News & Blog

Bank Fraud Convictions Reversed

The Sixth Circuit’s in United States v. Banyan, reversed the defendants’ bank fraud convictions. The reason: the government didn’t show the defendants got any money from a bank.  The court held:  “…the government charged the defendants wi… Read More
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Drug Quantity Proof / Evidence at Sentencing

In United States v. Rowe, No. 18-1192 (Apr. 2, 2019), the Third Circuit vacated the defendant’s conviction for distribution and possession with intent to distribute 1,000 grams of heroin because the government failed to prove that he distribute… Read More
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Summary of First Step Act

On December 22, 2018, President Trump signed the First Step Act, a prison and sentencing reform bill. Below is a brief summary of some of the provisions. It should be noted that most of the provisions are not retroactive. Modifies Certain Mandatory… Read More
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Categories: Federal Law

Supreme Court Holds That Guilty Plea Does Not Bar Legal Challenge to Constitutionality of Statute of Conviction on Appeal

The Supreme Court recently held that a guilty plea does not bar a federal criminal defendant from challenging the constitutionality of the statute of conviction on direct appeal. In Class v. United States, No. 16-424, _U.S._, 2018 WL 987347 (February… Read More
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Obstruction of Justice Enhancement Under U.S. Sentencing Guideline §3C1.1

The Eighth Circuit in United States v. Parker, 2017 WL 400282 (8th Cir. 2017) held that conduct that occurred after the offense of conviction and after  the trial does not constitute obstruction of justice. Bender, a defendant, was charged with cons… Read More
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Categories: Federal Law
Supreme Court - Law Offices of Hope C. Lefeber

Honeycutt Decision By Supreme Court: Major Victory For The Defense in Criminal Forfeiture

The Supreme Court has just made an important step towards protecting defendants in criminal forfeiture.  In Honeycutt v. United States, No 16-142 (June 5, 2017), the Court held that a defendant may not be held jointly and severally liable for proper… Read More
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Fraud - Law Offices of Hope C. Lefeber

Sentencing Enhancement for Number of Victims Permissible for Identity Theft Conviction Even if Victims Did Not Suffer Financial Loss

The Tenth Circuit recently found it was permissible to add a sentencing enhancement based on the number of victims, even if not all of those victims had suffered financial loss. In United States v. Gonzales, No 16-2022 (10th Cir. 2016), defendant Gon… Read More
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Categories: Fraud
Supreme Court - Law Offices of Hope C. Lefeber

Supreme Court Rules that Appellants Must File A Separate Notice of Appeal from Deferred Restitution Judgments

The Supreme Court, by a 6-2 vote, held that a defendant who wishes to appeal an order imposing restitution in a deferred restitution case must file a separate notice of appeal from that order; if he/she fails to file such an appeal and the government… Read More
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Categories: Federal Law
Bank - Law Offices of Hope C. Lefeber

Second Circuit: Withdrawal of Funds From ATM Does Not Trigger “Financial Institution” Enhancement under U.S.S.G. §2B.1(b)(16)(A) and A Simple Contractual Relationship Does Not Constitute An Abuse of a Position of Trust under §3B1.3.

In United States v. Huggins, 844 F. 3d 118  (2d Cir. 2016) the Second Circuit found that merely withdrawing money from a bank’s ATM does not trigger a sentencing enhancement under § 2B.1(b)(16)(A), which generally adds a two-level enhancement for… Read More
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Categories: Federal Law
Fraud - Law Offices of Hope C. Lefeber

Seventh Circuit Holds That Amount of Loss for Sentencing Enhancement, Restitution and Forfeiture Requires “Reasonable Forseeability” and “Proximate Cause”

In a very important case, the Seventh Circuit departed from the overwhelming majority of cases that with a broad brush, enhance defendants for the full amount of the fraud and order forfeiture and restitution in the full amount, regardless of a defen… Read More
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Categories: Federal Law, Fraud