

Confiscation proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act can follow a money laundering conviction, but that doesn't mean you will necessarily lose all your assets. Family homes are often at least partially protected if are a co-owner with your spouse or partner. Proceeds of Crime proceedings are draconian and the prosecution often ask for all assets to be confiscated, but it is quite rare for the court to agree with this. We recommend taking advice from a specialist proceeds of crime / money laundering lawyer if you are in this situation.

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