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United States v. Knox
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
112 F.3d 802 (1997)
On several occasions, potential investors in Reverend David Brace's (co-defendant) financially distressed church asked Brace and his financial advisor Shannon Knox (co-defendant) if they were willing to launder investment money derived from illegal drug sales. Brace had no criminal record and no prior experience with money laundering, but he and Knox repeatedly assured the investors that they were willing to launder the drug money. Thereafter, Brace and Knox started receiving large installment payments from the investors. The investors were actually undercover federal agents who arrested Brace and Knox when they accepted a fourth payment. The United States government (plaintiff) prosecuted the pair on four counts of money laundering and related offenses. Trial evidence included an agent's testimony that, although it was inefficient to use a church to funnel laundered money, and no real money launderer had ever done so, no one would suspect a church of money laundering and therefore Brace was an ideal target for a sting operation. The jury convicted Brace and Knox on four counts. On appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, Brace contended that he was entrapped as a matter of law.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (DeMoss, J.)
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