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United States v. Santos
United States Supreme Court
553 U.S. 507 (2008)
Santos (defendant) ran an illegal lottery in Indiana for approximately 20 years. Santos employed runners to gather the bets in bars and restaurants from gamblers. The runners gave the money from the bets, after keeping a portion as their commission, to Santos’s collectors, who then turned the money over to Santos. Santos used the money to pay his collectors, pay the eventual lottery winners, and presumedly to make a profit himself. Santos and some coconspirators were charged with a number of crimes, including money laundering under 18 U.S.C. § 1956(a)(1), based on the transactions between the runners, the collectors, and Santos. Santos was convicted and filed motions attacking the convictions with the district court. The district court dismissed all of the motions except the challenge to the money-laundering charge. The district court found that a Seventh Circuit case, United States v. Scialabba, 282 F.3d 475 (2002), had ruled that the prohibition in § 1956(a)(1) against money laundering criminal proceeds applied only to criminal profits, not receipts. The district court then held that the transactions in question in Santos’s case amounted only to receipts and therefore vacated that conviction. The court of appeals affirmed, and the Supreme Court granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Scalia, J.)
Concurrence (Stevens, J.)
Dissent (Alito, J.)
Dissent (Breyer, J.)
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