Fraud Cases

The Federal Docket

United States v. Simon Hong (9th Cir. September 2019)

The Court reversed the defendant’s conviction for aggravated identity theft, holding that the defendant did not “use” his patient’s identifying information when he fraudulent billed Medicare for services he never provided them, since he did not use their identifying information for the purposes of passing himself off as another person.

United States v. Isabel Yero Grimon (11th Cir. May 2019)

The Court affirmed the defendant’s conviction for possessing unauthorized access devices affecting interstate commerce, holding that the district court retained jurisdiction despite the guilty plea lacking a factual basis explaining how the defendant’s conduct affected interstate commerce. A district court’s jurisdiction is invoked by an indictment sufficiently alleging a federal offense, while an offense’s “jurisdictional element” only reflects Congress’s power to regulate or prohibit the conduct at issue.

United States v. Sharon Gandy et al. (6th Cir. June 2019)

The Court held there was sufficient evidence to convict the defendants of identify theft and mail fraud. The Court also rejected the argument that the defendants received ineffective assistance from conflicted counsel after the defendants filed bar complaints against them. The Court held that the defendants failed to show that their attorneys had a conflict of interest, let alone were ineffective, since “the state-bar grievances did not create conflicting obligations” and thus did not put the attorneys in a position to have to choose one interest over another.

United States v. Ishaihu Harmelech (7th Cir. June 2019)

The Court held that payments made to a victim of a fraud scream can still be part of the loss amount if the payments were made “in furtherance of the scheme.”

United States v. John Buncich (7th Cir. June 2019)

The Court held that there was ample evidence that the money paid to the defendant-sheriff’s campaign was more than a “campaign contribution,” and that they were in fact made in exchange for “official acts,” where the evidence showed that the awarding and revoking of contracts directly corresponded to the bribes being paid.The Court also held that the district court erred in admitting Rule 404(b) evidence regarding the deposit of a substantial amount of money in the defendant’s bank account since this evidence was unduly prejudicial and provided limited probative value, especially since the amount deposited was more than double the amount of bribes taken in.

United States v. Rosie Diggles, et al (5th Cir. June 2019)

The Court held there was sufficient evidence to convict the defendant of fraud despite her not handling any reimbursement requests based on her role as supervisor at one of the Foundation’s learning centers, her knowledge of the actual costs, and evidence supporting a “reasonable inference that Rosie knew of the overbilling scheme,” including that she was married to one co-conspirator and the daughter of another.

United States v. Jeffrey Cooper (11th Cir. June 2019)

Sixth Amendment/Confrontation Clause – There was no confrontation clause violation when law enforcement agent testified that the victims refused to testify because they feared humiliation since their statements regarding why they would not testify were not testimonial. However, the mens’ reasons for visiting the defendant’s apartment were testimonial statements since they were made in response …

United States v. Jeffrey Cooper (11th Cir. June 2019) Read More »

United States v. Bechir Delva, Dan Kenny Delva (11th Cir. April 2019)

The Court affirmed the defendants’ convictions, holding, among other things, that there was probable cause to justify warrantless search of the defendant’s vehicle where officers could tie the vehicle to identity fraud, the defendant’s repeated use of an access device to obtain benefits reflected knowledge that the access device belonged to a real person, the government was allowed to use a detective as an expert witness on common slang terms in identity fraud cases, and the district court properly applied a firearm enhancement.

United States v. Matthew Munksgard (11th Cir. January 2019)

The Court affirmed the defendant’s convictions for bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. Evidence that the bank in question had been federally insured before the fraud offense and shortly thereafter was sufficient to prove the bank was insured at the time of the offense. In identify fraud cases, the government only has to prove a defendant used another’s identity to accomplish some purpose, and there is no requirement that a defendant use the identity to impersonate another or act on their behalf.

United States v. Lourdes Garcia (11th Cir. October 2018)

The Court affirmed the defendant’s conviction after the District Court judge allowed the Government to present inculpatory testimony in the absence of the Defendant and her Counsel, declining to apply the “structural error” standard to these types of errors and finding that the court’s error did not affect the defendant’s substantial rights under the plain-error standard of review.

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