February 20, 2018

Tenth Circuit: District Court Did Not Err by Failing to Define “Proceeds” as “Profits” in Connection with a Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in United States v. Thornburgh on Friday, May 27, 2011.

The Tenth Circuit affirmed the district court’s conviction and sentence. Petitioner was found guilty of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering; he was sentenced to 292 months’ imprisonment, three years of supervised release, and $3,684,213 in restitution. Petitioner challenges his conviction on several grounds, including that he withdrew from the conspiracy at an earlier time, as a result of which the statute of limitations had expired by the time he was indicted, and that the government neither pled nor proved that profits from illegal activities were laundered.

The Court disagreed with Petitioner’s contentions. Based on the testimony at trial, the jury did not err when it determined that, while he may have decided not to deal directly with a co-conspirator after mid-2002, Petitioner remained active in the conspiracy well into 2005. Additionally, the district court did not err when, in its instructions to the jury, it failed to define “proceeds” as “profits” in connection with the conspiracy.

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