Offenses related to an employee’s use of a Pennsylvania financial institution as part of a money-laundering scheme can result in serious felony charges. A conviction may bring a punishment that includes incarceration of up to 20 years, hefty fines and restitution. A former banker participating in an alleged scheme involving several public officials, however, found himself sentenced to one day in jail, as reported by the Bucks County Courier Times.

Because he was not the mastermind of the scheme, the prosecution may have agreed to bargain with the defendant to reach a quick and mutually agreeable outcome. The judge also ordered the former bank manager to provide 150 hours of community service and remain on probation for three years.

Preparing sham documents and accepting a bribe

The 37-year-old Keystone State resident admitted to preparing sham documents and accepting a $1,600 bribe. With his influence, the credit union he worked for approved a loan for public officials hoping to launder funds thought to be illegal proceeds. The prosecution dropped several other felony charges in exchange for the former banker pleading guilty to bribery and conspiracy to commit money laundering. As part of his sentence, he must forfeit the bribe money and pay a fine of $2,000.

Successfully carrying out an unlawful action versus a conspiracy to commit one

For a felony conviction, a prosecutor must supply evidence that a defendant intended to carry out an unlawful act and that he or she also completed it successfully. A conspiracy, on the other hand, is only an agreement made by two or more individuals to carry out an unlawful action. The individuals may not have engaged in a successful performance that results in completing the illegal act. A conspiracy conviction, however, generally requires the individuals who agreed to have at least taken a material step or action intended to carry out the unlawful act.

Options for a felony white-collar defense

Because felony white-collar charges are non-violent offenses, a prosecutor may agree to various plea bargain scenarios. A strong defense may also help an accused individual dispute the severity and scope of the alleged wrongdoing.