Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Northern District of Ohio at Cleveland.
No. 1:15-cr-00381-1—Donald C. Nugent, District Judge.
Decided and Filed: August 4, 2017
Before: SILER, SUTTON, and WHITE, Circuit Judges.
SUTTON, Circuit Judge. A sting operation blends fiction with non-fiction. The
undercover officer feigns an offer to commit a crime and the individual accepts the offer,
converting an offer to commit a crime based on untruths into a crime based on a true desire to
violate the law. Sometimes, as it happens, the resulting crime blends non-fiction with fiction. In
this instance, Matthew King, a lawyer, agreed to commit a real crime (by laundering the
supposed proceeds of non-existent drug sales) and offered to do so on the basis of a moneylaundering
technique observed on a fictional T.V. show (by imitating Saul Goodman, a lawyer
character on Breaking Bad, who set up a sham corporation to launder drug proceeds).
This did not end well. A jury convicted King of two counts of money laundering and one
count of attempted money laundering. King appeals his convictions on two grounds: (1) that the
introduction of recorded conversations between him and the informant violated his Sixth
Amendment right to confront the witnesses against him, and (2) that the district court improperly
allowed the prosecution to ask him about his prior arrest for cocaine possession. We affirm.