Nick Lotito & Seth Kirschenbaum

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A closer look at money laundering and your bank transactions

At the beginning of the year, around the start of May, we presented readers of our blog with the case of a Georgia business owner who, in 2013, had $950,000 of his assets seized by the IRS because the government thought his small business transactions were an indication of criminal activity. As we explained in the post though, these transactions weren't illegal at all despite the government's insistence.

What this case should have illustrated to our Atlanta readers is that investigators may look at honest business transactions and assume the worst, which can easily lead to criminal investigations and serious charges. Once again, we'd like to highlight this fact by taking a look at how investigators might mistake legitimate business transactions for illegal activities and what residents in Georgia can do to protect their rights.

With a lot of law enforcement agencies, there are set transactions and activities that are considered indicators of crime. In the case of money laundering, a law enforcement agency may consider frequent wire transfers under a certain amount to be an indication of criminal activity. In other cases, transferring money between multiple companies may also look suspicious and seen as grounds for an investigation.

Though it may seem like it's easy for investigators to bring charges against business owners here in Georgia for making business transactions, investigators still need to prove in a court of law that the activity was illegal in nature before a conviction is possible. This is where having skilled legal representation comes in handy.

Because a good criminal defense attorney knows the law, they can help an accused person properly defend themselves against the charges at hand by presenting the other side of the story. They can also act as an advocate who will fight for an accused person's right to a fair trial as well.

Source: The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, "Money Laundering Red Flags, Wire Transfers," Accessed July 20, 2015

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Nick Lotito & Seth Kirschenbaum

Former Federal Prosecutors

918 Ponce de Leon Avenue, N.E. Atlanta, GA 30306 Phone: 404-692-5168 Fax: 404-872-1622 Atlanta Law Office Map