State v. Marias

The State indicted Marias with a first-degree money laundering offense, under a theory that the “amount involved” exceeded $500,000. Marias moved to amend the indictment to charge only a third-degree offense, arguing, because he received $63,000 for the merchandise he was able to sell, that sum constituted the “amount involved.” The judge in the lower court calculated the amount involved to be $283,500. The State appealed. The Appellate Div. Court reversed.

The Court ruled that there were reasonable grounds for a jury to decide that the fair market value of the goods that Marias was able to sell exceeded the $500,000 first-degree threshold. Moreover, it was reasonably conceivable that the State will persuade the jury that the replacement cost of the items Marias sold was as much as $546,000 (i.e., $1.946 million minus $1.4 million), and a jury reasonably could find that the fair market value of the goods sold exceeded their replacement cost.