Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Can a Breach of Contract Be the Basis for a Wire Fraud Conviction

An interesting case is pending in the 11th Circuit that considers whether a breach of a real estate contract can be the basis for a wire fraud conviction. The case involves a failure to disclosure a sinkhole when selling a residence.  There is a huge federalism question here that is magnified by the fact that Alabama "employ[s] the cannon of caveat emptor in real estate transactions." But the most interesting aspect of the case is the government's taking a civil action and using the wire fraud statute to prosecute the conduct.  I'll withhold further comment until after I have seen the government's brief - but I have to wonder if this is the case that the late-Justice Scalia was waiting for to limit the reach of the mail/wire fraud statutes.  

Appellant's Brief - Download Defendant-Appellant's Initial Brief

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https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/whitecollarcrime_blog/2016/07/can-a-breach-of-contract-be-the-basis-for-a-wire-fraud-conviction.html

Fraud, Prosecutions, Prosecutors | Permalink

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