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Money Laundering is a serious crime. It happens when criminals try to take money that was illegally obtained and funnel it through legitimate businesses to make it look like it was properly obtained. And it gets those criminals in much deeper trouble than the original crime does. Money laundering is a crime that many people connect to the Mafia and other organized crime organizations – and that is true- but its definition is broader than that. There are more than 170 different crimes listed within the federal money laundering statutes – ranging from drug trafficking, gunrunning, murder for hire, fraud, terrorism, a others. With increased threats of money laundering today, the banks and financial institutions are under strict anti-money laundering regulations and must report suspicious transactions or activities. Being charged with the crime of money laundering can have severe penalties. Those convicted of money laundering may face fines of up to a half a million dollars or more and could face up to 20 years in prison.