Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 18,400+ case briefs...

Ratzlaf v. United States

United States Supreme Court
510 U.S. 135 (1994)


Waldemar Ratzlaf (defendant) owed $160,000 to the High Sierra Casino in Nevada. He was given one week to pay the casino back. Ratzlaf returned to the casino with $100,000 in cash, whereupon a casino employee informed him that state and federal authorities were required to be notified of cash dealings involving over $10,000. Ratzlaf was also told that banks had to abide by the same disclosure requirements. Knowing this, Ratzlaf visited banks in the area and purchased cashier’s checks of less than $10,000 each. Ratzlaf was criminally charged with structuring transactions, that is, with dividing one large transaction into smaller ones in order to evade a bank’s reporting requirements. The jury was instructed by the trial court that convicting Ratzlaf required evidence that he knew of and intentionally tried to evade the banks’ reporting requirement, but that it was not necessary to find that he knew his actions were illegal. Ratzlaf was convicted. He appealed, arguing that the government (plaintiff) needed to prove that he knew structuring transactions was illegal. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the trial court’s conviction. The United States Supreme Court granted cert.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Ginsburg, J.)

Dissent (Blackmun, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 496,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 496,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 18,400 briefs, keyed to 985 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial