Thursday, November 21, 2013

United States v. Rybicki case brief

United States v. Rybicki case brief summary
354 F.3d 124 (2d Cir. 2003)

A United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York jury returned a verdict of guilty against each defendant on twenty counts of mail fraud (18 U.S.C.S. § 1341), two counts of wire fraud (18 U.S.C.S. § 1343), and one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud (18 U.S.C.S. § 371). Defendants appealed. An appellate panel opinion affirmed the convictions. Defendants petitioned for a rehearing in banc, which was granted.

Defendants, who were attorneys, were charged with depriving insurance companies against whom defendants' clients asserted claims of their intangible right of the honest services of their employees by arranging for secret gratuities to be paid to the insurers' claims adjusters.

  • The appellate court concluded that the statute clearly prohibited a scheme or artifice to use the mails or wires to enable an officer or employee of a private entity (or a person in a relationship that gives rise to a duty of loyalty comparable to that owed by employees to employers) purporting to act for and in the interests of his or her employer (or of the person to whom the duty of loyalty is owed) secretly to act in his or her or another's own interests instead, accompanied by a material misrepresentation made or omission of information disclosed to the employer. 
  • Section 1346 was therefore not unconstitutionally vague as applied to this case. 
  • The jury was properly instructed on the elements of the crimes for which defendants were convicted, and a reasonable jury could have found on the evidence admitted that the defendants had committed those crimes.

The appellate court, en banc, affirmed the judgments of conviction and sentence of the district court.

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