4.18.1956(a)(1)(A) Money Laundering Promotion of Illegal Activity or Tax Evasion,

18 U.S.C. § 1956(a)(1)(A) See Statute

[Defendant] is charged with violating that portion of the federal money laundering statute that prohibits certain financial transactions intended to [promote specified unlawful activity; evade federal income taxes]. It is against federal law to engage in such conduct. 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] entered into the transaction or transactions with the intent to [promote the carrying on of specified unlawful activity; evade federal income taxes].

A [withdrawal; deposit; transfer; etc.] of funds from a bank is a financial transaction.

“Proceeds” means any property, or any interest in property, that someone acquires or retains as a result of the commission of the unlawful activity.

“Promote” means to further, to help carry out, or to make easier.

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) “Sole or exclusive intent to evade taxes is not required. . . .” United States v. Zanghi, 189 F.3d 71, 78 (1st Cir. 1999).

(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).