Money laundering is the act of moving money received through criminal activity with the intent of converting illegal gains into legitimate assets. This could include money acquired through illegal drugs, manipulation of financial institutions, or any other criminal activity. Statistics Canada’s most recent estimation said between $5–15 billion dollars were being laundered in Canada on an annual basis in 2009.
If you are being investigated for money laundering allegations, contact a lawyer immediately at 604-685-8889.
Money laundering is a criminal offence that comes with serious jail time sentences. If you’re convicted of money laundering, you could be facing a sentence of up to 10 years in prison. Courts regularly dole out severe sentences in response to the amount of assets being moved and for the months or years these activities could be taking place.
Prosecution must prove you were laundering money you knew had been acquired through criminal activity with the intent to turn them into legitimate assets beyond a reasonable doubt. To be guilty, you have to know the money is coming from an illegal source. You have to move that money with the intent to make it look legitimate. Statistics Canada found only one-third of money laundering cases result in a guilty verdict, however, the charges are usually a part of several offences brought against you. These are often complex matters where an experienced criminal lawyer can be helpful.
BC cracking down on casinos for money laundering
Remember Hell or High Water? The Best Picture–nominee from 2016 about two brothers who use casinos to conceal cash acquired from bank robberies? The B.C. government does — and they’re worried casinos here could be used in the exact same way.
In January, the BC government unveiled the first of its policies to tackle money laundering through casinos. Under the new changes, casinos are now forced to refuse any transaction they deem suspicious and notify the government of any such transactions. A person wanted to bet it all could now face an investigation for money laundering if the casino is suspicious of where you got the cash.
The new policies also will include having a government regulator on site at large, high-volume casinos in the Lower Mainland. Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch (GPEB) officers will be available on a 24-hour basis to large casino operators.
These are not the only thing that could make you the target of police. There are more policies coming to clamp down on money laundering over the coming months. Our legal team will be keeping a close eye on these changes and what they mean.
Money Laundering — Criminal Code Section 462
Laundering proceeds of crime
462.31 (1) Every one commits an offence who uses, transfers the possession of, sends or delivers to any person or place, transports, transmits, alters, disposes of or otherwise deals with, in any manner and by any means, any property or any proceeds of any property with intent to conceal or convert that property or those proceeds, knowing or believing that all or a part of that property or of those proceeds was obtained or derived directly or indirectly as a result of
(a) the commission in Canada of a designated offence; or
(b) an act or omission anywhere that, if it had occurred in Canada, would have
constituted a designated offence.
(2) Every one who commits an offence under subsection (1)
(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years; or
(b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.
(3) A peace officer or a person acting under the direction of a peace officer is not guilty of an offence under subsection (1) if the peace officer or person does any of the things mentioned in that subsection for the purposes of an investigation or otherwise in the execution of the peace officer’s duties.