Money Laundering; A Guide To UK Law

In the UK, businesses are required to undertake a lot of checks under the law, HMRC and other agencies.

This is to ensure that all of their taxes are paid correctly, that money is not being hidden and most importantly, that money is not being laundered. Laundering money is a big no-no under UK law, and unfortunately, even if you own a business and are not laundering money, there may be somebody on your staff who is doing this, and you will likely be punished for this.

If you have found yourself on the receiving end of a money-laundering accusation, the first thing

that you need to do is seek the advice of a fraud solicitor who will be able to help you with the investigations from the police, HMRC and other agencies. In this article, money laundering will be discussed along with the responsibilities under UK law of business owners, and tips to prevent this from occurring in your business.

What is money laundering?

Money laundering is the altering of money, which is usually the proceeds of criminal activity, into money which appears to be obtained through legal activity. This usually involves disguising the source of it, or turning the money into something else, like gold bars, or moving it around to different bank accounts associated with a person or business, where this money is unlikely to be noticed.

Responsibilities of business owners

If you are a business owner who handles vast quantities of money, it is your responsibility to ensure that your company is engaging in the appropriate safety and security checks. If you suspect that there was anything suspicious occurring within your business structure, you must report it to the police and fraud agencies as soon as possible. If you do not, this could be held against you when money laundering comes to light.

Money laundering checks

One of the most common types of checks to prevent laundering will involve you knowing the customers to whom you take money from or who you send money, along with assessing their associated risks. For instance, if you have a new client whose business is brand new and whose name has been associated with money laundering accusations in the past, this is an example of a red flag.

For more information on these checks, contact a solicitor who specialises in fraud.

Punishment for money laundering

If you are found guilty of being involved in money laundering offences, this can carry a maximum jail sentence of 14 years in prison and/or an unlimited fine. So, this is not a risk that is worth taking! If you ever suspect money laundering is occurring within your business, you need to contact the police.

What to do if you have been accused

If you are accused of money laundering, the first thing you need to do is contact a solicitor who has experience and knowledge of defending people who have had money laundering charges against them. A solicitor who specialises in fraud will usually be your best option, although, depending on the severity of the charges against you, you may need a criminal solicitor as well.

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