[Madison, WI] — On Tuesday, the Assembly passed a bill authored by Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald that creates a money laundering statute in Wisconsin. The bill gives law enforcement an additional tool they can use to fight human trafficking in Wisconsin communities. It passed the Senate in 2019 and now heads to Governor Evers’ desk for his signature. Fitzgerald released the following statement in reaction:
“Human trafficking is a serious issue that affects all Wisconsin communities. I’ve heard repeatedly from constituents in my district who have seen the tragic impact it can have. With this legislation, law enforcement has an additional tool at its disposal to fight human trafficking and crack down on the bad actors who are committing these crimes.
“I want to thank Representative Rob Hutton for his work getting this bill passed in the Assembly. I am hopeful that Governor Evers will quickly sign this important piece of legislation into law.”
Under current statutes, Wisconsin law enforcement has limited recourse to prosecute financial crimes with amounts that fall under the federal guidelines. This means that unless a criminal engages in over $200,000 worth of financial crimes there is little that can be done.
This legislation would remedy that loophole in Wisconsin law by creating a new money laundering statute. Under this bill, anyone who is convicted of money laundering could face up to a $25,000 fine and 12 ½ years in prison.