Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Two former officers and directors of the National Century Financial Enterprises had been convicted on multiple counts. The Sixth Circuit reversed the money laundering counts.
In the first case, United States v. Ayers, the court examined a conviction of conspiracy to commit money laundering and held that based upon Cuellar v. United States, 128 S.Ct. 1994 (2008), the conviction could not be upheld. The court stated:
"The government is correct that the Receivables Purchase Reports involved concealment: They falsely represented that investors’ funds were being legitimately used, and thereby induced the Trustees to wire the funds to providers. But that explains only how, and not why, the money was moved. The proposition that Ayers authorized the advances for the purpose of submitting phony Reports is simply implausible on this record. The government proved only that the Reports facilitated the advances; it did not prove that the Reports, or concealment generally, were the transactions’ purpose."
In Faulkenberry v. United States, the court stated in part:
"All of this reasoning, in our view, applies to the meaning of "designed" as used in § 1956(a)(1)(B)(i). To prove a violation of that subsection, therefore, it is not enough for the government to prove merely that a transaction had a concealing effect. Nor is it enough that the transaction was structured to conceal the nature of illicit funds. Concealment—even deliberate concealment—as mere facilitation of some other purpose, is not enough to convict. . . What is required, rather, is that concealment be an animating purpose of the transaction." (citations omitted)
"Money in motion does not necessarily equal money laundering."
Ayers -Download Ayers Opinion
Faulkenberry -Download Faulkenberry 1
(esp)(w/ a hat tip to Regina Ashmon and Monica Smith)