Thursday, July 17, 2008

"Defense Team Argues DOJ Ideology Spurred Money Laundering Indictment of [Ben Kuehne]"

Read the article here:

Quoting Bob Dylan and a legal treatise, attorneys for indicted Miami attorney Ben Kuehne and two co-defendants maintain the "unprecedented" money laundering indictment is ideologically motivated by the Justice Department.
At issue is a 1988 carve-out from the federal anti-money laundering statutes that exempts attorneys from criminal liability in accepting defense fees.
"The Department of Justice has been hostile to this exemption for many years and appears not to accept the policies that underlie it," Kuehne's attorneys said in a 13-page dismissal motion. "However, it is Congress that makes the laws."
Kuehne is charged with laundering drug proceeds while vetting $5.2 million in fees collected by celebrity attorney Roy Black to defend Colombian drug kingpin Fabio Ochoa Vasquez. Kuehne, Colombian attorney Oscar Saldarriaga and accountant Gloria Florez Velez were hired to make sure the money was "free from taint" to pay Black's team.


Miami attorney Richard Strafer, representing Saldarriaga, contends the government doesn't have a case.
He makes the point in his filing with flair, quoting folk rock legend Dylan's song "Like a Rolling Stone" in his motion to dismiss a wire fraud conspiracy count, writing, "When you [ain't] got nothing, you got nothing to lose."
The government alleges the defendants committed wire fraud by converting pesos to dollars to bring them to the United States and subvert the Colombian government's right to seize the assets.
Motions for Kuehne and Saldarriaga argue the Colombians never made an effort to seize the assets and to this day have not filed a forfeiture action.
Strafer, paraphrasing a decision from the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, said in an interview, "The government has taken off in an aircraft without wings, engines or wheels" in the wire fraud count. He is asking for additional time to file more motions hinging on complicated issues of foreign law.


Anonymous said...

Next target for indictment in S. Fla? Who do you think is most likely to be AUSA handling this case?

Anonymous said...

the trialmaster has just learned that the older def. in the "JOE COOL" fishing vessell murder case has agreed to plead guilty and testify against the younger co-def. in exchange he will not get a death sentence but will serve a life sentence. more later

Anonymous said...

"When you [ain't] got nothing, you got nothing to lose."

'nuff said.

Now everyone hold hands and join me in a chorus of kum by ya.

Anonymous said...

7:16, nice one.

Is that Bob Dylan or the chick who played him in the movie, what's her face, Cate Blanchett?