United States v. Christi, No. 09-1889 (1st Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
During 2000-2002, defendant and co-defendant were associated in five instances of depositing large bad checks (one for $15,000,000) in three different bank accounts (the one at issue in the name of a defunct corporation), then writing checks against the resulting, ostensible account balances or requesting substantial wire transfers from them. They were indicted for conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud, 18 U.S.C. 371, bank fraud, 18 U.S.C. 1344, wire fraud, 18 U.S.C. 1343, and money laundering, 18 U.S.C. 1957. Defendant was charged both as a principal and as aiding and abetting co-defendant, who negotiated guilty pleas. Defendant was convicted. He appealed, claiming insufficiency of the evidence to show anything more than his mere (innocent) presence at some events in the sequence of the transactions charged, and abridgement of his Sixth Amendment right to jury trial when the trial judge closed the courtroom doors during jury instructions. The First Circuit affirmed.