Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Friday, November 18, 2016

Leon: No plain error constructive amendment

In U.S. v. Leon, No. 15-12578 (Nov. 16, 2016), the Court, on plain error review, rejected the argument that the district court constructively amended the indictment by allowing the defendant to be convicted of attempting to cause a bank not to file required currency transaction reports (CTRs) concerning currency transactions exceeding $10,000. The Court recognized that the word “structure” is contained in 31 U.S.C. § § 5423(a)(1), not in 5324(a)(3), the statute under which Leon was charged and convicted, and that the parties used the term “structuring” during trial. But both statutes are said to refer to a “structuring” transaction. As a result, there was no “plain error.” The Court also rejected a sufficiency of the evidence challenge.