Yesterday, Washington state auditor Troy Kelly plead not guilty in court to additional charges relating to business dealings and tax filings. Kelley made the plea in a federal courtroom in Tacoma, and in a separate hearing a judge pushed back Kelley's trial date to March 14. Earlier this month a 17- count indictment was handed down by a federal grand jury. It included allegations that Kelly committed money laundering — in the form of a $245,000 salary — that he paid himself from funds allegedly stolen from clients of his now-defunct real- estate reconveyance company, Post Closing Department. He is also accused of tax evasion. Originally, the grand jury had handed down a 10-count indictment, but eight new ones were added. Prosecutors dropped the eighth one which alleged Kelley lied in sworn testimony and depositions in a civil case filed against him by one of Post Closing Department's former clients,
Additionally, federal prosecutors recently seized $908,000 that Kelley had paid to a Seattle law firm as a retainer for his former lawyer, alleging that the money is illegal proceeds from the now-defunct real estate reconveyance company. Prosecutors are also seeking forfeiture of more than $1.4 million in cash. Kelley, who was elected the State auditor in 2012, has taken a leave of absence from his government-held position.
What is Money Laundering?
Money laundering is a white collar crime, meaning it is a financially motivated non-violent crime committed by business professionals or elected government officials. It is a federal offense, so the federal Money Laundering Control Act of 1986 covers this crime.
The Money Laundering Control Act does not specify a minimum threshold amount-- just that someone knowingly makes a transaction to gain ownership of the funds. in order to meet the legal definition of the transaction, the source, ownership, and the location must have been knowingly disguised. It is a felony punishable by 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. In addition, you will lose your assets or property if it was deemed that it was purchased with illegally obtained funds or part or a large-scale operation.
The State's Money laundering statute is covered under RCW 9A.83.020, and codifies as a crime the failure to report a transaction as required by the federal law. If charged under the state law, money laundering is a Class B felony, and makes those who violate the statute liable by "twice the value of the proceeds involved in the financial transaction and for the costs of the suit."
Seattle Money Laundering and White Collar Crime Lawyer
Federal money laundering charges are very serious. Most people don't realize it, but convictions of white collar crime can hold consequences equal to or at times, worse, than violent crimes. Steve Karimi will take all measures necessary to fight for your legal rights and to advocate for your best interests and come up with the best defense suited for your situation. If you have been charged with money laundering or embezzlement in King County, Snohomish County, Skagit County, Whatcom County, or Kittitas County, do not hesitate t contact the Law Office of Steve Karimi today at 206-621-8777. 24-hour hotline is available at 206-660-6200.
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