Monday, February 23, 2009

Senate Happenings - Criminalizing the Filing of False Fishing Licenses

An executive business meeting is set for the Senate Judiciary Committee for February 26, 2009.  On the agenda are S. 386 - Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act and S. 49 - Public Corruption Prosecution Improvements Act (see here). The most troublesome aspect of this latter bill is its attempt to provide increased prosecutorial power on mail and wire fraud offenses. Section 3 is titled, "Application of Mail and Wire Fraud Statutes to Licenses and Other Intangible Rights."  It looks like an attempt to circumvent the Supreme Court ruling in United States v. Cleveland, where the Court held that licenses were not property for purposes of mail fraud. Imagine this scenario - a person answers a question incorrectly on their mailed application for a fishing license.  Assuming other aspects of the statute being met, the government would now be able to prosecute them federally for mail fraud.  Adding the words "or any other thing of value" might not include licenses, but the title of this provision sure is an attempt to try to increase prosecutorial power to include them.  There needs to be some limits to this already near limitless statute, and this provision is not moving in the correct direction.

(esp)(w/ a hat tip to Tiffany Joslyn of NACDL)

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/whitecollarcrime_blog/2009/02/an-executive-bu.html

Congress, Corruption, Fraud | Permalink

TrackBack URL for this entry:

http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341bfae553ef01127905530328a4

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Senate Happenings - Criminalizing the Filing of False Fishing Licenses:

Comments

Could you be any more partisan? Congress enacting legislation to overrule a Supreme Court decision is not "CIRCUMVENTING" the decision. It is Congress doing precisely what it is supposed to do. You just don't like the policy choice.

Posted by: Steve | Feb 23, 2009 6:16:09 PM

Post a comment