Money Laundering “Red Flags”

Questions to ask and

Things to be alert and mindful of….

  • Beneficial owners are in the “background” and you are, or should be, aware
  • Buyer and property are a mis-match
  • Buyer’s agent responses do not meet your due diligence requirements
  • Buyer’s income is inadequate to pay an 80% financed deal
  • Cash Deal? (remember: if there is a mortgage the lender always asks for a AML letter)
  • Client asks to use a Third Person nominee
  • Client is vague and reluctant to reveal the “person of interest” in the transaction
  • Deposits come from more than three banks
  • Income sources go back less than three years
  • Know Your Client: it’s the law!
  • Money Broker is involved
  • Money coming in from three sources and/or payment amounts (in dollars) are similar
  • Money instruments are used for any cost or payment
  • Non customary agents, payees, or persons appear on or at the closing
  • Notarized documents are not U.S.A. in origin
  • Off record payments or things of value are exchanged between parties
  • Payments of any kind are from more than three individuals or sources
  • Purchase is made without viewing the property or without inspection
  • Re-sold at the closing
  • Residential property is titled in a third person party
  • Rushed purchases or rushed sales
  • Sale price is high or low by a significant amount or percentage
  • SAR? Know what it is and who can and does make them…
  • Structuring? Be familiar with what structuring can look like
  • Third party names appear on monetary instruments
  • Transaction costs are unusual and the buyer doesn’t care
  • Trust but verify
  • Trust is the buyer and the Trustee is a non-U.S.A. resident
  • Vague or minimal information about a party participating in the transaction
  • Willful Blindness? Know what it is…..
  • Witnesses on documents are not U.S.A. residents



50 ‘most charged’ crimes defined


To prove this crime the state must prove that after the felony was committed you:

  1. assisted or gave aid,
  2. knowing the other person committed a felony
  3. that you intended to help that person avoid detection, or escape,
  4. you are not related by blood or marriage.


50 ‘most charged’ crimes defined


To prove the crime of loitering and prowling, the state must prove:

  1. Defendant loitered or prowled in a place, at a time, or in a manner not usual for law abiding individuals.
  2. The loitering and prowling was under circumstances that warranted justifiable and reasonable alarm or immediate concern for the safety of persons or property in the vicinity.

To loiter is to linger or dawdle or remain or move about without a lawful purpose.



50 ‘most charged’ crimes defined


To be guilty the state must prove:

The defendant unnecessarily overloads, overdrives, torments, deprives of necessary sustenance or shelter, or unnecessarily mutilates, or kills any animal, or causes the same to be done, or carries in or upon any vehicle, or otherwise, any animal in a cruel or inhumane manner.

It can be a felony if the defendant intentionally commits an act to any animal which results in the cruel death, or excessive or repeated infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering.


50 ‘most charged’ crimes defined


‘Possession’ means to have personal charge of, or exercise the right of ownership, management, or control over the thing possessed.

Possession may be actual or constructive.

‘Constructive possession’ means the thing is in a place over which the person has control, or in which the person has concealed it.

If a person has exclusive possession of a thing, knowledge of its presence may be inferred or assumed.


50 ‘most charged’ crimes defined


To prove the crime of kidnapping, the state must prove the following three elements:

  1. Defendant forcibly, secretly, or by threat: confined, or abducted, or imprisoned the victim against his or her will.
  2. The defendant had no lawful authority
  3. The defendant acted with intent to do any of the following:


  • commit a felony
  • hold for ransom
  • inflict bodily harm
  • terrorize the victim
  • interfere with the performance of any governmental or political function.


50 ‘most charged’ crimes defined


A course of conduct where the defendant willfully, maliciously and repeatedly followed or harassed the victim.

Harass means a course of conduct directed at a specific person that causes substantial emotional distress and serves no legitimate purpose.

Aggravated Stalking includes the added act of a credible threat that places the victim in reasonable fear of death or bodily injury.

A credible threat means a threat made with the intent to cause reasonable fear for one’s safety, and must be against the life of the victim or a threat to cause bodily injury.


50 ‘most charged’ crimes defined


To prove this the state must prove all of the following:

  1. The defendant knowingly sold, purchased, manufactured, delivered, or possessed
  2. A controlled substance (or a mixture containing a controlled substance)
  3. The weight of which is more than 5 grams (Federal) most States’ trafficking charges start at 28 grams for ‘controlled substances’. Trafficking in some pills can be as few as ONE pill!
  4. Knowing the substance or mixture contained a controlled substance
  5. With the intention to sell, purchase, manufacture or deliver the controlled substance.

The State does not have to prove a sale.  Giving drugs (at a party for example) is trafficking for some pills.



50 ‘most charged’ crimes defined


The unlawful and premeditated killing of a human being.

Killing with premeditation is killing after consciously deciding to do so.

The decision must be present in the mind at the time of the killing.

The law does not fix the exact period of time that must pass between the formation of the premeditated intent to kill and the killing.

The period of time must be long enough to allow reflection by the defendant.  The premeditated intent to kill must be formed before the killing.


50 ‘most charged’ crimes defined


A Defendant can be found guilty of this offense only if all of the following are proved beyond a reasonable doubt;

  1. The defendant knowingly engaged, or attempted, to engage in a monetary transaction.
  2. The defendant knew the transaction involved criminally derived property.
  3. More than $10,000.00 was involved (federal).
  4. The property was, in fact, derived from an unlawful activity, which must be proven.
  5. The transaction occurred in the United States.

The term “monetary transaction” means the [deposit] [withdrawal] [transfer] or [exchange], in or affecting interstate commerce, of funds or a monetary instrument by, through, or to a financial institution obtained by some criminal offense.