Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Third Circuit affirms convictions and sentence in bank fraud/money laundering conspiracy

On August 20, 2007, the Third Circuit ordered published its July 31, 2007, opinion in United States v. Greenridge, Case No. 05-4887, which concerned a bank fraud and money laundering conspiracy. The conspiracy involved stealing corporate checks, falsifying the payee names thereon, and depositing the checks in business and personal accounts to make the funds appear legitimate. The defendants raised a variety of issues challenging their convictions, and one of the defendants challenged his sentence as unreasonable.

The Third Circuit affirmed the district court on all of the issues. It held that the district court (1) properly refused to instruct the jury on a variance between the indictment (which alleged a single conspiracy among the defendants on each count) and the proof at trial (which defendants said instead showed a conspiracy per defendant per count); (2) did not abuse its discretion by admitting evidence of a defendant’s prior crime to impeach the credibility of an out-of-court statement by that defendant pursuant to F.R.E. 806; (3) did not abuse its discretion by allowing the government to admit evidence to impeach a defendant’s testimony by direct contradiction pursuant to F.R.E. 607; (4) properly denied the Rule 29 motions of two defendants, who claimed that the government failed to show their involvement in transactions necessary to support the charges; and (5) imposed a reasonable sentence after giving meaningful consideration to the § 3553(a) factors.

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