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For instance a defendant in a court case where he is accused of domestic violence might tell the jury that he donated money to domestic abuse charities and helped sufferers, so it would seem unlikely that he was guilty. He does this to cover his tracks and to ensure that he mitigates his chances of getting sentenced.

Some sentences I considered: 'It appears that the Defendant has donated to domestic abuse charities as a screen for his iniquities'.

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3 Answers 3

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Sounds like:

Subterfuge: deception by artifice or stratagem in order to conceal, escape, or evade (Websters)

However, having made this argument in court before in reference to the defendant's actions, I prefer artifice. The definition is more general, but it rolls off the tongue more easily.

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I suggest smoke screen, which Merriam-Webster defines as—

a screen of smoke to hinder enemy observation of a military force, area, or activity

something designed to obscure, confuse, or mislead.

As you can see, the second meaning of the word fits the bill quite nicely. Thus, you could say:

It appears that the defendant is hiding his iniquities behind a smoke screen of philanthropy.

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Cover-up is also a possibility here, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cover-up

a device or stratagem for masking or concealing

concerted effort to keep an illegal or unethical act or situation from being made public

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