Money Laundering in Arizona: What You Need to Know About ARS 13-2317 

In the state of Arizona, money laundering is considered the act of illegally transferring any monies that were obtained illegally, usually between more than a single point, in an effort to make that money’s traceability much harder for law enforcement.  

As one of the most egregious white-collar crimes in the state of Arizona, money laundering charges are categorized into three distinct categories, explaining the severity of the crimes that took place, as well as their penalties and sentencing guidelines.  

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Money Laundering in the First Degree: The Potential Offenses 

According to Arizona Revised Statute (ARS) 13-2317, money laundering in the first degree is what happens when an individual — or group of individuals — who may or may not know or associate with one another outside of this crime, intentionally and/or knowingly initiate a plan to execute a money laundering event.  

This means this individual or group of people did everything from organizing and planning down to directing, managing, and supervising the money laundering while also potentially financing the crime if need be. Any of those listed crimes on their own or all of them together would be considered money laundering in Arizona.  

Most simply stated, first-degree money laundering charges are reserved for the “ringleader” or “boss” of the laundering operation; however, even if charged with first-degree money laundering, the leader of the crime can also very easily be charged with second-degree money laundering as well, most especially when the laundering of the money occurred as a means to in any way facilitate murder, terrorism, or other such crimes. 

Potential Penalties and Sentencing for First-Degree Money Laundering Charges Under ARS 13-2317  

As a class 2 felony, first-degree money laundering carries some hefty sentencing guidelines as follows: 

  • For the first offense of first-degree money laundering, the charges can range from probation with 0 days to 1 year in jail, up to a minimum of 3 years in prison up to a maximum of 12.5 years in prison.  
  • Suppose the defendant in a first-degree money laundering case has a single other prior felony conviction. s/he will not be eligible for probation or jail and will receive a minimum sentence of 4.5 years up to a maximum of 23.25 years in prison.  
  • If the defendant has two prior felony convictions, s/he will serve between 10.5 and a maximum of 35 years in prison. 

Money Laundering in the Second Degree: The Potential Offenses 

In this offense, a defendant may be charged based on various factors that went into the crime(s) and how s/he thought out and planned the crime. If you have engaged in any of the following activities, you may be charged with second-degree money laundering:  

  • Transporting, receiving, concealing the proceeds of a racketeering operation, or acquiring, maintaining an interest in, or transacting with monies in your possession due to money laundering.  
  • Making any type of property available to any other person by way of an illegal transaction when you previously knew that property would be used for the purpose of laundering money or racketeering.  
  • Conducting any type of transaction intending to disguise or otherwise conceal the source of those monies, their nature, location, or authentic ownership of said monies, and being fully aware that the property used to conduct any such laundering is also illegal and, therefore, a chargeable offense.  
  • Knowingly and/or intentionally making false statements or accounts or omitting any material entry in financial applications, financial statements, and/or account records (under Title 6, chapter 12 of the Arizona statutes that cover money laundering).  
  • Knowingly and/or intentionally avoiding or evading the required reporting as delineated under the Code of Federal Regulations.  
  • Knowingly and/or intentionally making any attempt — successfully or not — to conceal the identity of any individual who may also be involved in the laundering of the money or racketeering you are involved in.  
  • Using any type of forged instrument in the process of laundering money. 

Potential Penalties and Sentencing for Second-Degree Money Laundering Charges Pursuant to ARS 13-2317  

Second-degree money laundering is a class 3 felony in the state of Arizona. And, while its penalties may not be as severe as those associated with first-degree money laundering, the guidelines for sentencing are still quite stringent:  

  • For first-time offenders with an otherwise clean record, second-degree money laundering charges may result in probation and anywhere from 0 days to 1 year in jail. However, if the judge in your case feels it is just that you serve a longer sentence, s/he may rule that you spend between a minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 8.75 years in prison.  
  • For defendants with one prior felony conviction on their record, the option for probation and jail goes away, leaving the options of a minimum of 3.5 years up to a maximum of 16.25 years in prison.  
  • For those defendants with 3 felony convictions on their records, prison is again the only option, with a minimum sentence of 7.5 years and a maximum of 25 years in prison. 

Financial Penalties for First- and Second-Degree Money Laundering in Arizona  

In addition to the above-listed sentencing guidelines for both first-degree and second-degree money laundering in Arizona, if the violations involve an amount of money laundered that meets or exceeds $100,000 over the period of any 12 consecutive months, the convicted launderer is then subject to the forfeiture of assets of an amount that equals 3 times the amount of what s/he stole and/or laundered, including any and all conduct that occurred both before the onset of the 12-month period and after the 12-month period that in any way made the crime of money laundering more feasible or prepared for. 

Potential Penalties and Sentencing for Third-Degree Money Laundering Charges Pursuant to ARS 13-2317 

In Arizona, third-degree money laundering is a class 6 felony, and as such, the following penalties and sentencing guidelines will apply:  

  • For first-time offenders with no prior convictions, the sentence can range from probation with 0 days up to 1 year in jail — or, if the judge feels it is appropriate in your unique case, s/he may order sentencing as high as a minimum of four months in prison up to 2 years in prison.  
  • For defendants with 1 prior felony conviction, there will be no probation or jail time option, only prison, for which the sentence will be a minimum of 9 months in prison up to a maximum of 2.75 years in prison.  
  • For defendants who have 2 prior felony convictions, again, prison will be the only option, with sentencing ranging from a minimum of 2.25 years up to a maximum of 5.75 years.  

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Defending Money Laundering Charges in Arizona: How the Law Firm of Daniel Hutto Can Help  

If you’ve been charged with money laundering of any kind in the state of Arizona, we know this can be a very scary and uncertain time for you and your loved ones. But at the Law Office of Daniel Hutto, we look at money laundering crimes from various angles — because it is a complex crime that comes with an even more complex set of laws that govern it.  

We understand you may have made mistakes, may have hastily signed documents put before you while your mind was elsewhere, or that you simply did not know that what you were engaged in was against the law.  

We’ll work hard to research and investigate every aspect of your case — and when it comes time to go to court, our white-collar criminal defense attorneys in Phoenix will aggressively represent you. We’ll stick by your side throughout the entire process, from beginning to end, so give us a call today for your no-cost legal consultation for money laundering at 602.536.7878

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