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Publication Money Laundering Offenders, 1994-2001

Mark A. Motivans, Ph.D., Bureau of Justice Statistics

July 17, 2003    NCJ 199574

Describes the criminal case processing of money laundering defendants in the Federal criminal justice system. It examines both Bank Secrecy Act offenses (statutes prohibiting monetary record and reporting violations) and Money Laundering Control Act offenses (statutes prohibiting the underlying criminal activity which generates the illicit profits involved in laundering). This report also describes the number and disposition of money laundering suspects investigated by U.S. attorneys, the number of money laundering defendants in cases filed in U.S. district courts, and adjudication outcomes including sanctions imposed. Included in the report are criminal case processing trends (1994-2001) of Federal money laundering offenders.


  • About 60% of laundering/racketeering offenses prosecuted involved an underlying property offense (embezzlement or fraud); about 17% involved drug trafficking; and about 7% involved racketeering or violations of customs laws.
  • About 9 in 10 defendants prosecuted for money laundering were convicted, with 9 in 10 convictions occurring by guilty plea.
  • In 2001 the 22 commercial defendants charged with money laundering included auto dealerships, grocery stores, banks, furniture stores, construction firms, and beauty shops.

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