2121. Jury Instruction -- Conceal Or Disguise -- 18 U.S.C. 1956(a)(1)(B)(i)

The term knowing that such transaction is designed in whole or in part to conceal or disguise the nature, the location, the source, the ownership, or the control of the proceeds of specified unlawful activity means that the defendant must have conducted, or attempted to conduct, the financial transaction knowing that the purpose of the transaction was to conceal or disguise the nature, the location, the source, the ownership, or the control of the proceeds of specified unlawful activity.

Proof that the defendant knew the purpose of the financial transaction, or attempted financial transaction, was to conceal or disguise the nature, location, source, ownership or control of the proceeds of specified unlawful activity may be established by proof that the defendant actually knew, because of circumstantial evidence, or knew because he or she was willfully blind (or purposefully ignorant). In other words, you are entitled to find from the circumstances surrounding the financial transaction, or attempted financial transaction, what the purpose of that activity was and that the defendant knew of that purpose.

OPTIONAL ADDITION:

For example, if a person puts the proceeds of a criminal offense into a bank account held in the name of a legitimate business, you might find that the purpose of the transaction was to disguise the nature or source of the money by making criminal proceeds appear to be legitimate business income.]

Or, if a person uses criminal proceeds to buy property in the name of a third party, you might find that the purpose of that transaction was to conceal the true ownership of the criminal proceeds.[FN1]
  1. FN1. Practitioner's Note: See United States v. Sutera, 933 F.2d 641 (8th Cir. 1991)(when defendant deposits gambling proceeds into an account held in the name of a restaurant business, rather than a personal account, and pays personal expenses out of the business account, jury could infer that purpose of the deposit was to "hide" the gambling proceeds).

See United States v. Martin, 933 F.2d 609 (8th Cir. 1991)(purchase of stock with drug proceeds, with stock certificates put in name of third party instead of purchaser, evidences intent to conceal or disguise).

See United States v. Isabel, 945 F.2d 1193 (1st Cir. 1991) (receiving cash from drug dealer with no legitimate source of income, and issuing false payroll check in return, implies knowledge that purpose was to conceal or disguise); United States v. Massac, 867 F.2d 174 (3d Cir. 1989)(when known drug dealer sends $22,000 in cash through cash transmitting business to Haiti over 5-month period, unusual nature of transaction implies purpose to conceal or disguise); United States v. Jackson, 935 F.2d 832 (7th Cir. 1991)(spending drug proceeds to pay rent and buy consumer goods was designed to conceal or disguise source of money where defendant commingled proceeds with legitimate funds in church account and made expenditures by drawing checks on church account).

Title 18, U.S.C. § 1956(a)(1)(B)(i)

Granted ____

Denied ____

Updated September 19, 2018