Money laundering is a multi-step process to disguise the source of money or assets that come from illegal means or remain untaxed. Money laundering can involve ordinary businesses where the purpose is to avoid paying taxes, criminal organizations that hide the proceeds from corruption, human trafficking, drug trade, illegal sale of firearms, or which are in furtherance of financing terrorism. Since 2019, the Canadian government has invested over $370 million to strengthen the Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Regime. These funds have included:
- Modernizing anti-money laundering laws
- Strengthening inter-agency cooperation and information sharing, and
- Equipping law enforcement with tools and expertise to support investigations
To further strengthen efforts to end money laundering, the Financial Crime Coordination Centre—FC3—is a five-year pilot project begun in 2019 to strengthen inter-agency collaboration and capacity-building. FC3 engages anti-money laundering professionals from across jurisdictions and provides:
- Training and expertise development
- Analysis of emerging money laundering threats and innovations
- Legislative and policy initiatives
- Knowledge sharing
- Providing best-practices resources to all collaborating agencies
The government’s resources and expertise in prosecuting money laundering have been greatly amplified by the FC3. That is why you need a skilled and experienced money laundering lawyer who can help you navigate the complexities of a criminal prosecution: arrest, bail hearing, disclosure review, negotiations with prosecutors, and trial, if necessary.
Never speak with police or prosecutors upon arrest or try to represent yourself. Don’t risk your rights and freedom by going it alone. Contact a knowledgeable lawyer at Bulwark Law for protection and guidance.
What is Money Laundering in Calgary?
Money laundering is a multi-step process to disguise the source of money or assets that come from illegal means or remain untaxed. The key amounts are $10,000 in a single transaction or smaller transactions aggregated over a 24-hour period to $10,000. Criminal enterprises rely on laundered funds to feed their activities, such as corruption, fraud, human trafficking, drug trade, sale of illegal firearms, and course, terrorism. Money laundering is prosecuted under the Criminal Code and the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act.
The Canadian Criminal Code applies to all individuals and businesses operating in Canada. The Anti-Terrorist statute applies to all reporting entities, such as financial institutions, credit unions, life insurance companies, load companies, securities dealers, foreign exchange dealers, money services businesses, casinos, real estate brokers and developers.
In April 2022, Canada further amended its money laundering statutes to include crowd-sourcing platforms under the definition of money services businesses and to increase the liability of merchant payment processing companies for cleaning money.
Money laundering involves three stages.
- Placement: taking dirty money and introducing it into the financial system
- Layering: moving dirty money within the financial system to disguise its origins
- Integration: money enters the legitimate economic marketplace through clean investments
What Are the Potential Consequences of Money Laundering Charges?
Money laundering can be prosecuted summarily or through indictment. The less severe prosecution is summary and involves less than $5000. These lesser charges can carry a fine of $5000, 6 months in prison, or both. If prosecuted by indictment, the maximum sentence is 10 years in prison. If the money laundering was in furtherance of terrorism, the maximum sentence is 10 years in prison with up to a $2 million fine.
Like all criminal charges, once convicted, you will have a permanent criminal record that will impact your future employment, ability to obtain a professional license, secure financing, and prohibit travel to the United States. If you are a legal resident, a conviction can have a devastating impact on your immigration status.
How Can a Money Laundering Lawyer Help You?
It is a mistake to represent yourself when facing the full force of the Crown’s authority and the newly enhanced expertise of its investigatory and prosecutorial staff. Instead, you should remain silent and hire an experienced money laundering lawyer from Bulwark Law as soon as possible. We will protect your rights and begin constructing a viable defence.
An experienced money laundering lawyer can investigate the police to challenge their methods and how they secured evidence and witness testimony. Through the FC3, specialized investigatory agencies often conduct these investigations with sophisticated forensic accountants whose expertise is in service of the Crown. An experienced money laundering lawyer can negotiate with prosecutors, develop an effective legal strategy, and prepare to go to trial if necessary.
Contact Bulwark Law Today
When facing criminal charges of money laundering, you need skilled and experienced lawyers to help protect your freedom and future. At Bulwark Law, our knowledgeable team has a hard-won reputation amongst judges and prosecutors in Calgary and throughout Alberta for fiercely representing our clients. We bring our integrity and full understanding of criminal law and procedure to every case. Contact us today at 403 678 7360 for your free initial consultation.