Justia White Collar Crime Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

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Defendant Marvin Iverson was convicted by jury of engaging in a scheme to defraud JPMorgan Chase and Big Horn Federal Savings. The statute under which he was convicted required that the victims be “financial institutions.” To establish that element of the offense, the government offered the testimony of an FBI agent to try to prove that JPMorgan and Big Horn were insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). On appeal Defendant argued that the agent’s testimony was inadmissible hearsay and violated the best-evidence rule. He also argued that even if the evidence was admissible, it was insufficient to prove that JPMorgan and Big Horn had FDIC insurance at the time of the offense. Despite the government’s concession to the contrary, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the agent’s testimony was not inadmissible hearsay; it was either not hearsay or fell within a hearsay exception. As for the best-evidence rule, Defendant did not raise the issue below and he had not shown plain error. The Court also rejected defendant’s sufficiency-of-the-evidence challenge. View "United States v. Iverson" on Justia Law

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Defendant-Appellant Keith Courtney was convicted by jury of three counts of wire fraud, for which he received a 24-month prison sentence followed by three years’ supervised release and ordered to forfeit $1,601,825.84, the full value of the fraudulent wire transfers at issue in the underlying case. In addition, the court imposed $493,230.88 in restitution. On appeal, defendant argued that: (1) the forfeiture order must be reduced by the amount the lenders received from the properties through mortgage payments and the sale of the properties; and (2) he should have been allowed to inform the jury of the possible sentence and its power to acquit him if they believed the conviction would be unjust. After review, the Tenth Circuit agreed with defendant on his first contention and reversed, and affirmed on the second. The case was remanded for further proceedings. View "United States v. Courtney" on Justia Law

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Defendant-appellant Toby Martinez was convicted of mail fraud and conspiracy, which required the district court to order Martinez to pay restitution. At sentencing, the district court ordered Martinez to pay restitution through monthly installments. Nonetheless, the court later allowed the government to garnish Martinez’s retirement accounts, which exceeded what he owed in installments at the time. Martinez and his wife Sandra contested the garnishments, arguing in part that the government could not enforce payments that were not yet due under Martinez’s court-ordered payment schedule. After review, the Tenth Circuit agreed with Mr. and Ms. Martinez and concluded that the district court erred by allowing the garnishments to proceed. View "United States v. Martinez" on Justia Law