The Federal Courts are full of cases where individuals are offered, and accept, extremely favorable plea deals for short sentences, or no prison time. Felix Sater for one comes to mind. The oversight is supposed to be the requirement that crime victims must be notified. The furor over the Miami US Attorney's failure to advise victims of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein's deal reminds us of this governmental obligation, and rightly so.
Unfortunately, when it comes to the crime of money laundering, which has a maximum 20-year penalty, since the government claims that there are no ascertainable victims, nobody is notified when the laundryman gets a short sentence, house arrest (home confinement), or even a sentence where he or she never serves a day. We have been writing articles for years, detailing specific cases where the sentence is little more than a slap on the wrist, nothing more.
This is incorrect, for successful money laundering causes local real estate prices to rise, when criminals have the money to pay top dollar for properties; luxury cars become scarce, when criminals flush with clean cash can buy them up, and even legitimate businesses are not available for purchase, because money launderers are purchasing them for their clients. We saw that in spades in Miami of the 1980s. Legitimate local residents are all truly victims of a money launderer.
It is submitted that the US Attorney, in all Federal Districts, should publicly post the terms of any plea agreement, for our review and feedback, if appropriate, at sentencing. Let's put an end to secretive plea agreements that the public never sees, because they are buried in a court file that only lawyers know how to access.