Sunday, December 22, 2013

United States v. Duncan case brief

United States v. Duncan case brief summary
919 F.2d 981 (5th Cir. 1990)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Defendants sought review of their convictions after a jury trial by the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana which convicted defendants of mail fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C.S. § 1341, and conspiracy, in violation of 18 U.S.C.S. § 371. On appeal, defendants raised a litany of issues to challenge their convictions.

CASE FACTS
Defendants were convicted after a jury trial by the district court of mail fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C.S. § 1341, and conspiracy, in violation of 18 U.S.C.S. § 371, related to defendants' involvement in defrauding insurance companies by filing false claims under defendants' hospitalization policies.

DISCUSSION

  • On appeal, the court affirmed defendants' convictions. 
  • The court held in part that the district court's denial of defendants' motion to change venue was proper, because: 
  • (1) defendants failed to show prejudice; 
  • (2) the contested evidentiary rulings were properly made, as the insurance companies' records were properly admitted under Fed. R. Evid. 803(6); 
  • (3) the testimony of a supervisor regarding a signature forged by one defendant was relevant under Fed. R. Evid. 401 and admissible under Fed. R. Evid. 403; 
  • (4) the summary evidence was admissible under Fed. R. Evid. 1006; 
  • (5) the limitation of the cross-examination of two government witnesses was proper under Fed. R. Evid. 608(b), 403; 
  • (6) the direct and circumstantial evidence presented by the government was sufficient to support defendants' convictions of both mail fraud and conspiracy; and, 
  • (7) the severity of defendants' sentences was not excessive.

CONCLUSION
The court affirmed the defendants' conviction of mail fraud and conspiracy in a jury trial in the district court. The court held in part that the denial of the motion to change venue was not prejudicial, the contested evidentiary rulings complied with the Federal Rules of Evidence, the evidence was sufficient to support defendants' convictions of mail fraud and conspiracy, and the severity of defendants' sentences was not excessive.

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