Money Laundering Offenders in the Federal Criminal Justice System

Mark Motivans, Bureau of Justice Statistics

ABSTRACT
Federal money laundering statutes differentiate between monetary record and reporting offenses (Title 31, U.S.C. 5311-5330) which require financial institutions to maintain reports and records of financial transactions involving more than $10,000 (originating from the Bank Secrecy Act of 1970) and laundering/racketeering offenses (Title 18, U.S.C. 1957 & 1957) where financial transactions involve the proceeds of specified unlawful activities (originating from the Money Laundering Control Act of 1986). This paper uses eight years of data (1994-2001) from the Federal Justice Statistics Program to describe money laundering defendants across prosecution, adjudication, and sentencing stages in the Federal criminal justice system. The analysis includes a description of the demographic characteristics of money laundering defendants, geographic differences in case processing, and a comparison of the rates of prosecution, conviction and imprisonment in the context of changing Federal legislation across the same period.

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Updated 05/20/2006