The US Attorney Criminal Resource Manual Sec. 2101, defines criminal conduct for which includes domestic money laundering transaction (18 USC 1956 (a) (1), and international money laundering transaction (18 USC 1956 (a)(2). To be criminally culpable for money laundering a defendant must:
1) Conduct (or attempt to conduct) a Financial Transaction;
2) Knowing that the property involved in the financial transaction represents the proceeds of some unlawful activity (Specified Unlawful Activity);
3) The property must be in fact derived from a Specified Unlawful Activity;
4) The defendant conducts the financial transaction with one of four
specific intents (Specific Intents), which includes “intent to engage in tax evasion or tax fraud” (18 USC 1956 (a) (1) (A) (ii).
The property involved in the Financial Transaction (i.e. the actual source of funds) must be one of the specified forms of criminal activity identified by the statute in 18 USC 1956 (c) (7), or those incorporated by the RICO statute (18 USC sec. 1961 (1).
A “Financial Transaction” is defined under 18 USC 1956 (c) (4) as a
Transaction which affects interstate or foreign commerce and:
1) Involves the movement of funds by wire or other means, or
2) Involves the use of a monetary instrument, or
3) Involves the transfer of title to real property, a vehicle, a vessel,
or an aircraft or
4) Involves the use of a financial institution which is engaged in, or
the activities of which affect interstate or foreign commerce.
Transaction is Defined: (18 USC 1956 (c) (3) as:
A purchase, sale, loan, pledge, gift, transfer, delivery, or other disposition. With respect to a financial institution, a deposit, withdrawal, transfer between accounts, loan, exchange or currency, extension of credit, purchase or sale, any other payment, transfer or delivery by, through, or to a financial institution, or a safe deposit box.
In conducting the Financial Transaction, the defendant must have acted with one of the following four specific intents:
1) Intent to promote the carrying on of a Specified Unlawful Activity
(18 USC 1956)(a)(1)(A)(i);
2) Intent to Engage in Tax Evasion or Tax Fraud (18 USC 1956)(a)(1)(A)(ii);
3) Knowledge that the transaction was designed to conceal or disguise the nature, location, source, ownership or control of proceeds of the specified unlawful activity (18 USC 1956)(a)(1)(B)(i)
4) Knowledge that the transaction was designed to avoid a transaction reporting requirement under federal or state law (e.g. in violation of 31 USC 5313 (currency transaction reports), or 31 USC 5616 (currency and monetary instrument reports) or 26 USC 6050 I (IRS Form 8300)