United States v. Michael Kimbrew (9th Cir. December 2019)

The Court found that there was sufficient evidence to convict the defendant for bribery based on evidence that he took money from an undercover agent to perform an official act, even though the defendant lacked the actual ability to exert the promised influence necessary to perform the official act. The Court explained that the Government does not have to prove that a bribery defendant actually has the ability to achieve the promised outcome since the crime of bribery is based on the agreement, not the outcome.

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United States v. Steven Wang (9th Cir. December 2019)

The Court held that the sentencing court committed plain error by applying the general-fraud Guidelines under U.S.S.G. § 2B1.1 because the defendant’s mail fraud conviction also established a visa fraud offense specifically covered under U.S.S.G. § 2L2.1, the Guideline for visa fraud.

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United States v. David Blaszczak, et al. (2d Cir. December 2019)

The Court held that confidential, nonpublic information generated and held by a government agency constitutes "property" in Title 18 fraud offenses. The Court also held, unlike in Title 15 securities fraud cases, a defendant charged with securities or wire fraud under Title 18 does not have to receive a personal benefit to be convicted.

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United States v. Annamalai Annamalai (11th Cir. September 2019)

Among other rulings on other issues, the Court reversed the defendant's conviction for bankruptcy fraud, holding that the income from his second religious temple, opened after the first temple filed a petition for bankruptcy and providing the same services as the first temple, did not constitute post-petition property of the first temple's estate since the temples otherwise operated as two separate entities and the government did not try to pierce the corporate veil.

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United States v. Alphonso I. Waters, Jr. (11th Cir. September 2019)

The Court affirmed the defendant's convictions for wire fraud, holding that the district court did not abuse its discretion in rejecting proposed jury instructions that distinguished a "scheme to defraud" from a "scheme to deceive," since the proposed instructions did not also include language defining an intent to harm based on a misrepresentation of the nature of the bargain.

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