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Florida lawyer pleads guilty to money laundering

On September 8, Alan Koslow, a well-known South Florida lawyer, plead guilty to a federal charge of money laundering conspiracy. He faces up to five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine, all for accepting payment of $8,500 to launder money for his clients.

Mr. Koslow thought the individuals he was helping were criminals selling cocaine and counterfeit Viagra as well as participating in illegal gambling. They actually were undercover agents involved in a FBI sting operation.

According to court records, Mr. Koslow laundered the cash by running it through his friend's business bank account several times between 2012 and 2013. He had been under surveillance by FBI agents for months. These charges have no connection to Mr. Koslaw's former firm, Becker & Poliakoff.

In Koslow's plea agreement, it states that he told undercover agents the $8,500 he received for laundering the money "was peanuts compared to what he makes as an attorney and he needed extra spending money to party with his friends." Koslow tested positive for cocaine at least three times in the month after he was charged.

Mr. Koslow was ordered by the judge to attend drug treatment as a condition of remaining out of jail on a $50,000 bond. He also entered 30-day inpatient drug rehabilitation in July and is now voluntarily participating in an outpatient program.

"My rehab is going very well," Koslow told the Sun Sentinel. "I'm being humble and honest." In addition to facing prison time and heavy fines when sentenced on November 10, Mr. Koslow will lose his legal license.

Currency reporting requirements affect all businesses and not just banks. A person may intentionally or unintentionally commit serious crimes when receiving or deporting currency. The Bank Secrecy Act and related legislation is complex. An experienced criminal defense attorney should be consulted when a person is under investigation or charged with crimes relating to currency violations, money laundering and related financial laws.

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