Saturday, December 5, 2009

False Statement Passport Statute Does Not Require Materiality

A defendant convicted of violating 18 U.S.C. 1542, a statute pertaining to a false statement in an application for a passport, argued unsuccessfully that materiality was required. The Second Circuit held that unlike section 1001, materiality was not an element of this particular statute. Authoring the opinion, Hon. Jose Cabranes noted that this issue was one of first impression for this circuit, the Second Circuit.  The court used statutory interpretation analysis to hold that the language of materially was not in this particular statute.  The court noted that its holding was in keeping with other circuits, citing to decisions from the 1st, 9th and 11th Circuits.

The element of materiality presents an interesting issue for courts. In some cases like the false statements statute (18 U.S.C. 1001), perjury (18 U.S.C. 1621), and false declarations (18 U.S.C. 1623), the statutes clearly require an element of materiality. In some cases the nature of the statute requires an element of materiality (See mail fraud, wire fraud, and bank fraud) (See Neder v. United States). 

Some, like myself, argue for requiring materiality with other statutes (arguing for an element of materiality in obstruction of justice cases- see here).  A benefit of requiring materiality is that it can serve as a check on prosecutorial discretion.  It can limit prosecutors who might try to proceed in trivial cases.

Opinion - United States v. Hasan

December 5, 2009 in Judicial Opinions, Obstruction, Perjury | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Petters Guilty

Steve Karnowski, (AP), Jury Finds Minn. Businessman Petters Guilty in $3.5 Billion Ponzi Scheme; Steve Karnowki, StarTribune (AP), Petters defense team plans appeal  It will be interesting to see if the sentences given to Petters is vastly different from those individuals who plead guilty and cooperated.


December 3, 2009 in Verdict | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

In the News & Around the Blogosphere

Houston Chronicle (AP),Lawyers wind down Enron shareholder lawsuit (w/ a hat tip to Bill Olis)

Mike Scarcella & David Ingram, National LJ, Deputy AG Ogden to Resign, Effective in February

David Ingram, BLT Blog,, DOJ Official Headed to White House Post


December 3, 2009 in News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Site for Anti-Bribery Information

Interesting site - TRACE Compendium that catalogs Anti-Bribery Compliance Worldwide.  See here


December 3, 2009 in FCPA | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

In the News & Around the Blogosphere

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Upcoming Conferences

ABA Criminal Tax Fraud - December 3-4, San Francisco here

Crime & Punishment - Charleston Law Review & The Riley Institute - February 18-19 - Download RIL09 CSOL Save the Date

24th ABA Annual National Institute on White Collar Crime - February 24-26 (Miami Beach) here

American Conference Institute, Securities Regulation & Enforcement - March 2010, New York, NY

American Conference Insitute, 23rd Conference on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, March 23-24 New York here

19th Annual Federal Sentencing Guidelines Conference - Federal Bar Association & NACDL - May 12-14, Renaissance Vinoy Hotel, St Petersburg, Florida - Details to Follow


November 29, 2009 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Top Criminal Law Blogs lists their top criminal law blogs here


November 29, 2009 in About This Blog | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)