The average prison sentence for money-laundering has increased by 8% in the last year, according to new research. The research by Thomson Reuters revealed that average jail time increased to 27 months in 2018, up from 25 months in 2017.

Judge holding gavel in courtroom

The past decade has seen an increase by 30% in the average prison sentence for money-laundering offences (from 20.5 months in 2008). The increase comes in the wake of new sentencing guidelines issued in 2014 and shows that officials have been cracking down on offenders.

The new sentencing guidelines allow more flexibility for prosecutors to push for longer sentences and to appeal sentences that they consider to be too soft.

The research also showed that there were fewer fines for money-laundering, perhaps indicating that officials view prison sentences as a more effective deterrent. Indeed, with the higher-stakes of these longer sentences at play, it will no doubt focus companies’ attention on compliance with the regulations.

The Government has pledged to crack-down on the “dirty-money” coming through the country’s businesses, so it would be unwise for companies to ignore money laundering issues that could be happening on their watch.

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