Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Naranjo: Sufficient Concealment for Money Laundering

In U.S. v. Naranjo, No. 08-13814 (March 2, 2011), the Court affirmed concealment money laundering convictions.

The Court rejected the argument that the government failed to prove “concealment.” The Court pointed out that while Naranjo signed the checks from his fraudulent companies, he tried to conceal his association with the bank accounts on which the checks were drawn. “It is irrelevant that Naranjo left enough evidence to allow a novice investigator to trace these cash withdrawals to Naranjo . . . because the statute requires only that proceeds be concealed, not that they be concealed well.” The Court also noted that large cash withdrawals are more difficult to trace than funds transferred between accounts.

The Court dismissed as “at best, speculative” Naranjo’s claim that a state report on his companies was exculpatory and therefore should have been turned over as Brady material. The Court noted that Brady does not require federal prosecutors to disclose Brady material possessed by state investigators.

The Court also rejected Naranjo’s Due Process and Confrontation Clause challenge to the admission of summary chart evidence. The Court noted that summary charts are admissible where (as here) the supporting evidence was previously presented to the jury, the court has made it clear that the jury decides what weight to give the summary, and the defense has an opportunity to cross-examine a witness concerning any disputed issue. The Confrontation Clause challenge failed because the data summarized was admissible under the business records exception to hearsay, and was not subject to exclusion under the Confrontation Clause.