StartCriminal tax lawCommercial Criminal LawMoney Laundering

Criminal Defence in Cases of Alleged Money Laundering

Money laundering according to section 261 German Criminal Code constitutes a criminal offence which, in severe cases, carries a prison term of up to ten years. This provision aims to stop assets obtained from organised crime and other similar types of crime to infiltrate legal financial and business circles with the aim of disguising such assets.

In criminal practice, this criminal offence has been gaining importance for years. International and national investigation authorities, such as the department of public prosecution or the main customs office have increasingly been asked to tighten the law to ensure that this type of offence is fought systematically.

In this context, hiding an asset originating from an unlawful act referred to in section 261 sub-section 1 sentence 2 BGB [German Civil Code], concealing the origin of such an asset, preventing or obstructing the identification of such origin, the location, forfeiture, collection or attachment of such an asset are liable to prosecution. These unlawful principal offences include all crimes (subject to a potential prison term of more than one year) and certain offences, such as bribery offences, narcotics offences, smuggling and commercial criminal matters committed for gain or by a gang.

Penalty for money laundering - Evidence of premeditation decisive

Considering this from a realistic perspective, the requirements for the offence of money-laundering are not very high which means that the limit for conduct liable to prosecution is quickly exceeded. Even the acceptance of “incriminated” cash in a private sale can lead to the charge of money laundering. In this context, the refutation of the charge of premeditation forms the point of attack for an effective defence. Even though the law provides for administrative fine sanctions for reckless money laundering, the criminal law consequences are dramatically different from those for premeditated money laundering. In the event of the charge of involvement in money-laundering, effective and targeted defence against this charge is absolutely indispensable.

Legal advice and defence in cases of money-laundering charges

As lawyers and criminal law specialists, we have long-standing experience in the field of criminal defence, especially in commercial criminal cases. 


  • Effective criminal defence in investigation proceedings
  • Effective criminal defence in criminal proceedings after an indictment
  • Preventative advice in criminal law
  • Immediate assistance during a house search
  • Section 261 sub-section 9 StGB – Active contrition (“Voluntary self-disclosure”)


  • Long-standing team of experienced defence lawyers, especially, in commercial criminal cases
  • Always up-to-date regarding the development of new laws and the decisions of the German Federal Court as a result of professional training and further training courses
  • Far-reaching experience in criminal proceedings and in dealing with the investigation authorities (police, customs and department of public prosecution) and the criminal courts

In our experience, a targeted defence enables our lawyers to avoid a criminal sentence in part or, at least, to refute the charge of premeditated money laundering. Our specialist lawyers support you - whether as a private individual or as a professional - in all matters regarding a potential charge of money laundering throughout Germany.

LHP: Attorneys at Law, Tax Law Specialists, Tax Advisers PartmbB


An der Pauluskirche 3-5, 50677 Cologne,
Telephone: +49 221 39 09 770


Tödistrasse 53, CH-8027 Zurich,
Telephone: +41 44 212 3535

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