It’s a separate Federal crime for anyone to conspire or agree with someone else to do something that would be another Federal crime if it was actually carried out.
A "conspiracy" is an agreement by two or more people to commit an unlawful act. In other words, it is a kind of "partnership" for criminal purposes. Every member of a conspiracy becomes the agent or partner of every other member.
The Government does not have to prove that all the people named in the indictment were members of the plan, or that those who were members made any kind of formal agreement.
The Government does not have to prove that the members planned together all the details of the plan or the “overt acts” that the indictment charges would be carried out in an effort to commit the intended crime.
The heart of a conspiracy is the making of the unlawful plan itself followed by the commission of any overt act. The Government does not have to prove that the conspirators succeeded in carrying out the plan.
The Defendant can be found guilty of this crime only if all the following facts are proved beyond a reasonable doubt:
(1) two or more persons in some way agreed to try to accomplish a shared and unlawful plan;
(2) the Defendant knew
the unlawful purpose of the plan and willfully joined in it;
(3) during the conspiracy, one of the conspirators knowingly
engaged in at least
one overt act as described in the indictment; and
(4) the overt act was committed at or about the time alleged and with the purpose of carrying out or accomplishing some object of the conspiracy.
An "overt act" is any transaction or event, even one that may be entirely innocent when viewed alone, that a conspirator commits to accomplish some object of the conspiracy A person may be a conspirator without knowing all the details of the unlawful plan or the names and identities of all the other alleged
If the Defendant played only a minor part in the plan but had a general understanding of the unlawful purpose of the plan and willfully joined in the plan on at least one occasion, that’s sufficient for you to find the Defendant guilty.
But simply being present at the scene of an event or merely associating with certain people and discussing common goals and interests doesn’t establish proof of a conspiracy. A person who doesn’t
know about a conspiracy but happens to act in a way that advances some purpose of one doesn’t automatically become a conspirator.