Dealing in Proceeds of Unlawful Activities in PA

If you ever wanted to see a square peg thing to be fit into a round hole by the government, check out the charge of Dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities. The intent behind this statute was to basically criminalize money laundering, not merely having cash or using cash to buy things. Yet, the government time and time again tries to slam this serious Felony one into a place where it doesn’t fit… you. 

When folks ask “Who is the best drug defense lawyer around me?” The answer is “The McShane Firm, of course.” When its all on the line do what your friends and neighbors have been doing for nearly 20 years, trust The McShane Firm if the government charges you with Dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities.

When selecting which attorney to hire, please consider:

  • Can you call anytime and talk to a live person?
  • Do they offer payment plans with no credit checks?
  • Will your attorney be attentive and explain what’s going on?

At The McShane Firm, we answer yes to all of these questions. We strive to provide you with a great customer service experience during this tough time.


The Law:

You can read the exact statute here:

18 PS § 5111.  Dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities.


Maximum Penalties for a violation of  § 5111.  Dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities:

If you plead guilty to this or are found guilty, it is a Felony of the First Degree. All felonies of the the first degree have a maximum penalty of jail not more than 20 years.

In terms of tines the law reads:

Upon conviction of a violation under subsection (a), a person shall be sentenced to a fine of the greater of $100,000 or twice the value of the property involved in the transaction…

But with a felony conviction there is just so much more to worry about. In truth, jail is temporary. The conviction and its consequences are permanent. You must consider Felony Conviction Consequences in Pennsylvania.

Again, this is if the worst thing happens. We make sure the worst doesn’t happen. Let’s see how we can fight and beat the government, ok?

What is The McShane Difference?

  • We take time to understand your personal needs and goals. Then we cater our legal strategy to fit you.
  • We care about you. We listen and return phone calls. We will take time to explain things so you are not left anxious in the dark.
  • We will make this as easy as possible. We will try to minimize the number of times you have to be in court which means less disruption of your work and family life.

Does this sound like what you are looking for in an attorney? If yes, then take the next step and call (717) 657-3900.

What the government has to prove for a violation of  § 5111.  Dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities?

As always remember that the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt the following:

  1. the accused
  2. conducted a financial transaction under any of the following circumstances:
    1. With knowledge that the property involved, including stolen or illegally obtained property, represents the proceeds of unlawful activity, the person acts with the intent to promote the carrying on of the unlawful activity.
    2. With knowledge that the property involved, including stolen or illegally obtained property, represents the proceeds of unlawful activity and that the transaction is designed in whole or in part to conceal or disguise the nature, location, source, ownership or control of the proceeds of unlawful activity.
    3. To avoid a transaction reporting requirement under State or Federal law.

What is “Unlawful Activity” for purposes of Dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities?

“Unlawful activity” means any activity graded a misdemeanor of the first degree or higher under Federal or State law.


Cash Transaction reporting requirements for banks and other qualified companies and corp[orate violation of § 5111.  Dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities

Although they are not living and breathing people, corporations can and do get charged with criminal offenses. We have represented many businesses charged with criminal charges.

Our Clients are entitled to a Bill of Rights which states:

  • Our clients have the right to expect, we will be proactive in communication. You will hear it from us first. We will return all phone calls, texts and emails promptly.
  • Our clients have the right to expect plain speaking, straight shooting. No B. S.
  • Our clients have the right to expect us to do it right the first time, every time.
  • Our clients have the right to expect us to be on time and professionally prepared for all court appearances, and all meetings.
  • Our clients have the right to expect that they will be fully informed at all times.

This is our promise to you. Call today to get us on your side: (717) 657-3900.

Under Federal Law and the Bank Secrecy Act as well as the US Patriot Act financial institutions are required to file a CTR (Cash Transaction Report) or Suspicious Activity Referral for cash transactions of $10,000 or more or suspicious activities that appear to be attempts to avoid reporting called structuring. Most banks have software that identify or attempt to identify these types of transactions. Most banks will automatically send in these reports.

Private businesses also have obligations to report large or structured cash transactions

This is where good folks get tripped up all of the time. The law requires that trades and businesses report cash payments of more than $10,000 to the federal government by filing IRS/FinCEN Form 8300, Report of Cash Payments Over $10,000 Received in a Trade or Business (PDF). Transactions that require Form 8300 include activities such as:

  • Making or repaying a loan
  • Sale of goods or services
  • Sale of real property
  • Rental of real or personal property
  • Exchange of cash for other cash
  • Custodial trust contributions
  • Escrow arrangement contributions
  • Pre-existing debt payments
  • Negotiable instrument purchases
  • Reimbursement of expenses
  • Sale of intangible property

But beyond this, you cannot be involved in structuring which is a means to try to circumvent the $10,000.00 requirement.