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Maybe you run or manage a business.

By day, you’re helping customers, managing your employees, and overseeing your thriving business. On the side, you’re making some extra cash. In the beginning, you probably didn’t think it was a big deal. Maybe you even felt justified by moving some money around under the radar.

Whatever the case, you need legal help and fast.

Unfortunately, not only is money laundering illegal, but it’s also a charge South Carolina is cracking down on in 2017… and hard.

If you’ve been charged with money laundering in South Carolina, you’ll want to know about the upcoming changes in South Carolina law, as these changes will likely impact your future.

Big Changes Coming for Money Laundering Laws in South Carolina

Money laundering crimes have increased in South Carolina over the years. Money laundering is often times linked to increased drug use and crimes in the state, with millions of dollars being sent to Mexico directly from South Carolina.

Because of this, beginning as early as June 2017, all money transfers in South Carolina will be monitored. Businesses will even need a special license to send money anywhere, and transfers will be tracked by the Attorney General’s office. This new regulation is different and much stricter than previous ones.

Why all the changes?

If wire transfers are more closely watched (making it easier for law enforcement to track and stop the flow of illegal money), then the state’s drug use and crime rate will slowly drop.

Given the new law, understanding how South Carolina classifies money laundering crimes and what the penalties are if you’re convicted is essential when facing a money laundering charge.

The changes may have you thinking twice if you are currently weighing the pros and cons of using your legitimate business to “clean” illegally obtained funds.

New Money Laundering Laws in South Carolina

In South Carolina, money laundering charges fall into one of two categories:

  • Money laundering within SC
  • International/Interstate money laundering

Let’s look at the difference between the two.

South Carolina Money Laundering Charge

You could find yourself facing a money laundering charge if you attempt to conduct or successfully conduct a transaction knowing that the money you’re working with was earned from illegal activity and you are guilty of one of the following:

  • You intend to promote the carrying on of an illegal activity.
  • You know that completing the transaction will help conceal the illegal activity.

With a South Carolina money laundering charge, a conviction can lead to the penalties below. Different transaction amounts coincide with different classes of felonies.

 Transaction amount Timeframe  Felony type Potential Jail Time
 $300 – $19,999  In a 12-month period  Class F 0-5 years
 $20,000 – $99,999  In a 12-month period  Class E 0-10 years
 $100,000 or more  In a 12-month period  Class C 0-20 years

If found guilty, you may also be fined:

  • Up to $250,000 or twice the value of the transactions–whichever is greater–for a first offense
  • Up to $500,000 or quintuple the value of the transactions–whichever is greater–for second or subsequent offenses

Additionally, you could be required to pay civil penalties to the state of South Carolina.

An international/interstate money laundering charge, on the other hand, is slightly different.

South Carolina International/Interstate Money Laundering Charge

International/Interstate money laundering is when you attempt to (or successfully do) transport, transmit, or transfer money from South Carolina to a place outside of South Carolina.

Or…

You attempt to (or successfully do) transport, transmit or transfer money to South Carolina from a place outside of South Carolina.

In addition to the above, one of the following must also be true:

  • You intend to promote the carrying on of an illegal activity.
  • You know that the money involved was earned through illegal activity and that the transfer of the money will help hide the real source of where the money came from.

Penalties you can face for international/interstate money laundering in South Carolina are outlined below:

 Transaction amount  Timeframe Felony type Potential Jail Time
 $300 – 19,000  In a 12-month period  Class F 0-5 years
 $20,000 – 99,999  In a 12-month period  Class E 0-10 years
 $100,000 or more  In a 12-month period  Class C 0-20 years

If found guilty for international/interstate money laundering in South Carolina, you may also be fined the following:

  • Up to $250,000 or twice the value of the transactions—whichever is greater—for a first offense
  • Up to $500,000 or quintuple (five times) the value of the transactions—whichever is greater—for second or subsequent offenses

Additionally, you could be liable to pay for civil penalties to the State of South Carolina.

Need help cleaning up a money laundering situation?

As you can see, the charges for money laundering in South Carolina, for either charge, are no joke. Money laundering is a serious felony—one that can destroy your life.

If you’re facing money laundering charges, the changing laws can have a significant impact on your future. Don’t take a chance. Contact Kent Collins today for a free consultation. Call 803-808-0905 or use our online form.

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