2012 Hawaii Revised Statutes
TITLE 37. HAWAII PENAL CODE
708A. Money Laundering
708A-3 Money laundering; criminal penalty.


HI Rev Stat § 708A-3 (2012) What's This?

§708A-3 Money laundering; criminal penalty. (1) It is unlawful for any person:

(a) Who knows that the property involved is the proceeds of some form of unlawful activity, to knowingly transport, transmit, transfer, receive, or acquire the property or to conduct a transaction involving the property, when, in fact, the property is the proceeds of specified unlawful activity:

(i) With the intent to promote the carrying on of specified unlawful activity; or

(ii) Knowing that the transportation, transmission, transfer, receipt, or acquisition of the property or the transaction or transactions is designed in whole or in part to:

(A) Conceal or disguise the nature, the location, the source, the ownership, or the control of the proceeds of specified unlawful activity; or

(B) Avoid a transaction reporting requirement under state or federal law;

(b) Who knows that the property involved in the transaction is the proceeds of some form of unlawful activity, to knowingly engage in the business of conducting, directing, planning, organizing, initiating, financing, managing, supervising, or facilitating transactions involving the property that, in fact, is the proceeds of specified unlawful activity:

(i) With the intent to promote the carrying on of specified unlawful activity; or

(ii) Knowing that the business is designed in whole or in part to:

(A) Conceal or disguise the nature, the location, the source, the ownership, or the control of the proceeds of specified unlawful activity; or

(B) Avoid a transaction reporting requirement under state or federal law; or

(c) To knowingly conduct or attempt to conduct a financial transaction involving property represented to be the proceeds of specified unlawful activity, or property used to conduct or facilitate specified unlawful activity, with the intent to:

(i) Promote the carrying on of specified unlawful activity; or

(ii) Conceal or disguise the nature, the location, the source, the ownership, or the control of property believed to be the proceeds of specified unlawful activity.

(2) For the purpose of the offense described in subsection (1)(c), the defendant's knowledge may be established by proof that a law enforcement officer represented the matter specified in subsection (1)(c) as true, and the defendant's subsequent statements or actions indicate that the defendant believed the representations to be true.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (1)(c), the term "represented" means any representation made by a law enforcement officer or by another person at the direction of, or with the approval of, a state or county official authorized to investigate or prosecute violations of this section.

(4) This section shall not apply to any person who commits any act described in this section unless:

(a) The person believes the value or aggregate value of the property transported, transmitted, transferred, received, or acquired is $8,000 or more; or

(b) The value or the aggregate value of the property transported, transmitted, transferred, received, or acquired is $8,000 or more.

(5) A person who violates subsection (1):

(a) Is guilty of a class C felony where the value or aggregate value of the property transported, transmitted, transferred, received, or acquired is less than $10,000, and may be fined not more than $16,000 or twice the value of the property involved, whichever is greater; or

(b) Is guilty of a class B felony where the value or aggregate value of the property transported, transmitted, transferred, received, or acquired is $10,000 or more, and may be fined not more than $25,000 or twice the value of the property involved, whichever is greater. [L 1995, c 119, pt of §2; am L 1999, c 226, §1]

COMMENTARY ON §708A-3

Act 226, Session Laws 1999, amended this section by, among other things, creating a class C felony for persons guilty of money laundering when the value or aggregate value of the property involved is less than $10,000 but greater than $8,000, and imposing fines of no more than $16,000 or no more than twice the value of the property, whichever is greater, upon individuals found guilty of a class C felony. The legislature found that the minimum $10,000 ceiling for a money laundering transaction enables criminal organizations to avoid prosecution by structuring their illegal transactions to remain below $10,000. The legislature further found that this frustrates attempts by law enforcement and prosecutors to pursue criminal penalties against money launderers until the amount that they can prove has been laundered surpasses the $10,000 level. The legislature agreed that adding a lower offense for money laundering a lower sum would appropriately penalize such behavior. Senate Standing Committee Report No. 1494.

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