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Conviction for false statements and money laundering upheld; United States v. Frazier,

It is a Federal crime to export any firearms outside the United States without of license. When two or more persons agree to commit a Federal offense and take some action in furtherance of the crime, it becomes a conspiracy and is a separate crime. Frazier was convicted in federal district court of the federal crime of conspiracy to export firearms to Canada without a license. He was also convicted of the federal offense of making a false statement in a form to a firearms dealer.

The evidence at jury trial showed he used straw buyers to purchase firearms on his behalf. At trial he claimed in his defense that the identity of the buyer on the ATF form 4473 was not material as both would have been eligible to buy the firearm.

The appellate court rejected this argument finding that falsifying the identity of the actual buyer on the ATF form is material, making this a federal offense. For these reasons the Federal court of appeals found the evidence was sufficient to support a conviction for making false statements on ATF forms used in gun purchases.

The Court rejected Defendant Roach’s argument the evidence was insufficient to support his money laundering conviction. It pointed to evidence produced proving the following:
• that Roach knew that the funds transferred came from the proceeds of illegal activity,
• that money wired to him in Canada came from his associates,
• The jury could reasonably conclude from ample circumstantial evidence that defendant was aware of the illegal activity.
With these findings the federal court of appeals found the evidence was sufficient to support a money laundering conviction from the proceeds of illegal arms exports.