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United States v. Woodward

469 U.S. 105, 105 S.Ct. 611, 83 L.Ed.2d 518 (1985)

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United States v. Woodward

United States Supreme Court

469 U.S. 105, 105 S.Ct. 611, 83 L.Ed.2d 518 (1985)

Facts

Charles Woodward (defendant) and his wife were carrying $22,000 in cash as they traveled from Brazil to Los Angeles. When the couple passed through US Customs and Border Protection (Customs) at the airport, Woodward indicated on an official Customs form that neither he nor his wife were carrying over $5,000. Customs officials decided to search Woodward and his wife. Woodward then admitted to carrying $22,000 in cash and produced the cash from his boot and under his wife’s clothing. Woodward was charged with making a false statement to an agency of the United States in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001 and willfully failing to report that he was carrying in excess of $5,000 into the United States in violation of 31 U.S.C. §§ 1058, 1101. A violation of § 1001 requires the nondisclosure of a material fact that is concealed by any trick, scheme, or device. A violation of §§ 1058, 1101 requires transporting money without filing a currency report. Woodward was convicted by a jury on both charges and sentenced to six months in prison followed by three years of probation. Woodward appealed his conviction to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The appellate court found that Woodward could not be punished under both statutes and reversed his conviction for making a false statement. The government (plaintiff) appealed to the United States Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)

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