Proving money laundering comes with its unique complexity because conviction requires three different layers of activity. A prosecutor must show proof of all three actions for a jury to convict.

An allegation of funds received from a wrongful pursuit could result in a charge. As noted by Bankrate, the first step requires proving placement, such as moving cash received through an unlawful activity through a bank or financial institution. A prosecutor needs to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the money placed into an account came from wrongdoing.

Depositing and mixing illicit money

The second step in money laundering requires mixing the unlawful funds with a source of cash earned through a legitimate business. Referred to as “layering,” it serves to disguise the origin of the illicit cash.

The third step required to carry out an act of money laundering involves integration. After depositing the forbidden money into an account, it mixes in with proceeds earned from a lawfully operating business. Withdrawing or using the funds as part of a regular transaction means that they have successfully washed through the account.

Reducing the penalty

Colorado law classifies money laundering as a felony. A sentence may include up to 20 years of incarceration and a $500,000 fine. Under certain circumstances, a plea bargain could result in reduced penalties. As reported by the Greeley Tribune, a Weld County publisher received a two-year prison sentence and 10-years of probation after pleading guilty to money laundering.

Several authors reported to law enforcement officials that the publisher stole their book sale royalties. Prosecutors filed 24 felony charges against her, including tax evasion and money laundering. In her plea bargain, she admitted guilt to one charge of money laundering in exchange for dropping the other charges.