The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988 amended the previous money laundering provisions of the previous law (18 U.S.C. § 1956) by adding a provision that makes it a crime to conduct (or attempt to conduct) a financial transaction that involves the proceeds from criminal activity related to attempted tax evasion or filing a false tax return.
Whoever conducts a financial transaction, aware that the property or assets involved in the transaction came from a result of criminal activity, has violated the Act. This statute gives the Internal Revenue Service its provision in investigating financial transactions and developing criminal cases. Under this provision and law, anyone who conducts an illegal financial transaction that either in part or entirely involves property or assets inherited from unlawful activity with the intent to engage in activity that violates United States tax laws would be guilty of money laundering.
This amendment was enacted with the intent to increase the prosecution of money laundering offenses. Though this law amended previous money laundering laws, it was not created with the intent to substitute or replace traditional laws such as Title 18 and Title 26, which charge individuals with tax evasion crimes, filing falsified returns, and aiding and abetting such violations. These violations occur when sufficient evidence is present to prove that an individual has violated Title 18 and Title 26 laws.
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