Tuesday, December 2, 2014

United States v. Bank of New England case brief summary

United States v. Bank of New England case brief summary
(US v. Bank of England case brief)

FACTS
  • The Bank of New England was convicted of violating the Currency Transaction Reporting Act by not filing when McDonough withdrew more than $10,000. 
  • The Indictment said that the bank with McDonough as an aider and abettor failed to file the CTRs. 
  • The regulation required that there be a pattern of illegal activity involving transactions equal to more than $100,000 in a 12-month period. 
  • Therefore, the bank needed to aggregate the knowledge of all tellers to meet that amount. 
  • The only person left to be convicted is the bank.
ISSUE
Whether the trial court’s instructions on knowledge and specific intent effectively relieved the government of its responsibility of proving that the bank acting willfully?

RULES
Knowledge obtained by corporate employees acting within the scope of their employment is imputed to the corporation.

A corporation cannot consciously avoid their duties

NEED: Collective knowledge + willful blindness to extend corporate liability
HOLDING
The language of the regulations themselves gave the bank fair notice that McDonough’s transactions were reportable. Evidence was sufficient for a finding of willfulness, which is defined as a voluntary, intentional, and bad purpose to disobey the law.

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