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Legal-Guru, Criminal Justice Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Experienced Criminal Trial Attorney since 1998.
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I was contacted by this guy online telling me that hell send

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I was contacted by this guy online telling me that he'll send $10,000 to my paypal account and I would then have to take that $10,000 out from paypal and wire transfer the cash to his bank account and he would pay me $1,000 for doing so. Is the consider money laundering? will i get in trouble for doing this.
This is a scam. Do not do it. Even if the funds appear in your PayPal account they will later fail to clear and you will be charged back the $10,000 and become responsible for it.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

the money is in my paypal account already as a completed transaction. also I wont have the money to send him until I can withdraw the money from paypal. wouldnt the payment has to be cleared before paypal let me withraw the money? if I was able to get the money, would this considered as money laundering?

(1) This is a variation of a common scam. In this instance, the person most likely deposited funds into a bank account with a forged or fraudulent check then used PayPal to transfer the funds to your account. It's not until days or weeks later when the bank/credit union/other financial institution discovers that the check used to deposit the funds is invalid that they charge back PayPal who when charges back your account. So it appears valid to PayPal in that there are funds to be withdrawn from a valid bank account, but once the fraud is discovered you could end up holding the bag. I suggest you contact PayPal's fraud prevention department and advise them of the situation.

(2) If the funds were derived from an illegal purpose (i.e., stolen, gambling, drugs, prostitution, etc), then yes it would be money laundering. I believe though that this is a scam and not likely a money laundering attempt. First, people do not contact people they don't know (and trust) to launder money, Secondly, and more importantly the purpose of money laundering is to hide the source of the funds and make them appear legitimate usually through a legitimate (or semi-legitimate business). PayPal and bank transfers are well documented and probably one of the worst possible ways to try to launder money. In fact, they would be creating a paper (and electronic) trail of the money when they did not need to.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

sorry for kept bothering you. let me make this clear. I have bought something from him for $10,000 through paypal. He went back and refund my payment and ask me to get that money and wire transfer it to his bank account. now the fund is back in my paypal account. If that's the case you think it's safe for me to withdraw that money from paypal? I dont know what is his reason for doing this. Can he issue a refund if he doesnt have money in his paypal account?

If I deposit a forged/fraudulent check in my bank account, I will have money in my account until the bank discovers the fraud (this usually takes a few days to a few weeks) ... same principle here. There were funds in his PayPal account, but once it is discovered that they are fraudulent (and it will be discovered) you could be responsible for paying back the money to PayPal.
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