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. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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