Criminal Law

Money Laundering and Monetary Transaction Reporting

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November 1, 2005GUIDELINES MANUAL§2S1.1


Historical Note:: Introductory Commentary to this Part, effective November 1, 1987, was deleted effective November 1, 1990 (see Appendix C, amendment 342).

§2S1.1. Laundering of Monetary Instruments; Engaging in Monetary Transactions in Property Derived from Unlawful Activity

(a) Base Offense Level:

(1) The offense level for the underlying offense from which the laundered funds were derived, if (A) the defendant committed the underlying offense (or would be accountable for the underlying offense under subsection (a)(1)(A) of §1B1.3 (Relevant Conduct)); and (B) the offense level for that offense can be determined; or

(2) 8 plus the number of offense levels from the table in §2B1.1 (Theft, Property Destruction, and Fraud) corresponding to the value of the laundered funds, otherwise.

(b) Specific Offense Characteristics

(1) If (A) subsection (a)(2) applies; and (B) the defendant knew or believed that any of the laundered funds were the proceeds of, or were intended to promote (i) an offense involving the manufacture, importation, or distribution of a controlled substance or a listed chemical; (ii) a crime of violence; or (iii) an offense involving firearms, explosives, national security, or the sexual exploitation of a minor, increase by 6 levels.

(2) (Apply the Greatest):

(A) If the defendant was convicted under 18 U.S.C. § 1957, increase by 1 level.

(B) If the defendant was convicted under 18 U.S.C. § 1956, increase by 2 levels.

(C) If (i) subsection (a)(2) applies; and (ii) the defendant was in the business of laundering funds, increase by 4 levels.

(3) If (A) subsection (b)(2)(B) applies; and (B) the offense involved sophisticated laundering, increase by 2 levels.


Statutory Provisions: 18 U.S.C. §§ 1956, 1957, 1960 (but only with respect to unlicensed money transmitting businesses as defined in 18 U.S.C. § 1960(b)(1)(C)). For additional statutory provision(s), see Appendix A (Statutory Index).

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