Federal money laundering laws cover too much peripheral
conduct that the statutes and their draconian guidelines were not meant to
address. Once a tool for drug or racketeering cases, these laws are now applied
to a wide range of activities, including routine business transactions. As
interpreted and applied, the current law is a cruel trap for unwary individuals
and businesses that inflicts felony convictions, harsh and inflexible prison
sentences, and ruinous asset forfeiture. The Department of Justice has failed
to reign in this darling of the prosecutor’s nursery, allowing prosecutors to
use the laws to coerce unfair plea agreements.
NACDL has proposed several technical statutory amendments to rectify the money laundering
regime’s most serious flaws by simplifying and clarifying current law,
facilitating compliance efforts by individuals and businesses, and by focusing
federal law enforcement on serious misconduct. Provided below are a sampling of
news stories and resources related to federal money laundering laws and reform.
News of Interest
Department of Justice FERA Report Submitted to Congress, September 21, 2010
Tiffany Joslyn, FERA's Silver Lining - An Account of NACDL's Efforts Combating Overcriminalization, The Champion (August 2009).
"Kuehne Case 'Hanging on by a Thread'," Daily Business Review, January 5, 2009.
"Judge in Ben Kuehne Case Finds Feds' Charge 'Disturbing'," The Wall Street Journal, December 1, 2008.
"Scales of Justice: The Right to Counsel vs. the Need to Bar Tainted Legal Fees," The Wall Street Journal, November 20, 2008.
"Defense attorneys criticize charges," SunSentinel.com, September 6, 2008.
Peter Hardy, The Supreme Court Provides Post-Conviction Opportunities to Defendants Convicted of Money Laundering, September 5, 2008.
NACDL Money Laundering Task Force Report, Proposals to Reform the Federal Money Laundering Statutes, Aug. 1, 2001.