Articles Posted in US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

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Defendant appealed his 180 month sentence after he was convicted of assaulting a federal officer and was sentenced as a career offender. In light of Beckles v. United States, 137 S. Ct. 886 (2017), the Second Circuit found that New York first‐degree robbery categorically qualifies as a crime of violence under the residual clause and the court therefore need not address defendant's argument based on the force clause. The court also found that defendant's sentence was substantively reasonable. Accordingly, the court affirmed the sentence and remanded for further considerations. View "United States v. Jones" on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit granted in part and denied in part a motion to abate David Brooks' offenses related to fraud and securities laws. Brooks was the founder, Chair of the Board of Directors, and CEO of DHB Industries, a publicly traded company. The court held that Brooks' counts of conviction resulting from the verdict abated with his death, but not the counts resulting from his guilty plea. The court also held that the bail bond subscribed by Brooks and his family remained forfeited. Finally, the order of restitution related to the fraud and securities laws counts was abated but not the order of restitution related to the tax counts. View "United States v. Brooks" on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit held that its appellate jurisdiction extended to defendant's challenges to both his conviction and sentences for various fraud and theft charges. In this case, the notice of appeal form stated defendant's intent to appeal his judgment of conviction and his narrower designation of issues appeared only in an administrative section of the same form. On the merits, the court affirmed the conviction and sentence, holding that the evidence was sufficient to support defendant's conviction for mail fraud; the district court did not improperly instruct the jury regarding the materiality element for the mail fraud counts; and the district court did not commit procedural error by applying the Guidelines' loss calculations. View "United States v. Caltabiano" on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of defendant's motion to suppress physical evidence that he had body-packed narcotics into Vermont. The court held that police were not under an obligation to release defendant after x-rays taken pursuant to a search warrant did not reveal evidence that he was body-packing; suppression was not an appropriate remedy in this case for failure to comply with the 48‐hour rule established by County of Riverside v. McLaughlin, 500 U.S. 44 (1991), because such failure was not the cause of the officers' discovery that defendant was, in fact, body‐packing narcotics; and applying the framework established in McLaughlin, the evidence adduced by defendant did not reveal that the police unreasonably delayed his Gerstein hearing. View "United States v. Pabon" on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit affirmed defendant's sentence of 180 months in prison after he was convicted of assaulting a federal officer. In light of Beckles v. United States, 137 S. Ct. 886 (2017), which held that the residual clause of the Career Offender Guideline—a second basis for finding a crime of violence—was not unconstitutional, the court held that New York first‐degree robbery categorically qualifies as a crime of violence under the residual clause and the court need not address defendant's argument based on the force clause. The court also held that defendant's sentence was substantively reasonable. View "United States v. Jones" on Justia Law

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Petitioner challenged the denial of his habeas corpus relief in regard to his state convictions for criminal impersonation and forgery. The Second Circuit held that four of the criminal impersonation convictions must be vacated under Shuttlesworth v. City of Birmingham, 382 U.S. 87 (1965), but that five of them were reliably supported by the evidence; the criminal impersonation statute was not unconstitutionally vague or overbroad; the criminal forgery statute, as interpreted by the trial court and the court of appeals, was so clearly overbroad as to be facially unconstitutional notwithstanding AEDPA deference; and thus the court narrowed the statute to save it, and granted the habeas petition as to some (but not all) of the forgery convictions. View "Golb v. Attorney General of the State of New York" on Justia Law

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Defendants Brian Gill, David Gill, and Samuel Waco McIntosh appealed from their conviction of committing and conspiring to commit a drug-related murder. Brian and David also appealed their convictions for conspiring to distribute at least 280 grams of cocaine base. The Second Circuit affirmed the convictions, holding that the defect in the superseding indictment did not amount to plain error, the district court did not abuse its discretion in admitting the challenged evidence, there was sufficient record evidence to support the convictions, and the claim of perjury was unsubstantiated. View "United States v. Gill" on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit vacated defendant's 46 month sentence after pleading guilty to illegally attempting to reenter the United States after having been deported. Because the sentencing court did not explain the reasoning behind the sentence imposed, or expressly adopt the PSR in open court, and because the factual findings in the PSR were not, by themselves, clearly adequate to support the sentence, the court concluded that defendant's sentence was procedurally unreasonable and that the sentencing judge therefore erred in calculating the Guidelines range. Because the court vacated defendant's sentence as procedurally unreasonable, the court need not address defendant's alternate argument that his sentence was substantively unreasonable. The court remanded for resentencing. View "United States v. Genao" on Justia Law

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Defendant was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and two counts of securities fraud in connection with an insider trading scheme. After defendant's conviction, the Second Circuit issued a decision in United States v. Newman, 773 F.3d 438 (2d Cir. 2014), which elaborated on the Supreme Court's ruling in Dirks v. S.E.C., 463 U.S. 646 (1983), concerning liability for a "tippee" who trades on confidential information obtained from an insider, or a "tipper." While defendant's appeal was pending, the Supreme Court issued a decision in Salman v. United States, 137 S. Ct. 420 (2016), which rejected certain aspects of Newman's holding. The court held that the logic of Salman abrogated Newman's "meaningfully close personal relationship" requirement and that the district court's jury instruction was not obviously erroneous. The court also held that any instructional error would not have affected defendant's substantial rights because the government presented overwhelming evidence that at least one tipper received a financial benefit from providing confidential information to defendant. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "United States v. Martoma" on Justia Law

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The United States appealed the district court's order precluding the government from introducing at trial certain testimony by a co-defendant turned government witness on the basis of the common-interest rule of attorney-client privilege. The Second Circuit reversed the judgment of the district court, finding nothing in the circumstances in this case to support the application of the privilege. Here, the excluded statements were not made to, in the presence of, or within the hearing of an attorney for any of the common-interest parties; nor did the excluded statements seek the advice of, or communicate advice previously given by, an attorney for any of the common-interest parties; nor were the excluded statements made for the purpose of communicating with such an attorney. View "United States v. Krug" on Justia Law