Sunday, December 22, 2013

United States v. Drake case brief

United States v. Drake case brief summary
932 F.2d 861 (10th Cir. 1991)

Appellant challenged an order of the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, which convicted him of wire fraud, 18 U.S.C.S. § 1343.

After a jury trial, appellant was convicted on six counts of wire fraud under 18 U.S.C.S. § 1343.

  • The appellate court affirmed, holding that the evidence was sufficient to support a finding that appellant engaged in a scheme to defraud by misrepresentation. 
  • Specifically, appellant assured a creditor that no one else had a security interest in his account receivables, which was untrue. 
  • It was irrelevant whether such creditor would have been deceived by such misrepresentation (there was a financing statement on file). 
  • Rather, the focus of the inquiry was on appellant's mens rea: whether his actions were calculated to deceive. 
  • The prosecutor's cross-examination of appellant about his educational background was proper as an attempt to impeach appellant by contradiction. 
  • Such questioning did not violate Fed. R. Evid. 608(b), as questions could not be extrinsic evidence. 
  • Further, even though the questions assumed facts not in evidence (appellant's educational record), their admission was not harmful, as several similar questions had been posed without objection.

Appellant's conviction for wire fraud was affirmed, because the evidence was sufficient to show that appellant engaged in a scheme to defraud by misrepresentation and cross-examination of appellant regarding his educational background was proper.

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