ILNews

SCOTUS to hear money-laundering case

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2007
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The Supreme Court of the United States today agreed to take a case out of East Chicago in order to clarify the definition of money laundering.

Federal circuit courts, including the 7th Circuit in Chicago, do not agree on an exact definition and have disagreed about whether it ;s considered money laundering to pay for the operation of a criminal enterprise with the profits of that illegal business. The nation ;s high court will determine whether the ban on the use of "proceeds" of a crime to promote or conceal it - that is, "laundering" the proceeds - applies to the total amount of money or only the profits after expenses.

The U.S. Solicitor General ;s Office in Washington, D.C., filed a petition for writ of certiorari late last year in U.S. v. Efrain Santos and Benedicto Dias, which involves the federal prosecution of an old tavern lottery raid where Santos – known as "Puerto Rican Frankie" – was arrested for running the illegal operation throughout the region from the 1970s to 1994.

Santos was sentenced to 17 years in prison in 1998, but he was later released after the 7th Circuit heard two other cases in 2000 and 2002 and issued rulings that changed the interpretation of money laundering. Following those decisions, U.S. District Judge James Moody in Hammond ruled that Santos ; actions were no longer considered money laundering because of an interpretation of "net proceedings" and "gross proceeds" in federal laws.
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  1. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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