Third Circuit - Chapter 3 Adjustments

United States v. Capps, 977 F.3d 250 (3d Cir. 2020). The court committed plain error when it applied a two-level enhancement under §3B1.3 for abuse of trust in a money laundering case. Application Note 2C at §2S1.1 states that the abuse of trust enhancement applies only to the money laundering conduct, not the underlying offense from which the laundered funds were derived. While the defendant occupied a position of trust with respect to the mail fraud, he did not occupy a similar position for the money laundering conduct.

United States v. Raia , 993 F.3d 185 (3d Cir. 2021). When a conspiracy involves at least five participants, §3B1.1 does not authorize a 2-level increase for aggravating role. In such a case, the court can apply a 3- or 4-level enhancement or no enhancement at all.

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