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The Champion

May 2017 , Page 34 

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Proving Money Laundering Beyond a Reasonable Doubt: The Problem of Commingled Property Under 18 USC § 1957

By Rachel May Zysk and Eddie Suarez

The client, Mr. Limpiar, owned a barrel containing 100,000 beads; 85,000 of the beads were white and 15,000 were black. Mr. Limpiar scooped 11,000 beads out of the barrel. What are the chances that his scoop contained at least 10,001 black beads? What if the barrel contained 50,000 white beads and 50,000 black beads? What if there were 85,000 black beads and 15,000 white? Or 90,000 black beads and 10,000 white? Where does “beyond a reasonable doubt” fall on the scale of mathematical probability?1 

Although the hypothetical may bring back blissful memories of prep courses for college entrance exams, it is also one for practitioners to consider when representing a client charged with violating 18 U.S.C. § 1957. Section 1957 requires that the government prove a defendant “(1) knowingly (2) use[d] ‘criminally derived property2 of a value greater than $10,000’ (3) in a monetary transaction, and (4) that the property [was] ‘derived from specified unlawful activity.’”3 Seems

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