I am working in America. My girlfriend is in Taiwan. Every month, I will transfer 800 USD to her via Bank of America. Is it illegal? Will it be considered money laundering?

  • Transferring money isn't money laundering unless it originates from illegal activity. Does it?
    – JohnFx
    Mar 31 '21 at 0:52
  • @JohnFx I believe it's still illegal money laundering if it didn't originate from illegal activity, but if you purposely prevent the investigators from being able to find where the money came from.
    – user253751
    Mar 31 '21 at 11:59
  • 5
    Just to be abundantly cautious and because there are a lot of scams out there involving international transfers, if you have never met your girlfriend in person then please reconsider whether there is any possibility you are the victim of a scam here.
    – Vicky
    Mar 31 '21 at 14:30
  • Aren't you concerned about, say, your having to pay gift tax and her having to pay income tax? Mar 31 '21 at 22:01

Money laundering is when you try to hide where your money came from. Are you doing that? No.

If the police wanted to see where your girlfriend's money came from (they probably don't), they can see she got it from your account by a wire transfer. And if they have a good reason, they can ask the American police to look at your account and see that you got it from your job. They might even interview you, and you'll say "yes I work at this job and I send $800 to my girlfriend every month."

Since they could easily trace the money if they wanted to, it's not money laundering.

  • @RodrigodeAzevedo As far as I'm aware, it's not money laundering simply because two police departments don't want to communicate. Money laundering is when you try to hide where money is coming from/going to. A simple international transfer is not that, and is perfectly traceable.
    – user253751
    Mar 31 '21 at 13:31
  • @RodrigodeAzevedo It's certainly not anything they dislike. It's anything that hides the origin of money. If the police ask you what the payment is for, and you say "it's a monthly repayment for my new car", now it might be money laundering, because now you are trying to pretend you are just a customer who isn't worth investigating!
    – user253751
    Mar 31 '21 at 14:19

Ok, so it wouldn't be illegal to transfer money to your girlfriend in a different country, unless its Laundering. Money Laundering is when you transfer money across the world for illegal activity, and you try and hide your transfer. However if your transferring it just to give her money to buy legal items, then you should be good. Also following up with what user253751 said, All Law Enforcement in different countries can track wire transfers, and even though most of the time its none of their business, if they suspect something, they can pull up your bank records. So if you just want to give your girlfriend legal funds to spend on legal items, then it should not be a problem.

  • Lets say you tell the police that you were "Investing in a company". Now even though investing in a company isnt really illegal (Depending on the company in mind), Lying to the police or feds will put a small wedge through your trust and believe me, they will file a report about it. They always do and you could just get fined for it or in rare cases worse. However if you tell them the truth, they will have nothing to put against you unless legal laws prohibit otherwise. Apr 1 '21 at 14:27

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