Is husband liable for fines levied against wife found guilty of money laundering?

UPDATED: May 19, 2009

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Is husband liable for fines levied against wife found guilty of money laundering?

The wife laundered money through an unicorporated business. Both Fed & State have charged her, she plead guilty, & is awaiting sentencing. If there are fines levied against the wife as part of sentencing, can the husbands wages be garnished? Or is the full repayment on the shoulders of the wife?

Asked on May 19, 2009 under Criminal Law, Oklahoma


J.M.A., Member in Good Standing of the Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

If the charges were only against your wife, the you should not have to worry about paying for her crimes.  Criminal statutes do not require a husband to pay for his wife's crimes. Therefore, you should not have your wages garnished. However, you should know that the state/govt may try to locate your wife's funds.  If you and your wife have a joint account, the state/govt could levy on those accounts (i.e. take money).  Therefore, it is important that your paycheck is not directly deposited into a joint account. 

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