Recently, I gave my bank account details to somebody who said they will be using my account to transfer money between personal accounts, and that I would get a commission out of each transfer.

Yesterday, I went to close my bank account with HSBC, and while closing my account they asked me questions about the previous transfers (like who did them and why).

I told them it forgot who it was but it was a transaction between friends. I am worried that they might prosecute me for fraud and not end up closing my account.

What should I do now? I am worried that they might put me in jail for being involved in money laundering. Should I admit what I have been doing?

  • 11
    Hate to be so blunt, but why in the world did you agree to this whole scheme?
    – JohnFx
    Commented Dec 9, 2020 at 19:23
  • 2
    In what country? Are you a minor? Commented Dec 9, 2020 at 20:41
  • 9
    Rule #1: talk to a lawyer.
    – RonJohn
    Commented Dec 9, 2020 at 21:32
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    @RodrigodeAzevedo Law Stack Exchange does not provide legal advise for personal cases. They only answer general questions about law for educational purposes.
    – Philipp
    Commented Dec 10, 2020 at 15:13
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    @anonymous From other comments it seems you are a minor, concerned about your parents finding out - You absolutely must tell them. This is a Big Deal. Unless you fear physical threats from your parents lashing out at you, they are in a better position to help you than anyone here. The only alternative would be to hire a lawyer yourself - it would be at least a few hundred dollars to do so. Commented Dec 10, 2020 at 19:03

2 Answers 2


The simple truth is that you contributed to which is highly likely to be money laundering, or at best an attempt to steal money from you. If you actually made any money off this arrangement you were enriched from this scam which would raise suspicion even more that you are a co-conspirator. It is going to be hard to convince people you didn't know you were participating in illegal activity. It seems to me you probably suspected it.

You may get some leniency because you were an unwilling accomplice in a serious crime, but I would definitely start by filing a police report to document that you were being scammed into this arrangement. You should be also talking to the bank also and make sure they understand this as well. Depending on how this goes, it might also be smart to call a lawyer for advice.

You asked in a (now deleted) comment if there is a way to hide this from your parents. That is an extremely bad idea. If you are a minor, you ABSOLUTELY want them to help you out with this. Only bad things will come from covering it up.

  • 1
    If the OP did make money off of this, at the very least the authorities will take it back. If the laundering operation is big enough then their accounts could be frozen until it is sorted out.
    – Nosjack
    Commented Dec 9, 2020 at 20:23
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    "Unwilling" really isn't the right word here, as it doesn't seem the OP was ever coerced. "Unknowing" would be more accurate, though convincing the authorities of this may be difficult.
    – chepner
    Commented Dec 10, 2020 at 1:41
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    I would definitely not report myself to the police and hope for leniency because I confessed. Not unless my lawyer tells me I should.
    – Philipp
    Commented Dec 10, 2020 at 15:15
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    You think this is more likely to be money laundering than an attempt to steal? I'd say 99.9% likelihood of attempt to steal, and 0.01% chance of money laundering. If it's money laundering, then that means the criminal is giving you real money, and if you don't pass it on they'd be out of the money. It doesn't make sense for a criminal to try to clean real money with someone they don't know who could just steal it from them. Besides, wherever the money ends up will show a record of the account it came from. That doesn't suddenly make it "clean".
    – TTT
    Commented Dec 10, 2020 at 16:56

You might or might not have committed a crime, which might or might not be a big deal. We are not qualified to judge that. Only a legal professional who knows all the facts can. There might or might not be ways to get out of this unpunished, but we are not qualified either to tell you if doing anything in particular will make things better or worse. Only a legal professional can. So:

  1. Stop listening to strangers on the Internet.
  2. Tell your parents.
  3. Tell them they need to get you a lawyer.
  4. Be 100% honest to your lawyer.
  5. Do what the lawyer tells you to do.

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