Federal Money Laundering

The pattern jury instruction for the 11th Circuit (Miami) requires intent to lauder. Below is the exact instruction and some notes. If you are charged with Money Laundering get advice from an experienced lawyer.
O74.1
Money Laundering:
Promoting Unlawful Activity
18 U.S.C. § 1956(a)(1)(A)(i)
It’s a Federal crime to knowingly engage in certain kinds of financial transactions commonly known as money laundering.
The Defendant can be found guilty of this crime only if all the following facts are proved beyond a reasonable doubt:
(1) the Defendant knowingly conducted or tried to conduct, a financial transaction;
(2) the Defendant knew that the money or property involved in the transaction were the proceeds of some kind of unlawful activity;
(3) the money or property did come from an unlawful activity, specifically [describe the specified unlawful activity alleged in
the indictment]; and
(4) the Defendant was involved in the financial transaction with the intent to promote the carrying on of that specified unlawful activity.
To “conduct a transaction” means to start or finish a transaction, or to participate in a transaction at any point.
A “transaction” means a purchase, sale, loan, promise, gift, transfer, delivery, or other disposition of money or property.
[A transaction with a financial institution also includes a deposit, withdrawal, transfer between accounts,
exchange of currency, loan, extension of credit, use of a safe deposit box, or purchase or sale of any stock, bond, certificate of deposit, or other monetary instrument.]
A “financial transaction” means –
[a transaction that in any way or to any degree affects interstate or foreign commerce by sending or moving money by wire or other means.]
or
[a transaction that in any way or to any degree affects interstate or foreign commerce by involving one or more “monetary instruments.” The phrase “monetary instruments” includes coins or currency of any country, travelers or personal checks, bank checks or money orders, or investment securities or negotiable instruments in a form that allows ownership to transfer on delivery.]
or
[a transaction that in any way or to any degree affects interstate or foreign commerce by involving the transfer of title to any real property, vehicle, vessel, or aircraft.]
or
[a transaction involving the use of a financial institution that is involved in interstate or foreign commerce, or whose activities affect interstate or foreign commerce, in any way or degree. The phrase “financial institution: includes [give appropriate reference from 31 U.S.C. § 5312(a)(2) or the regulations promulgated under it]].
“Interstate or foreign commerce” means trade and other business activity between people or businesses in at least two states or between people or businesses in the United States and people or businesses outside the United States.
To “know that the money or property involved in the transaction came from some kind of unlawful activity” is to know that the money or property came from an activity that’s a felony under state, federal, or foreign law.
The term “proceeds” means any property derived from or obtained or retained, directly or indirectly, through some form of unlawful activity, including the gross receipts of the activity.
The term “specified unlawful activity” means [describe the specified unlawful activity listed in subsection (c)(7) of the statute and alleged in the indictment].
The term “with the intent to promote the carrying on of specified unlawful activity” means that the Defendant must have [conducted] [attempted to conduct] the financial transaction for the purpose of making easier or helping to bring about the “specified unlawful activity” as just defined.

ANNOTATIONS AND COMMENTS
18 U.S.C. § 1956(a)(1) provides:
Whoever, knowing that the property involved in a financial transaction represents the proceeds of some form of unlawful activity, conducts or attempts to conduct such a financial transaction which in fact involves the proceeds of specified unlawful activity – –
(A)(i) with the intent to promote the carrying on of specified unlawful
activity [shall be guilty of an offense against the United States]. Maximum Penalty: Twenty (20) years imprisonment and applicable fine. In United States v. Cancelliere, 69 F.3d 1116 (11th Cir. 1995), the Court held that although proof of willfulness is not a statutory element of money laundering, where the indictment expressly charged willfulness, the District Court erred in not giving the usual instruction on willfulness (Basic Instruction 9.1A).
The term “proceeds” in 18 U.S.C. § 1956 was expressly defined by the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009 (“FERA”), Pub. L. No. 111-21, effective May 20, 2009. The FERA expanded the concept of monetary proceeds, for purposes of enforcing prohibitions against money laundering, to include gross receipts. See 18 U.S.C. § 1956(c)(9).
The FERA was a direct response to United States v. Santos, 128 S. Ct. 2020 (2008). In
Santos, a plurality of the U.S. Supreme Court held that the definition of the term “proceeds” in 18 U.S.C. § 1956(a)(1)(A)(i) refers to “profits” rather than “receipts” when applied to a prosecution arising from an illegal stand-alone gambling operation. Until the FERA, the definition of “proceeds” in the money laundering statute remained unclear. The Eleventh Circuit has construed the fragmented Santos opinion narrowly. In United States v. Demarest, 570 F.3d 1232 (11th Cir. 2009), a case in which the trial took place prior to the FERA’s enactment, the Court noted:
Santos has limited precedential value… The narrow holding in [the case], at most, was that the gross receipts of an unlicensed gambling operation were not ‘proceeds’ undersection 1956…Id. at 1242.

Source: Miami Herald

About Matthew Ladd

Federal Criminal Attorney practicing in Miami-Dade County with our office in Coral Gables. Matthew Ladd is a former prosecutor with the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office. He is a graduate of Syracuse University College of Law and received his bachelor's degree from Marshall University.

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