Money laundering happens more than most people may realize. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes estimates about $2 trillion dollars is laundered annually worldwide.
Money laundering is a complex crime. It is rarely ever charged as a single crime. Money laundering occurs when someone tries to conceal the source of illegally acquired money by passing it through a legal business. Since the money was acquired illegally, another crime was committed to obtain these funds. People charged with money laundering may face charges for drug offenses, mail fraud or racketeering.