Money Laundering Offenders in the Federal Criminal Justice System

Mark Motivans, Bureau of Justice Statistics

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