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For as long as there have been individuals attempting to hide funds from government authorities, there have been money laundering investigations. But money laundering, while a long-standing criminal violation, has been in the news quite a bit recently. Robert Mueller, the former FBI Director and current Special Counsel investigating ties between the Trump Campaign and Russia has reportedly been investigating potential money laundering by former campaign chairman Paul Manafort. The latest hit show on Netflix, Ozark, centers on a main character who works as a financial analyst conducting money laundering operations for a drug cartel, and who is being investigated by the FBI. And, most recently, the Wall Street Journal reported that Johnny Depp’s former managers are being investigated by three federal agencies for money laundering after Depp accused them of mishandling his money.

Depp Allegations Example of How Money Laundering Investigations Are Started

The Wall Street Journal reports that officials from the IRS, the Department of Justice, and the SEC are all looking into “possible fraud and money laundering by the Management Group, founded by brothers Joel and Rob Mandel.” According to the report, the criminal division of the IRS is leading the investigation, and the SEC has already issued a subpoena in the matter.

Details of the investigations are scant, and are based on unnamed sources with knowledge of the investigations, but the investigation appears to focus on the manager’s dealings with Mr. Depp, and Mr. Depp’s attorneys have already met with federal investigators.

The investigation may have been launched as a result of a $25 million lawsuit filed by Mr. Depp against Management Group in January for mismanagement of his funds and gross negligence. The managers responded in a countersuit, arguing that Mr. Depp’s financial losses are a result of his own “selfish, reckless, and irresponsible lifestyle.” According to the Wall Street Journal, a person familiar with the joint IRS/DOJ/SEC investigation said, “Federal investigators typically look at the possibility of money laundering as they trace the path of funds that allegedly have been misappropriated.”

Of course, there is no evidence publicly available that the managers participated in any type of criminal behavior, but the dispute between Mr. Depp and his managers is a stark reminder of how federal money laundering investigations can proceed based on privately-made allegations.

Contact a New York Money Laundering Attorney Today

The Henry Law Firm PLLC provides criminal defense to individuals and businesses throughout New York in all state and federal investigations and prosecutions. To take immediate action to protect your interests in a money laundering fraud investigation or proceeding, do not hesitate to contact us today to schedule a confidential consultation regarding your matter.