It started simply enough. With the current health and economic instability crises affecting the labor market, you sought a job working from your own home. It wasn’t long before you got recruited to an organization that offered you decent money for facilitating wire transfers and processing transactions through your own bank account.
You had been doing this for several months before the police arrived and raided your home. Now, you face charges of being a money mule for a criminal operation. How could this have happened?
3 categories of money mules
In order to convince the federal authorities that you are not guilty of any crime, you first need to understand into which of three risk categories the authorities consider your participation placed you. These include:
- An unwitting participant. This would be the best-case scenario for your criminal defense attorney to begin to strategize. Here, your naivete could have led you innocently into carrying out illegal money transactions you truly believed were a part of your job duties.
- Witting. Here, your awareness is much more suspect. Perhaps the employees at your bank stepped in to warn you that your activities were suspicious, yet you disregarded their warnings and continued to mule illegal funds through legitimate accounts. You may have ignored the red flags in part because you told yourself that you needed the revenue stream so badly.
- Complicit. The third category is much harder to defend because there is no doubt that these individuals were fully aware of their roles and the illegal activities they carried out. You might have even begun recruiting other mules from those you know in real life or from your social media followers.
Why these actions are illegal
You probably never stopped to think which illegal industries generated so much money that they need so many people willing to legitimize the funds passed through their bank accounts. But you could have been working for real bottom-dwellers involved in human trafficking, child pornography or international drug cartels.
Don’t waste a moment between your arrest and release. Begin to work immediately to craft a stalwart defense to the charges.