United States v. Suarez, No. 19-40783 (5th Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
Defendant was convicted of four counts of structuring financial transactions for the purpose of evading reporting requirements, a violation of 31 U.S.C. 5324(a)(3) and (d).
The Fifth Circuit held that the Count 4 indictment fails to state an offense but, given the evidence introduced at trial, the defect is harmless. The court also held that the $52,042 forfeiture judgment is not excessive under the Eighth Amendment. In this case, defendant's offenses were intentional efforts to evade a reporting requirement, related to other criminal activity, conducted over a 27-month period, and the $52,042 forfeiture is a fraction of the statutory maximum and less than double the Guidelines maximum.