Dubin v. United States (U.S. Supreme Court, June 2023)

The Federal Docket

July 21, 2023

David Dubin was convicted of healthcare fraud and aggravated identity theft under 18 USC 1028A(a)(1), which applies a two-year consecutive sentence on top of any underlying offense where a defendant “knowingly transfers, possess, or uses, without lawful authority, a means of identification of another person. The government argued that Dubin’s use of patient information (such as their reimbursement number) to submit fraudulent billing to Medicaid met the elements of aggravated identity theft under 1028A.

In an 8-1 opinion, with Justice Gorsuch concurring in the judgment, the Court held that using a patient’s information as part of a fraudulent billing offense does not constitute aggravated identity theft under 1028A, as a defendant’s “use” of another person’s “means of identification” must occur “in relation to” the predicate offense–in other words, the use of another person’s identity must be “at the crux” of the underlying predicate offense. The Court found that allowing 1028A to apply any time any offense involved any use of another person’s means of identifications would result in an overbroad application of the statute. As such, the use of another’s identification must bear a nexus to the underlying offense.

Opinion by Sotomayor joined by Roberts, Thomas, Alito, Kagan, Kavanaugh, Barrett, and Jackson
Concurring opinion by Gorsuch

Click here to read the opinion.

Tom Church - Tom is a trial and appellate lawyer focusing on criminal defense and civil trials. Tom is the author of "The Federal Docket" and is a contributor to Mercer Law Review's Annual Survey in the areas of federal sentencing guidelines and criminal law. Tom graduated with honors from the University of Georgia Law School where he served as a research assistant to the faculty in the areas of constitutional law and civil rights litigation. Read Tom's reviews on AVVO. Follow Tom on Linkedin.

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