United States v. Boedigheimer, No. 15-1613 (8th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Defendant was convicted of laundering and conspiring to launder money, and making a false statement. Defendant had laundered drug proceeds received from his brother-in-law, Brandon Lusk, through his law firm, and then lied to an IRS agent about his financial arrangements with Lusk. When Lusk was investigated by authorities, defendant acted as his lawyer and advised him to hide the nature of their financial relationship. The court concluded that the district court acted well within its discretion to rule that a question implying that defendant had associated with a person later charged with criminal activity, even if improper, did not require a new trial. In this case, the question was half-finished and unanswered. Moreover, the other inculpatory evidence the jury heard was extensive. The court also concluded that the district court properly considered the fact that defendant put his own personal interests ahead of his clients, and that this factor was enough to justify the sentence imposed, even if it resulted in a sentence that was harsh in comparison to others involved in the drug trafficking operation. Finally, there is no indication that the district court punished defendant more harshly because he was a lawyer. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment.