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New Jersey Firms Could Be at Risk for Money Laundering: How to Protect Your Business

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Posted on November 16, 2018 |

Money laundering happens in a variety of situations and in all different kinds of businesses.

Basically, money laundering is the act of concealing illegally obtained money through actions designed to disguise the money’s origins by creating a false trail that seems to indicate it is the result of legitimate enterprise.

Rather than merely engaging in criminal activity and then making purchases with the money you made, money laundering is much more complex and involves a scheme where the money’s origins and ownership and persons in control are disguised.

This could be done in several different steps or layers, so it is possible that a business owner could not even be aware that it is happening until it is too late.

Could My Business Be Involved in Money Laundering?

Almost every business is at some risk of being an instrument of money laundering. Unless you have your eyes on every employee at all times, there could very well be activities going on at your place of business that you are not aware of.

Businesses that rely heavily on cash transactions are most at risk. Think of how much cash changes hands each day between different people in restaurants and retail stores. One often-cited source for money laundering is the car or boat dealership that does its own on-site financing. Other typical types of money laundering enterprises include casinos, car washes and nightclubs. Even service providers like doctors, lawyers and accountants can be involved in money laundering.  

No business is completely immune. If someone thinks there is an opportunity to launder money through an enterprise, he or she will likely move forward.

What Can I Do About Money Laundering?

A business owner found guilty of money laundering could be sentenced to years in prison and could be forced to pay enormously high penalties.

It is always better to prevent illegal activity, rather than ending up in a situation where you will need to hire a New Jersey criminal tax lawyer to defend you in the criminal justice system.

There are anti-money laundering policies and rules you can set up in your business to help prevent the possibility that your enterprise will ever be used for hiding the profits of an illegal scheme. You could:

Conduct operational reviews.

Set up a system to regularly review your operations so you can track the origin of all types of payments.

Train employees.

Your staff is your first line of defense in your anti-money laundering system. Make sure your employees know what money laundering is and how to report suspicious activity. You might even want to designate an anti-money laundering trainer to make sure all new employees receive information on what to look for.

Publish procedures.

Create written rules regarding how money is to be handled to prevent money laundering and make this part of your overall business policies and procedures manual.

Consult With a New Jersey Criminal Tax Lawyer

It is always a good idea to seek advice and assistance from a New Jersey criminal tax lawyer when you are developing anti-money laundering procedures and conducting internal reviews.

If you suspect that your enterprise has been used in a money laundering scheme, you need to take steps right away to protect yourself and your business. Call attorney Kevin Thorn at 201-842-7696 to set up an appointment for a confidential consultation or reach out to us through our website.


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