by Mindy Aguon
Guam - A motion for a judgment of acquittal was filed in the criminal case against Ernesto Verdera. He was arrested after he allegedly attempted to smuggle more than $800,000 out of the United States concealed in checked baggage. The motion was made during the trial but according to the motion, the judge never decided on the request finding that it was a "close call" with some very compelling arguments.
The jury returned a guilty verdict for the bulk cash smuggling charge, but not for the conspiracy charge. Defense Attorney Howard Trapp maintains the government would have had to prove that his client knew that a report of the amount transported was required to be filed with the Secretary of the Treasury, something he maintains the evidence cannot support.
Verdera is scheduled to be sentenced in January.