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Will this ruling help Ronnie Earle?

The US Supreme Court has apparently made it easier to get a conviction in cases involving money laundering.

Justices [unanimously] upheld the convictions of two people accused of pocketing more than $1.2 million as part of a nationwide religious investment scheme.

David Whitfield and Haywood “Don” Hall were convicted in Florida of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

They were leaders of the Greater Ministries International Church, which told people during roadshow meetings that God would double their money.

The church, which targeted Mennonite, Amish and Christian fundamentalist communities nationwide, took in hundreds of millions of dollars from 1996-99 and donors got little if any money back. Other church leaders were convicted of various charges.

The Supreme Court used appeals by Whitfield and Hall to clarify a matter that has divided lower courts, the proof required in money laundering conspiracy cases.

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, writing for the court, said that because the federal law does not “expressly make the commission of an overt act an element of the conspiracy offense, the government need not prove an overt act to obtain a conviction.”

The cases are Whitfield v. United States, 03-1293, and Hall v. United States, 03-1294.

I’m not a lawyer, but all the charges against John Colyandro, Jim Ellis, and Warren Robold involve money laundering. Will this ruling make Ronnie Earle’s life easier? If anyone can clarify, please leave a comment. Thanks to AJ Garcia for the tip.

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3 Comments

  1. precinct1233 says:

    The case applies specifically to the language in one specific Federal law, not state, so Ronnie’s not involved, as he can only bring indictments for violations of state law. I don’t know that Texas even has a money-laundering statute.

    Now, if we could get a federal prosecutor interested in the case, this would have applicability. . .

  2. John Greenman says:

    I haven’t followed the case that closely. I’m guessing that the indictments are under the Texas money laundering statute, section 34.02 of the penal code. I’m also guessing that, given the facts, they may be up for money laundering, as opposed to conspiracy to commit money laundering.

    All that is to say that the USSCT decision doesn’t help, except, perhaps, tangentially by way of persuasive precedent.

    Are the indictments online anywhere? It’s amazing how little substance there is in the newspaper coverage.

  3. Russ Hallberg says:

    Ronnie Earle works for his godfather, Roy Minton Jr. They participate in a massive money laundering operation by the insurance industry. http://www.texasjustice.com, http://www.totse.com/en/conspiracy/institutional_analysis/worldwidenewsl172704.html

    Earle wrongfully convicted two young men for the Yogurt Shop Murders. That case is the tip of the iceberg.

    Earle is part of a disinformation campaign, portraying him as an honest man. The real killers at the Yogurt Shop were never pursued. That makes Earle an accessory. Four beautiful teenage girls were molested shot and burned. One managed to survive until the fire department and police arrived. She was finished off with a .38. That was police issue in 1991.

    As a Socialist, I find Earle and DeLay to be equally disgusting.