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United States v. Corchado-Peralta

United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
318 F.3d 255 (2003)


Facts

Ubaldo Rivera Colon was a drug smuggler who made approximately $4 million dollars in profits over a number of years. Colon attempted to launder his profits through investments and the purchase of property, cars, and luxury goods. Colon was married to Elena Corchado Peralta (Corchado) (defendant). During their marriage, Colon told Corchado that he was a legitimate, wealthy businessman. Colon directed Corchado to write checks for many expensive but routine transactions, such as buying cars and land. Colon also had Corchado deposit checks for $6,000 into one of his accounts every month. Although Colon maintained that all of his business dealings and their income was legitimate, the family reported far less income on their taxes than they obviously spent. Colon was eventually convicted and sentenced to over 20 years in prison. Corchado was later charged with bank fraud and money laundering under 18 U.S.C. § 1956(a)(1)(B) and (h), based on the transactions of writing checks and making deposits as directed by Colon. Colon testified about his money-laundering schemes at Corchado’s trial but maintained that she had no knowledge of his illegal activities. Corchado was convicted and appealed, claiming that the prosecution had failed to prove the knowledge elements of the crime of money laundering.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Boudin, C.J.)

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