4.18.1956(a)(1)(B)(i) Money Laundering—Illegal Concealment,
18 U.S.C. § 1956(a)(1)(B)(i) See Statute
[Defendant] is charged with violating that portion of the federal money laundering statute that prohibits concealment of the proceeds of certain unlawful activities. It is against federal law to engage in such concealment. For [defendant] to be convicted of this crime, you must be convinced that the government has proven each of the following things beyond a reasonable doubt:
First, that [defendant] entered into a financial transaction or transactions, on or about the date alleged, with a financial institution engaged in interstate commerce;
Second, that the transaction involved the use of proceeds of unlawful activities, specifically, proceeds of the [_________];
Third, that [defendant] knew that these were the proceeds of some kind of crime that amounts to a state or federal felony; and
Fourth, that [defendant] knew that the transaction or transactions were designed in whole or in part to conceal or disguise the nature, location, source, ownership, or control of the proceeds of that specified unlawful activity.
A [withdrawal; deposit; transfer; etc.] of funds from a bank is a financial transaction.
Knowledge may not ordinarily be proven directly because there is no way of directly scrutinizing the workings of the human mind. In determining what [defendant] knew or intended at a particular time, you may consider any statements made or acts done or omitted by [defendant] and all other facts and circumstances received in evidence that may aid in your determination of [defendant]’s knowledge or intent. You may infer, but you are certainly not required to infer, that a person intends the natural and probable consequences of acts knowingly done or knowingly omitted. It is entirely up to you, however, to decide what facts are proven by the evidence received during this trial.
(1) The specified unlawful activities are listed in 18 U.S.C. § 1956 (c)(7).
(2) “‘[T]he defendant need not know exactly what crime generated the funds involved in a transaction, only that the funds are the proceeds of some kind of crime that is a felony under Federal or State law.’” United States v. Isabel, 945 F.2d 1193, 1201 n.13 (1st Cir. 1991) (quoting S. Rep. No. 433, 99th Cong., 2d Sess. 12 (1986)) (alteration in original); 18 U.S.C. § 1956 (c)(1); United States v. Corchado-Peralta, -- F.3d -- (1st Cir. 2003), 2003 WL 187240 at *3, Jan. 29, 2003. A willful blindness instruction may be appropriate. United States v. Rivera-Rodriguez, -- F.3d -- (1st Cir. 2003), 2003 WL 187248 at *2 , Jan. 29, 2003. Moreover, the government is not required to specify the predicate offense in the indictment, United States v. McGauley, 279 F.3d 62, 77 n15 (1st Cir. 2002), or to secure a conviction on the underlying unlawful activity. United States v. Richard, 234 F.3d 763, 768 (1st Cir. 2000).
(3) “To prove a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956(a)(1)(B)(i), the government must show that [the defendant] conducted financial transactions involving the proceeds of unlawful activity, knowing that the transactions involved the proceeds of unlawful activity, and that the transactions were designed ‘to conceal or disguise the nature, the location, the source, the ownership, or the control of the proceeds of specified unlawful activity.’” United States v. McGauley, 279 F.3d 62, 69 (1st Cir. 2002) (quoting 18 U.S.C. § 1956(a)(1)(B)(i)). “The knowledge requirement under 18 U.S.C. § 1956(a)(1)(B)(i) is twofold: the government must demonstrate (i) that the defendant knew that the funds involved in the financial transaction were the proceeds of some unlawful activity; and (ii) that he knew that the transaction itself was ‘designed in whole or in part to conceal the nature, location, source, ownership, or control of the proceeds of such unlawful activity.’” United States v. Frigerio-Migiano, 254 F.3d 30, 33 (1st Cir. 2001). “Where the defendant is someone other than the source of the illegal proceeds . . ., the statute is concerned with [the defendant’s] knowledge of the source’s intent in the transaction.” United States v. Martinez-Medina, 279 F.3d 105, 115 (1st Cir. 2002). Purchases of goods and deposits of money are not alone sufficient to meet the requirement that a defendant know that a transaction is designed to disguise or conceal, at least where that defendant is not otherwise involved in the illegal conduct. The First Circuit vacated a conviction where, although the spouse knew that her husband’s income was tainted, there was no proof of the design element as to her expenditures, purchases and deposits. United States v. Corchado-Peralta, -- F.3d -- (1st Cir. 2003), 2003 WL 187240 at *4, Jan. 29, 2003.
(4) It is not a defense that legitimate funds are also involved, and there is no de minimis exception. United States v. McGauley, 279 U.S. F.3d 62, 71 (1st Cir. 2002).
(5) The statute, 18 U.S.C. § 1956(c)(4), has a number of “commerce” requirements, and the instruction should choose the appropriate one. Some interstate commerce involvement is required, although a minimal effect is sufficient. United States v. Owens, 167 F.3d 739, 755 (1st Cir. 1999). Federal insurance of bank deposits is sufficient. 18 U.S.C. § 1956 (c)(6)(A), cross-referencing 33 U.S.C. § 5312 (a)(2); United States v. Benjamin, 252 F.3d 1, 9 (1st Cir. 2001).
(6) Consult the statute for lengthy definitions of “transaction” and “financial transaction,” as well as subsidiary terminology like “monetary instruments” and “financial institution” and choose the appropriate terms. In United States v. Richard, 234 F.3d 763, 768 (1st Cir. 2000), the court stated: “giving criminally derived checks to a co-conspirator, who deposits them into a bank account, is a transfer to, and involves the use of, a financial institution, which satisfies the definition of "monetary transaction" in section 1957(f)(1) [similar, for these purposes, to § 1956]. Further, transferring funds to a co-conspirator involves monetary instruments, namely the currency or checks involved, which satisfies section 1956(c)(5).