On May 31, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals published an opinion vacating many of the money laundering convictions underlying a 27-year sentenced handed down to a mortgage fraud defendant in Charlotte, North Carolina. U.S. v. Cloud shows that the new-look Fourth Circuit will broadly interpret the Supreme Court’s Opinion in Santos – potentially protecting defendants with a long-awaited application and interpretation of the “merger” doctrine afflicting many money laundering cases. The ruling also foreshadows an increase in the number of cases where the Department of Justice will charge money laundering conspiracy under 18 U.S.C. Section 1956(h) in lieu of meeting the increased demands now applicable to other kinds of money laundering charges.
Money laundering charges bring significant extra penalties to defendants. Our attorneys have decades of experience with both mortgage fraud and money laundering cases and can help clients navigate this constantly-changing and exceedingly complex area of law. Indeed, our attorneys include a former partner at a major North Carolina law firm as well as a former federal prosecutor that has prosecuted and defended dozens of mortgage fraud and money launderings cases across North Carolina.