Monday, April 27, 2020

US v. Costanzo, No. 18-10291 (4-17-20)(Hawkins w/Owens & Bennett).  Note: This is an Az FPD case. The 9th affirms convictions in a bitcoin money laundering case. The defendant was convicted of using bitcoin to supposedly launder funds from a criminal enterprise. The appeal raised whether there was interstate commerce. The 9th held there was: the internet is an instrumentality that affects interstate commerce. There was also a website (hosted abroad) and…a digital wallet.  Alas, in the light most favorable to the government, there was sufficient evidence.

Other issues were decided in a memorandum.

This was a hard fought trial by AFPD Maria Weidner and a clever appeal by AFPD Dan Kaplan, both of the AZ FPD.  Although the defendant lost, he at least got to watch oral argument: he had already been released.

The decision is here:



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