Spirito was convicted of several federal fraud crimes, including federal program fraud based on three unauthorized credit card transactions. 18 USC 666 prohibits an agent of an organization from receiving, in any one-year period, federal benefits in excess of $10,000 from “embezzl[ing], steal[ing], obtain[ing] by fraud or otherwise without authority knowingly convert[ing] to the use of any person other than the rightful owner or intentionally misappl[ying]” property owned or controlled by that organization and carrying a value of $5000 or more.” At issue was whether Section 666 “criminalizes multiple conversions of less than $5,000, if the government must point to conversions that took place over more than one year to reach the $5,000 statutory minimum.”
The Court answered in the negative, holding that Section 666 “requires each transaction used to reach the aggregate $5,000 requirement to occur within the same one-year period.” The Court engaged in a lengthy review of legislative history to confirm its holding was not contrary to congressional intent. The Court also noted it was joining other circuits in this conclusion.
Appeal from the Eastern District of Virginia
Opinion by Gregory, joined by Motz and Thacker
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