Fraud Cases

The Federal Docket

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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