United States v. Morris (8th Cir. July 2022)

The Federal Docket

August 8, 2022

After a bench trial, Bradley Matheny was convicted of several smuggling and postage counterfeiting charges, sentenced to 36 months of imprisonment, and ordered to pay over $200,000 in restitution to the U.S. Postal Service. Matheny appealed on several grounds.

The Eighth Circuit upheld Matheny’s conviction and sentence but reversed the order of restitution. Reviewing the legal conclusions underlying the calculation de novo, the appellate court found that the district court’s order had included categories of loss that were not permitted by the law. Restitution may only be ordered for the loss caused by the specific conduct that is the basis of the offense of conviction. Since none of Matheny’s statutes of conviction listed a scheme, conspiracy, or pattern of criminal activity as an element, his restitution order was limited to only the loss caused by his forgery of stamps.

Appeal from the Northern District of Iowa
Opinion by Gruender, joined by Benton and Grasz

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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