Federal Money Laundering

Federal money laundering laws cover too much peripheral conduct that the statutes and their draconian guidelines were not meant to address. Once a tool for drug or racketeering cases, these laws are now applied to a wide range of activities, including routine business transactions. As interpreted and applied, the current law is a cruel trap for unwary individuals and businesses that inflicts felony convictions, harsh and inflexible prison sentences, and ruinous asset forfeiture. The Department of Justice has failed to reign in this darling of the prosecutor’s nursery, allowing prosecutors to use the laws to coerce unfair plea agreements.

NACDL has proposed several technical statutory amendments to rectify the money laundering regime’s most serious flaws by simplifying and clarifying current law, facilitating compliance efforts by individuals and businesses, and by focusing federal law enforcement on serious misconduct. Provided below are a sampling of news stories and resources related to federal money laundering laws and reform.

News of Interest

Department of Justice FERA Report Submitted to Congress, September 21, 2010

Tiffany Joslyn, FERA's Silver Lining - An Account of NACDL's Efforts Combating Overcriminalization, The Champion (August 2009).

"Kuehne Case 'Hanging on by a Thread'," Daily Business Review, January 5, 2009.

"Judge in Ben Kuehne Case Finds Feds' Charge 'Disturbing'," The Wall Street Journal, December 1, 2008.

"Scales of Justice: The Right to Counsel vs. the Need to Bar Tainted Legal Fees," The Wall Street Journal, November 20, 2008.

"Defense attorneys criticize charges," SunSentinel.com, September 6, 2008.

Peter Hardy, The Supreme Court Provides Post-Conviction Opportunities to Defendants Convicted of Money Laundering, September 5, 2008.

NACDL Money Laundering Task Force Report, Proposals to Reform the Federal Money Laundering Statutes, Aug. 1, 2001.


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