New Jersey Anti-Money Laundering Attorney

Experienced Compliance and Defense Counsel for Federal Anti-Money Laundering Matters Involving the IRS

The federal government has enacted several laws designed to prevent money laundering through U.S. businesses and financial institutions. Individuals, businesses and financial institutions charged with money laundering can face steep penalties—including criminal penalties in many cases. With decades of relevant experience, New Jersey anti-money laundering attorney Kevin E. Thorn, Managing Partner of Thorn Law Group, provides representation for all anti-money laundering (AML) compliance and enforcement matters.

Many AML enforcement matters involve the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The IRS is a partner in the U.S. National Money Laundering Strategy, which is a coordinated effort to target violations of federal anti-money laundering laws at the individual and corporate levels. With its unique insights into U.S. taxpayers’ financial matters and substantial enforcement resources at its disposal, the IRS is a key player in the federal government’s fight against money laundering. As trusted tax counsel for individuals, businesses and financial institutions in New Jersey and other states, Mr. Thorn is well-versed in the IRS’ enforcement tactics and priorities, and he relies on these insights to help his clients avoid unwanted scrutiny and unnecessary penalties.

Effectively Managing Anti-Money Laundering Compliance

The IRS defines money laundering as “disguising criminal proceeds.” But, while criminals may be the ones that need to disguise the source of their illegally obtained funds, the IRS focuses a significant portion of its enforcement efforts on ensuring that businesses and financial institutions are complying with their anti-money laundering compliance obligations. Businesses and financial institutions that facilitate money laundering—whether knowingly or unknowingly—can face civil or criminal prosecution under a host of federal laws, and their owners and executives can also face legal exposure in some cases.

In order to effectively manage anti-money laundering compliance, businesses and financial institutions must carefully and meticulously address all pertinent legal and regulatory requirements. This includes, but is not limited to, the relevant requirements under the following federal statutes:

  • Annunzio-Wylie Anti-Money Laundering Act
  • Anti-Drug Abuse Act
  • Bank Secrecy Act
  • Corporate Transparency Act
  • Intelligence Reform & Terrorism Prevention Act
  • Money Laundering and Financial Crimes Strategy Act
  • Money Laundering Control Act
  • Money Laundering Suppression Act

From reporting cash transactions in excess of $10,000 to taking adequate steps to determine when wire transfers, nominee transactions, use of multiple bank accounts and other hallmarks of money laundering operations are in fact indicative of money laundering, businesses and financial institutions need to ensure that they are meeting all of their AML compliance obligations on an ongoing basis. This involves not only implementing adequate anti-money laundering policies and procedures but also conducting regular internal audits and using other monitoring techniques to identify potential risks as efficiently as possible.

New Jersey anti-money laundering attorney Kevin E. Thorn has decades of experience advising businesses and financial institutions regarding AML compliance. Whether your business needs to implement an AML compliance program or your financial institution needs help to manage its AML compliance obligations more effectively, Mr. Thorn can offer a solution that is custom-tailored to your business’ or financial institution’s needs.

Defending Against IRS Anti-Money Laundering Investigations

In addition to helping businesses and financial institutions maintain anti-money laundering compliance, Mr. Thorn also has extensive experience representing clients in federal AML investigations. This includes investigations involving the IRS and other agencies. If you, your business or your financial institution is facing an IRS investigation, it is imperative that you engage defense counsel immediately, as prompt intervention can be critical for avoiding unnecessary consequences.

In addition to promptly engaging experienced defense counsel, when facing anti-money laundering investigations, targeted individuals and entities should:

1. Immediately Cease or Remedy AML Violations as Warranted

When facing scrutiny for alleged anti-money laundering violations, targeted individuals and entities should promptly cease any unlawful conduct, and they should remedy AML violations as warranted. However, when doing so, targeted individuals and entities must be careful to avoid tipping off the IRS or inadvertently making other mistakes that could lead to civil or criminal prosecution.

2. Formulate a Defense Strategy Focused on the Relevant Facts and Law

Successfully defending against alleged anti-money laundering violations requires an effective strategy that is focused on both the relevant facts and the relevant law. Targeted individuals and entities must work with their defense counsel to gain a clear understanding of the scope of the investigation and identify the facts and laws they can use to their advantage.

3. Evaluate Potential Outcomes and Target a Specific Result

Based on the relevant facts and law, targets of federal AML investigations should work with their defense counsel to evaluate potential outcomes and target a specific result. Depending on the circumstances involved, this may involve resolving the investigation without consequences, working to negotiate a settlement with the IRS, or preparing to defend against civil or criminal allegations in court.

Penalties in Federal Anti-Money Laundering Investigations

The penalties for anti-money laundering violations vary greatly depending on the nature of the investigation and the specific statute (or statutes) at issue. If the IRS uncovers evidence suggesting “knowing” participation in a money laundering enterprise, prosecutors can pursue criminal charges under 18 U.S.C. Section 1956 or 18 U.S.C. Section 1957. Under these statutes, potential penalties include:

  • 18 U.S.C. Section 1956 – Under this federal statute, whoever “knowing that the property involved in a financial transaction represents the proceeds of some form of unlawful activity, conducts or attempts to conduct such a financial transaction which in fact involves the proceeds of specified unlawful activity . . . with the intent to promote [or engage in tax fraud or other illegal activity]” can face 20 years of federal imprisonment and fines equal the greater of $500,000 or twice the value of the property involved in the transaction.
  • 18 U.S.C. Section 1957 – Under this federal statute, whoever “knowingly engages or attempts to engage in a monetary transaction in criminally derived property of a value greater than $10,000 [that] is derived from specified unlawful activity” can face 10 years of federal imprisonment and statutory fines.

Contact New Jersey Anti-Money Laundering Attorney Kevin E. Thorn

If you need anti-money laundering compliance or defense counsel in New Jersey, we encourage you to contact us promptly. To arrange a confidential consultation with New Jersey anti-money laundering attorney Kevin E. Thorn, Managing Partner of Thorn Law Group, call 201-355-8202, email or contact us confidentially online now.

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