Bill Summaries: H 495 REVISE MONEY LAUNDERING/RETAIL CRIME. (NEW)

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  • Summary date: Jun 4 2024 - View Summary

    Senate committee substitute to the 1st edition replaces the bill in its entirety with the following.   

    Enacts new GS 14-118.8 setting forth the crime of money laundering as follows. Sets out defined terms criminal activity, financial institution, funds, insurer, proceeds of criminal activity, and transaction. Establishes the offense of money laundering if a person or organization knowingly and willfully does any of the following seven listed things that, alone or as aggregated under the rules provided by the statute, exceed $10,000:

    • Acquires or maintains an interest in, conceals, possesses, transfers, or transports the proceeds of criminal activity.
    • Conducts, supervises, or facilitates a transaction involving the proceeds of criminal activity.
    • Invests, expends, or receives, or offers to invest, expend, or receive, the proceeds of criminal activity or funds that the person believes are the proceeds of criminal activity.
    • Finances or invests, or intends to finance or invest, funds that the person believes are intended to further the commission of criminal activity.
    • Uses, transports, transmits, or transfers; conspires to use, transport, transmit, or transfer; or attempts to use, transport, transmit, or transfer the proceeds of criminal activity to conduct or attempt to conduct a transaction or make other disposition with the intent to conceal or disguise the nature, location, source, ownership, or control of the proceeds of criminal activity.
    • Uses the proceeds of criminal activity with the intent to promote, in whole or in part, the commission of criminal activity.
    • Conducts or attempts to conduct a transaction involving the proceeds of criminal activity, knowing the property involved in the transaction constitutes proceeds of criminal activity with the intent to avoid a transaction reporting requirement under federal law.

    Specifies that knowledge of the specific nature of the criminal activity giving rise to the proceeds is required to establish a culpable mental state under GS 14-118.8. Provides for a defense if the person acted with intent to facilitate a lawful seizure or other legitimate law enforce purpose under the laws of the State or the United States. Provides for conspiracy liability, even if the alleged co-conspirator was an agent of law enforcement or a law enforcement officer. Provides for concurrent venue. 

    If the value of the laundered proceeds or funds is less than $100,000 the offense is punishable as a Class H felony, in addition to any other civil or criminal penalties provided by law. If the value is more than $100,000 the offense is punishable as a Class C felony, in addition to any other civil or criminal penalties provided by law. Specifies that all property of every kind used or intended for use in the course of, derived from, maintained by, or realized through money laundering as set forth in GS 14-118.8 will be subject to forfeiture under the process set forth in GS 75D-5 (pertaining to Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) civil forfeiture) or in GS 14-2.3 (forfeiture of gain acquired through criminal activity). If the proceeds are related to one scheme or continuing course of conduct, regardless of the source of funds, allows for the conduct to be considered one offense and for aggregation of the value of the proceeds for purposes of determining the classification of the offense. Bars merger of violations of GS 14-118.8 with other offenses.

    Provides a civil liability shield for financial institutions or its agents who have acted lawfully to facilitate the lawful seizure, forfeiture, or disposition of funds from persons who (1) claim an ownership interest in funds involved money laundering or (2) conduct with the financial institution or insurer a transaction concerning funds involved in money laundering.

    Makes conforming change to GS 75D-3(c)(1) (RICO definitions) to include reference to GS 14-118.8.

    Removes term retail property fence from GS 14-86.5 (definitions pertaining to organized retail theft). Amends GS 14-86.6 (offense of organized retail theft) as follows. Expands the conspiracy to steal from retail establishments prong of the offense to include persons who conspire with others to sell, transfer, or possess (was, sell) retail property for monetary or other gain (currently, have to also take or cause that retail property to be placed in the control of a retail property fence or other person in exchange for consideration). Expands the conspiracy to steal from a merchant prong to include a scheme course of conduct with the intent to effectuate the transfer or sale of property stolen from a merchant (currently, the conspiracy must be a scheme or course of conduct to actually effectuate the transfer or sale of the property).

    Expands illegal transfer of a price tag prong of the offense of concealment of merchandise in mercantile establishments as set forth in GS 14-72.1(d) to include illegal transfers of product codes or other pricing mechanisms (defined). Makes transferring such price mechanisms and price tags to products having a price over $200 higher than the original price tag and then presenting the goods or merchandise for purchase a Class H felony. Specifies that the statute should not be construed to provide that the mere possession of goods or the production by shoppers of improperly priced merchandise for checkout constitutes evidence of guilt.

    Amends GS 14-72.11 (offense of larceny from a merchant) as follows. Defines antishoplifting or inventory control device. Adds three new actions that constitute the offense: (1) fraudulently creating a product code or any other price mechanism used by a merchant to determine the price of a good with the intent to fraudulently obtain goods or merchandise from a merchant at less than its actual sale price; (2) affixing a product code or any other price mechanism used by a merchant to determine the price of a good when the product code or other price mechanism was created by someone other than the merchant or manufacturer of the goods or merchandise for the purpose of fraudulently obtaining goods or merchandise from a merchant at less than its actual sale price (was, an offense to affix a price code created for the purpose of fraudulently obtaining goods or merchandise from a merchant at less than its actual sales price; and (3) presenting a good for purchase for the purpose of fraudulently obtaining goods or merchandise from a merchant at less than its actual sales price knowing that a product code or any other price mechanism used by a merchant to determine the price of the good has been replaced by a product code or other price mechanism created by someone other than the merchant or manufacturer.

    Makes conforming changes to the act’s titles.

    Applies to offenses committed on or after December 1, 2024.


  • Summary date: Mar 28 2023 - View Summary

    Enacts new GS 15A-1340.16F, pertaining to aggregation of multiple crime offenses.  Defines financial crime offense.  Allows for aggregation at sentencing when a person is convicted of two or more of the same financial crime offenses if both conditions are met: (1) the person committed the financial crime against more than one person or in more than one county and (2) the financial crime offenses are based on the same act or transaction or on a series of acts or transactions connected together or constituting parts of a common scheme or plan.  Sets forth rules related to venue. Requires that the prosecution set forth the facts related to aggregation in its pleading.  If aggregation is allowed, directs the court to use the aggregated value of the money, goods, property, services, chose in action, or other thing of value when determining the level of punishment to be imposed as follows: (1) if the aggregated value is greater than $1,500 then the aggregated offenses will be punished as a Class H felony; (2) if the aggregated value is greater than $20,000 then the aggregated offenses will be punished as a Class G felony; (3) if the aggregated value is greater than $50,000 then the aggregated offenses will be punished as a Class F felony; (4) if the aggregated value is greater than $100,000 then the aggregated offenses will be punished as a Class C felony. Requires the prosecution to prove both the factors relating to aggregation and the aggregated value of the things at value at issue at the defendant’s trial on liability.  If the defendant pleads guilty or no contest to the financial crime offenses but pleads not guilty to the issues related to aggregation, then a jury must be impaneled to determine the issues. Effective December 1, 2023, and applies to offenses committed on or after that date.

    Amends GS 8C-1, North Carolina Rule of Evidence 803, pertaining to the business records exception to hearsay (an out-of-court statement offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted) to allow for records to be authenticated (i.e., verified) with an unsworn certification by the custodian of records or other qualified witness under penalty of perjury that complies with the requirements of 28 US 1746 (federal rule governing unsworn declarations under penalty of perjury), in addition to other listed methods of authentication.  Effective December 1, 2023.