In an attempt to curtail the smuggling of undocumented immigrants by trafficking organizations (known as "coyotes") from Mexico to Arizona, the Arizona Attorney General obtained warrants and seized millions of dollars of money that had been wire transferred from Arizona to Mexico. As part of the ...
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In an attempt to curtail the smuggling of undocumented immigrants by trafficking organizations (known as "coyotes") from Mexico to Arizona, the Arizona Attorney General obtained warrants and seized millions of dollars of money that had been wire transferred from Arizona to Mexico. As part of the Attorney General's ongoing criminal investigation into human smuggling and his use of sweeping warrants, the State requested Western Union to produce data reflecting any wire transfers made in an amount of $300 or more to any location in Sonora, Mexico from any Western Union location worldwide for a three-year period. The request was made on April 21, 2006, pursuant to Arizona state statute A.R.S. § 13-2315(A), which requires financial institutions to produce records to the Attorney General when the request is accompanied by a sworn statement that the request is made "in order to investigate racketeering." When Western Union challenged the request, the Attorney General indicated that the document request was also made pursuant to a state statue that authorized certain investigations of money transmitters. A.R.S. § 6-1242.
To resolve the issue of enforceability of the subpoena, the parties filed a joint application for review with the Maricopa County Superior Court. The Superior Court (Judge James H. Keppel) issued an order that the request was enforceable, and Western Union appealed. On September 11, 2007, the Court of Appeals (Judge G. Murray Snow) vacated the order and remanded the case. State ex rel. Goddard v. W. Union Fin. Servs., Inc., No. 1 CA-CV 96-0700, 2007 WL 2597670 (Ariz. Ct. App. Sept. 11, 2007). Writing for the majority, Judge Snow found the Attorney General's request to be extremely overbroad and reasoned that enforcement of the request would require Western Union to produce data of wire-transfers to locations that had no connection to Arizona.
Note that while Western Union was litigating the issue of subpoenaed records, it was engaged in other litigation relating to the Arizona Attorney General's attempted seizure of wire transferred funds. See IM-AZ-0007
A year and a half after remand, in March of 2009, the State submitted an application to the Superior Court for an order enforcing subpoenas pursuant to A.R.S. § 13-2315. Over the next two months, the parties briefed the issue, but in May, the State withdrew its application. In March 2010, the parties stipulated to dismissal, and the case was closed.Dan Dalton - 09/17/2007
Dan Whitman - 11/18/2014