Understanding the Crime of Money Laundering in Virginia

The Commonwealth of Virginia prohibits “money laundering” by statute.  While this article will briefly explain what constitutes the offense, your best source of information is your local Virginia Beach Criminal Lawyer.

There are Two Variations of “Money Laundering” in Virginia

The easiest way to understand the offense of money laundering is to appreciate the fact that there are two separate subsections of the statute which cover two different forms of the offense.  The first is Virginia Code § 18.2-246.3.A and the second is § 18.2-246.3.B. This article will reference these two sections as section A or B of “the statute.”

Money Laundering Under Section A – The Requirement of a Financial Transaction

For a charge under section A of the statute, one element that the prosecution must be able to prove, is that the defendant conducted a financial transaction. What exactly does “conducting a financial transaction” entail? It essentially means participating in, the initiation of, or, concluding of a transaction.

In addition to the “conduct” aspect mentioned above, a second key point regarding a purported “financial transaction’ is that property is involved. Property should be understood in this context to mean anything that has value.  The type of transaction that would violate the law would be one carried out by a person with a knowing purpose and/or design to conceal and/or disguise aspects of the transaction such as: control, ownership, location, type/nature of property, and/or, the source of the property.

In addition, it is also illegal to conduct a financial transaction with knowledge that the property to the transaction is proceeds of a felony or proceeds of felonious activity.

What is the Penalty for a Conviction of Money Laundering Under Section A?

While there is much information available on the internet, there is no substitute to having your own attorney. Consult your local Virginia Beach Criminal Lawyer to ensure the prosecution proves all the elements of the case if you’ve been charged with a crime.

A violation of 18.2-246.3.A can be punished by imprisonment for 40 years, and/or a monetary fine of $500,000.

Money Laundering Under Section B – Converting Cash into Negotiable Instruments or Electronic Funds

Section B of the money laundering statute prohibits a person from receiving compensation for the conversion of cash into a negotiable instrument or electronic fund, with knowledge that the cash was proceeds from a felony or felonious activity. Contact your local Virginia Beach Criminal lawyer for an assessment of your case, and to ensure the prosecution bears their burden in court.

What is the Penalty for a Conviction of Money Laundering Under Section B?

A violation of § 18.2-246.3.B may be punished by a class 1 misdemeanor. Subsequent offenses are taken much more seriously and may be punished by a class 6 felony.