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Criminal Law Keyed to Gershowitz
United States v. Knox
Citation:112 F.3d 802.
Defendant Reverend David Brace, a pastor of the Faith Metro Church in Wichita, Kansas, had financial difficulties and was heavily in debt. In an effort to raise money, Brace hired a financial consulting firm, First Diversified Financial Services, and met with Mike Clark, the president of First Diversified, and Clark’s assistant, 24-year-old defendant Shannon Knox. Brace paid First Diversified $75,000 to prepare a prospectus for a $10.8 million limited private offering by Faith Metro. At the same time Brace and Clark were seeking financing for Faith Metro, undercover federal agents were running an elaborate sting operation in San Antonio designed to catch money launderers.
On March 24, the undercover agents met with Brace at a meeting also attended by Knox. The undercover agents told Brace that they would be able to loan him the entire $10 million, but the undercover agents told them that they would have a practice transfer of $100,000. The undercover agents then informed Brace that the money came from the sale of cocaine, and that he was being asked to launder it. Brace stated that he was not troubled by the money’s source.
Brace met with the undercover agents again on April 26. Before the meeting, Knox told the undercover agents that he and Brace had already “contrived a system” to quickly deposit and transfer the first $100,000. At the meeting, the undercover agents gave Brace an account number for an undercover account in a London bank where Brace was to wire the $100,000 in the first test. Brace was given $100,000 in cash which he wired to the English bank the next week.
On May 5, the undercover agents again met with Brace and suggested another $100,000 test, this time to a domestic account controlled by the undercover agents. Brace agreed to this, stating that to conceal the source of the money, he would carry it on his books as a loan. Brace took the money and wired it the account.
On May 12, the undercover agents met with Brace and Knox, and delivered cash for another test, this time $150,000. Four days later, Brace and Knox wired the money to the English bank. The undercover agents told Brace and Knox that they would soon be ready to transfer the entire $10 million.
On June 21, the final meeting took place. The undercover agents met Brace and Knox in a San Antonio parking lot and gave them three canvas bags purportedly containing $10 million. Brace and Knox were arrested as they left the parking lot.
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