United States v. Richardson, No. 11-1202 (3d Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
Defendant was the fiancee of the leader of a Philadelphia drug distribution ring responsible for selling a large amount of cocaine and cocaine base (crack) from 1998 to 2005. In 2005, the couple used drug money to purchase a new home, which was titled in defendant's name. When her fiancee was charged with drug trafficking and firearms offenses, defendant was charged with money laundering in purchasing the house, 18 U.S.C. 1956(a)(1)(B)(i). She appealed her conviction. The Third Circuit vacated. The evidence was not sufficient to establish knowledge of a design to conceal on defendant's part. Defendant lied about her income and had the property titled in her name, not to hide her fiancee's involvement (which was obvious), but to get around his bad credit and purchase the house.