Seventh Circuit Review


In United States v. Haddad, a case of first impression for the Seventh Circuit, the court held that commingling of funds cannot serve to circumvent the transaction value limits imposed by 18 U.S.C. § 1957, one of the two primary federal money laundering statutes. The key component of any § 1957 violation is that the monetary transaction upon which the charge is based must be in an amount greater than $10,000 of illegally obtained funds. In cases where the accused money launderer has combined "clean" money with "dirty" money, it becomes difficult to determine whether the transaction in question actually has a value of over $10,000 in illegally generated funds. Taking note of a circuit split which had developed regarding commingled funds in § 1957 cases, the Seventh Circuit sided with the Fourth and Fifth Circuits, holding that commingling will not defeat prosecution, and rejected the holding of the Ninth Circuit. This Comment examines the Seventh Circuit's decision, and its use of the Fourth, Fifth and Ninth Circuit cases; and then argues for a more nuanced approach to the issue of commingled funds in 18 U.S.C. § 1957 prosecutions in order to clarify and refine the law.

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