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Money laundering is actively investigated by federal authorities

Money laundering is a crime that is often used to cover up another crime. Money laundering refers to the use of financial transactions to cover up other underlying criminal offenses. Money laundering is considered to be a white collar crime, though the underlying activity may not be.

A person laundering money may be doing so to disguise the fact that the money comes from other illicit activity, including potentially criminal or terrorist activity, whether in Louisiana or elsewhere. Most commonly, money laundering is linked to fraud or drug trafficking activity. The Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI) estimates that approximately $300 billion is involved in money laundering annually. The TFI is the arm through which the United States Department of the Treasury investigates potential money laundering.

Fraud is the most common method through which money laundering occurs in the United States. According to the TFI, the most prolific source of laundered money, at twice the volume of that derived from drug trafficking, is fraud involving federal government programs. This may include false claims for Medicaid or Medicare reimbursement, food subsidies and federal tax refunds. Additionally, money laundering may occur as an extension of healthcare fraud though the submission of false reimbursement claims. Money laundering also may arise within the context of internationally organized crime groups who participate in extortion, illegal gambling, racketeering or other financial fraud, and sometimes commingle illegal activities, and funds, with legitimate business dealings.

A person who has been charged with money laundering, or who is under federal investigation for money laundering, may benefit from seeking out legal counsel promptly.

Source: U.S. Department of the Treasury, "Money Laundering," accessed Dec. 26, 2015

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