Money Laundering Solicitors
Being accused of involvement in money laundering can be very worrying and confusing, with the potential for a long prison sentence if you are convicted. Our experienced money laundering solicitors have extensive expertise in handling these types of complex cases, so can give you the best possible defence from the point of arrest onwards.
In many cases, we are able to help our clients to avoid charges or secure charges being dropped. Where charges cannot be avoided, our money laundering solicitors can build the strongest possible criminal defence for money laundering on your behalf, helping you to secure an acquittal or minimise the legal consequences where this is the best available outcome.
Our money laundering solicitors speak a wide range of languages, allowing us to offer clear, effective advice to people from diverse backgrounds. We have built a reputation for securing favourable outcomes for our clients facing even the most complex and serious charges for money laundering.
When arrested, you will be offered legal representation by whichever duty solicitor is available. Unfortunately, they are unlikely to have specific experience and expertise in relation to money laundering offences, so it is strongly recommended to have a specialist money laundering defence lawyer handle your case instead.
You should never answer any police questions without a solicitor present.
Get in touch
There is limited recourse for you if you are falsely accused. Click a selection of the cases we have covered. The best thing you can do is to instruct an excellent solicitor from the outset.
The sentence for money laundering can be very serious, and any mistakes made during a police interview can be very hard to recover from, so we urge you to consider contacting our money laundering solicitors as soon as possible.
- Have you, a friend or family member been arrested for money laundering?
- Are you required to attend a police station by appointment?
- Have you been bailed to return to the police station?
- Have you been charged with money laundering?
If you have been arrested for or charged with money laundering, you can contact our money laundering solicitors 24 hours a day, seven days a week for immediate advice and representation.
How can we help?
We always work with the most experienced and best leading UK barristers, KCs (Kings Counsel). We cover all criminal cases 24/7 at the police station and court. Offices in London, Birmingham, and Manchester cover cases across England and Wales. We can offer Legal Aid and affordable Private fee agreements. We can see you the same day, including virtually. Our Senior Partners supervise all of our cases.
How quickly do you respond?
We respond quickly even during out of hours. We do not get our work by paying for online adverts but based on the fact that few criminal law firms can match our 45 years of experience. Most of our cases are still from word-of-mouth recommendations from satisfied clients. We are called daily by dissatisfied clients from firms with less experience than us. We respond very quickly to new enquiries. We know what clients seek and so we update clients rapidly.
Can you get cases dropped?
We always keep you updated and give straightforward advice. We will get cases dropped early where the case is weak or should not be prosecuted. We will be upfront with you about where you can benefit from a good result with an early guilty plea, such as a discount on your sentence. As we work on cases across all levels with clients from all walks of life, we are excellent at giving clear, spot-on advice. As an established firm, we can allocate a whole team to your case often at short notice to secure evidence to minimise the damage to you.
Have you won any awards?
OUR PROFESSIONAL BODY THE LAW SOCIETY AWARDED US IN OCTOBER 2020 WITH THE EXCELLENCE IN CLIENT SERVICE AWARD AND STATED -
"JD Spicer Zeb demonstrated a clear commitment to client service through their work with vulnerable and diverse individuals in what can be severely traumatic circumstances".
Do you offer free consultations?
Where it is possible, we aim to provide an initial consultation to you. If we can speak to you, we can if required inform you about –
- Whether we can take the case on and our relevant experience.
- Public and private funding benefits.
- Assistance in applying for legal aid where we are likely to accept instructions.
- An outline of options in police interview only. We will not advise you on which option to adopt.
- Providing our free written guide explaining the police station process.
- The gravity of routine and day-to-day offences you face.
- Consequences of not attending the court or police station.
- Consequences of interfering with any witnesses.
- Retaining any evidence in support of your case.
- If possible an outline of the elements of the offence that the police or CPS must prove.
- This consultation will normally be by telephone or email and will only be for as long as we deem necessary to establish if we can act for you. If we cannot usefully give you any advice in this manner then we will not continue with the consultation. We will not discuss the case in depth for you to be able to decide on your plea or any significant aspect of the case, as this cannot be undertaken informally.
- Referring you, if possible, to other firms for matters out of our specialism or if we cannot help.
Consultations do not apply to the following cases –
- If we do not intend to take the case on.
- Road Traffic cases, drink driving, drug driving, driving bans, speeding, no insurance, mobile phone use, points etc.
- In all cases where we do not have the capacity to take your case or the availability of suitably qualified staff to provide an initial free consultation. This is applicable in all cases but especially where a more senior lawyer is required because of your personal needs or the complexity of the case.
- Harassment/stalking/ coercive behaviour/malicious communications or road traffic cases and most sensitive cases. These cases are often too complicated to assess in short consultations.
- The locations concerned may be too distant to represent you adequately or it may not be cost-effective for you or us.
- The case is too complicated to assess or raises various charges or facts, complexity, or history to be considered informally or in a short consultation.
- In most Legal aid transfers where legal aid is granted to another firm except in very grave cases, we may assess the case and merits for a transfer.
- If your relationship has broken down with your existing solicitor or several solicitors.
- If you have been released under investigation and have already had a police station attendance.
- If you hold legal aid with another firm and seek a second opinion.
- If you are calling on behalf of the client as a friend or family member unless you have full authority and full facts.
- To businesses.
- Advising whether you were given good advice by your other solicitor.
- Whether to decide to plead guilty or not guilty.
- Whether you have an arguable defence in law or factually complicated defences.
- Any advice you have had after your first court appearance.
- Any advice on appeal on conviction or sentence.
- If we feel we are unable to communicate with you.
- If we are likely to be conflicted or breach our professional rules.
Our expertise with money laundering charges
At JD Spicer Zeb Solicitors, we have over 45 years’ experience in advising clients who have been charged with money laundering offences. Because we have developed relationships with some of the most highly skilled criminal barristers in the UK, our criminal defence team has a strong track record of success. For example, we recently secured an acquittal for nine defendants in a money-laundering case involving the alleged conversion of millions of pounds of criminal property from various sources.
We have offices in London, Birmingham, and Manchester and our money laundering lawyers can be contacted 24 hours a day, seven days a week for emergency legal advice and representation. If you have been arrested in connection with a money laundering offence, it is crucial to contact us immediately.
Led by our partners, our team can provide 24-hour police station representation. Because anything you say or do upon arrest can affect the outcome of your criminal matter, our solicitors for money laundering provide expert advice at a crucial time, ensuring your best interests are always protected.
JD Spicer Zeb Solicitors is Lexcel accredited, meaning we meet the highest levels of management and customer care set by the Law Society of England and Wales. In addition, we were awarded the Law Society Excellence in Practice Management Award in 2012. Our expert team speak multiple languages, and we have approved external interpreters who can assist us if required. Our team provides exceptionally comprehensive money laundering defence, a claim we can support with various successful cases.
Common questions about money laundering offences
What is money laundering?
Money laundering is an offence under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) 2002. The offence involves taking actions to disguise the proceeds of crime, making them appear to come from a legitimate source.
There are various methods used in money laundering. To be convicted of a money laundering offence it will need to be shown that:
You undertook an action in relation to funds or assets (such as concealing them, disguising them, transferring them or converting them into something else).
You knew or suspected that the funds or assets represented the proceeds of a person's criminal conduct.
It is also an offence to enter into or become concerned in an arrangement which you know or suspects facilitates the acquisition, retention, use or control of property derived from criminal conduct (and which you knew or suspected derived from criminal conduct).
You do not need to have directly carried out inherently criminal activity to be charged in connection with money laundering; you merely need to have been involved in an action or actions that contributed to a money laundering scheme. So, for example, you could be charged if you bought or sold a property as part of the scheme, even though buying and selling property is perfectly legal in and of itself.
There are particular rules that apply to organisations that deal in cash such as Money Services Bureaux. Those rules are complex and are easily breached.
Money laundering is a triable either way offence, meaning it can be tried in either a Magistrates' Court or Crown Court.
What are the primary money laundering offences in the UK?
Under the Proceedings of Crime Act (POCA), there are three primary money laundering offences. These are:
- Concealing criminal property
- Arrangements involving criminal property
- Acquiring criminal property
Concealing criminal property will typically involve a person disguising or transferring criminal property, or removing a criminal property from England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland. This could include actions which conceal the nature, location, source or ownership of the property and the rights connected with it.
Being concerned with any type of arrangement, where the person is aware of, or suspects, the facilitation of criminal property on behalf of another person is an offence in itself.
It is an offence for a person to acquire, use, or have possession of criminal property.
How do you prove money laundering?
For the prosecution to prove that money laundering has taken place, they will need to demonstrate that any alleged laundered proceeds are criminal property.
To demonstrates that property is ‘criminal’, the prosecutor must be able to show that:
- The property constitutes benefit from criminal conduct or that it represents such a benefit
- The individual alleged to have benefited knows or suspects that it constitutes such a benefit
In this context, property could include money, real estate, or other intangible or incorporeal property.
What are the penalties for money laundering?
The sentence on conviction for money laundering will depend on two factors:
- The financial value of the money and/or other assets involved in the offence.
- The role the defendant is considered to have taken in the offence.
The potential sentence for money laundering can range from a fine up to 14 years' custody.
For a category 1 money laundering offence (involving ¬£10 million or more) the sentencing range is 3-13 years' custody.
For a category 2 money laundering offence (involving ¬£2 million-¬£10 million) the sentencing range is 2-9 years' custody.
For a category 3 money laundering offence (involving ¬£500,000-¬£2 million) the sentencing range is 18 months' to 8 years' custody.
For a category 4 money laundering offence (involving ¬£100,000-¬£500,000) the sentencing range is 26 weeks' to 6 years' custody.
For a category 5 money laundering offence (involving ¬£10,000-¬£100,000) the sentencing range is a medium level community order to 4 years' custody.
For a category 6 money laundering offence (involving less than ¬£10,000) the sentencing range is a fine of 75-125% of your weekly income to 2 years' custody.
Can you be prosecuted if you didn't know you were involved in money laundering?
Many money laundering schemes are highly sophisticated, using a range of professionals such as accountants, estate agents and lawyers as part of their operation. In many cases, people become involved in money laundering schemes unwittingly as a result of exploitation of their legitimate services by criminals. Unfortunately, these unwitting participants will often face a sentence for money laundering when a scheme is uncovered.
If you are charged with assisting with a money laundering scheme, proving that you were unaware of the criminal activity taking place can often secure the dropping of charges.
Where it is considered that you became unwittingly involved in a money laundering scheme due to negligence on your part, e.g. failing to carry out required anti-money laundering checks, you may still face regulatory proceedings, so specialist legal advice is still essential.
What does the Prosecution have to prove in a money laundering offence?
To be convicted of acquiring, using or possessing criminal property, the Prosecution must show that the conduct from which the property derived was unlawful or that the circumstances in which the property was handled pointed to an “irresistible inference” that it would only have derived from crime.
The Prosecution must identify the crime; it is not enough to make vague allegations of criminal conduct. Our Solicitors will carefully examine the Prosecution’s case against you and swiftly identify any weaknesses in the evidence they present. From this, we can build a strong defence in your favour.
What are my rights when arrested on suspicion of money laundering?
If you are arrested for or charged with money laundering, knowing your rights is essential. This can help to ensure you do not say or do anything to unintentionally undermine your defence.
When arrested for money laundering, please remember:
- The arresting officer must tell you what specific offence you are being arrested for
- You do not have to answer any questions you are asked
- You should never answer police questions without a solicitor present
When arrested for money laundering, the police are required to caution you with the following words:
"You do not have to say anything. But it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence."
Following a police interview for money laundering, you may be:
- Charged with a specific offence
- Released under investigation
- Released with no further action
If you are charged with a money laundering offence, you will either be released on bail or remanded in custody to await trial.
Will I be told if my assets are to be frozen under the Proceeds of Crimes Act 2002?
Assets are usually frozen without notice, via a Restraint Order, to prevent the owner from dispersing of them prior to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 being invoked. Under section 40(2) of the Proceeds of Crime Act, the Prosecution must satisfy the court that:
- A criminal investigation has been launched,
- There is reason to believe the person affected by the order has benefited from a crime, and
- There is a definite risk of the assets being ‘dissipated’.
Our criminal defence lawyers can challenge a freezing order on the grounds the authorities did not make a full and proper disclosure to the Court or there is no evidence the assets are at risk of being dissipated.
Contact our money laundering lawyers now
For urgent specialist advice, immediate police station representation or to speak to us confidentially about a charge of money laundering or any other criminal matter, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
You can contact a member of our dedicated team of criminal defence lawyers in London, Birmingham, and Manchester by telephone on:
- Brent & Camden London Office: 020 7624 7771
- Manchester Office: 0161 835 1638
- Birmingham Office: 0121 614 3333
- City of London: 0207 624 7771 - our senior Solicitors and Partners can meet by appointment in the City.
- Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively, you can fill out our quick online enquiry form, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
24/7 legal representation for money laundering charges
For immediate money laundering representation and advice, you can contact our Emergency Number:07836 577 556, and we will provide you with the urgent assistance you need.
How can we help?
- How can I get the CPS to drop the charges against me?
- How can I get the police to drop charges against me?
- How can I get the police to caution me?
- Police Stop and Search UK
- Pre-charge bail - What You Need to Know
- Read our Police Station Advice Guide
- Recovering Your Property From The Police
- Released Under Investigation - What You Need to Know
- Types of Evidence used in Law
- Voluntary Police Interview - What You Need to Know
- What is a 'No further action' letter?
- What to expect in Police Custody
- Why Choose a Private Solicitor for a Magistrates' or Crown Court Case?