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Money laundering. What are the obligated subjects?

Criminal Law
Money laundering. What are the obligated subjects?

What is money laundering? What are the obligated subjects? What sanctions can you face? All these and other questions will be resolved in this article.

What is money laundering?

Money laundering (also known as money laundering or money laundering) is the set of mechanisms or procedures aimed at giving the appearance of legitimacy or legality to goods or assets of criminal origin.

As our lawyers specialized in the prevention of money laundering comment, money laundering involves the location of funds in the financial system, the structuring of transactions to disguise the origin, ownership and location of funds.

Money laundering is carried out by altering the form of money, to avoid its identification, or by transferring it to tax havens or countries with few financial controls.

What crime is committed if I launder money?

If money is laundered, a crime of money laundering, typified in art. 298 and following of the Penal Code.

The crime of money laundering punishes people who help people, with knowledge of the commission of a crime against the patrimony or the socioeconomic order on their part, to take advantage of its effects or receive, acquire or hide such effects in the case of goods of artistic value, when the facts are of particular gravity, taking into account the value of the effects received or the damages that would have been caused by their theft.

The prison sentence imposed in the crime of money laundering is 1 to 3 years in prison.

Example of the crime of Money Laundering

Miguel traffics cocaine, and with the money he gets from the sale to the distributor, he buys an apartment on the beach.

What law is in charge of preventing money laundering?

The Law in charge of preventing money laundering is Law 10/2010, of April 28, on the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing.

This law on the prevention of money laundering aims to protect the integrity of the financial system and other sectors of economic activity, establishing obligations to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing. 

Who are the obligated subjects under Spanish law?

In Spain, the Law on the prevention of money laundering and the financing of terrorism establishes certain categories of entities and persons who hold the status of obligated subjects, by reason of their activity, which will have to establish procedures, both preventive and detection and communication of suspicious operations.

The obligated subjects are the following:

  • Financial entities
  • Credit institutions
  • Life insurance companies
  • Insurance brokers
  • Investment services companies
  • Pension fund management entities
  • Mutual guarantee companies
  • Professionals of currency exchange, etc.
  • Independent professionals in the legal and economic sector: Account auditors, external accountants, tax advisers, lawyers and attorneys, notaries and property registrars, etc.
  • Commercial and real estate companies
  • Foundations and associations..etc
  • Other obligated persons and entities: Postal money order and transfer services, Gambling casinos, Jewelery merchants, art, antiques, Lottery marketing companies, People who trade goods, Promoters and real estate agents ... etc

How do I know if my company is a obligated subject?

To know if your company or natural person is a obligated subject, you have to look at your type of economic activity, so if your company or natural person develops any of the activities defined in art. 2 Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering, and intervenes in acquisition or trade operations, will be considered as an obligated subject.

However, if, as a natural person, you act as an employee of a company, or provide permanent or sporadic services, the obligations imposed by this Law will fall on said company with respect to the services provided.

What penalties am I facing?

According to Law 10/2010 on the Prevention of Money Laundering, different types of sanctions are established in its Chapter VIII, which can range from € 60,000 to € 5,000,000 that can be accumulated among themselves, and may increase the number.

The sanctions will depend on many circumstances, but the more serious the illegal act, the greater the economic sanction.

We cannot forget that in some cases, the economic sanction may be accompanied by the commission of a crime of money laundering, in the latter case, as established in art. 298 and following of the Penal Code, can carry penalties of 1 to 3 years in prison.

Contact us, and our lawyers specializing in criminal law will study your specific case. 

At Forcam Abogados we have offices in BarcelonaMadrid and Reus.