Would Interpreting 'proceeds' to Mean 'profits' Make Money Laundering More Difficult to Prosecute
In United States v. Santos, 553 U.S. 507, 170 L. Ed. 2d 912, 128 S. Ct 2020 (2008), the United States Supreme Court rejected a similar argument that money laundering would be more difficult to prosecute if "proceeds" were defined as "profits." Santos, 553 U.S. at, 170 L. Ed. 2d at 924, 128 S. Ct. at 2029.
Specifically, the United States Supreme Court in Santos found that, in order to establish the proceeds element under the "profits" interpretation, the prosecution need only show that a single instance of specified unlawful activity was profitable and gave rise to the money involved in a charged transaction. Santos, 553 U.S. at, 170 L. Ed. 2d at 924, 128 S. Ct. at 2029.
The United States Supreme Court in Santos further noted that, in doing so, the government could select the instances for which the profitability was clearest. Santos, 553 U.S. at, 170 L. Ed. 2d at 924, 128 S. Ct. at 2029.
Therefore, like Santos, we reject the State's argument that interpreting "proceeds" to mean "profits" would impose unreasonable burdens on the prosecution.