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  • #16
    I appreciate hearing from both sides. Good stuff. Thanks.

    Comment


    • #17
      My reply as originally constructed included all your text, and then my responses to it point by point. But it exceeded the 10,000 character limit, so I had to excise much of your text. I've left in specific passages that I'm responding to, but deleted other portions in order to get under the limit.


      .... it is the legislative history the Offices of the U.S. Attorneys choose to quote on their own website: https://www.justice.gov/usam/crimina...ory-18-usc-666. In a better world, a federal prosecutors would be familiar with their own offices' website when dealing with specific criminal statutes.)

      Ok - I apologize for taking the "Reggie Bush" liberties. That was just a little firecracker in the "Family Feud" of UCLA v. USC. And UCLA fans, on BRO or elsewhere, have a significant level of nervousness about the UCLA program and its long-standing affiliation with Adidas. But the bolded passage is simply stunning from someone who wrote that "wire fraud does not really involve conventional notions of fraud". If anyone ever dimed themselves out for not understanding what they are writing about, you did so right there.

      Here's the text of the page from the US Attorney's Manual you are referencing -- and every AUSA has a copy of the US Attorney's Manual in their office -- its required reading.
      The legislative history of 18 U.S.C. § 666 is sparse. Nevertheless, the limited legislative history of 18 U.S.C. § 666 indicates that Congress intended it to be construed broadly, consistent with its purpose of protecting the vast sums of money distributed through Federal programs from theft and fraud. The Senate Report states that 18 U.S.C. § 666 was "designed to create new offenses to augment the ability of the United States to vindicate significant acts of theft, fraud, and bribery involving Federal monies that are disbursed to private organizations or state and local governments pursuant to a Federal program."
      There is nothing in that language to suggest that the use of Sec. 666 in this case is inappropriate -- in fact, it makes the opposite point you make. It recognizes that the language of the statute allows for broad application, just as the Supreme Court has said.

      The second half of the paragraph does not limit application of the statute to instances where federal monies are directly involved, as you suggest.

      As Justice Souter pointed out in the Sabri case, Congress does not have to wait for federal funds to be involved in the fraud or bribe in order to safeguard those monies. A "corrupt" official working for an organization receiving federal funds is an untrustworthy steward of those funds. Allowing prosecution of such individuals, even when their transgressions do not involve federal funds, is a prophylactic safeguard that prevents the possible future abuse of federal monies by that untrustworthy official. Also, because money is fungible, the loss of non-federal funds through fraud or bribery could lead to the misapplication of federal monies in order to replace the non-federal monies lost as a result of the fraud or bribery.


      So .... let's talk about what happened in Salinas. The case arose from a federal contract by which the U.S. Marshals Service agreed to pay the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office in exchange for taking custody of federal prisoners. One of the federal prisoners housed in the Sheriff's jail under this arrangement paid a Deputy and Chief Deputy Sheriff a series of bribes (for the Deputy, $6,000 per month and $1,000 per incident; for the Chief Deputy, a pair of designer watches and a pickup truck) in exchange for so-called “contact visits” in which he remained alone with his wife or, on other occasions, his girlfriend. Salinas was the Chief Deputy.

      ....let's look at what is key in this Salinas case -- .... the bribe was paid by a federal (not a state or local) prisoner.

      The fact he was a federal prisoner is not deemed relevant by the Court anywhere in the opinion. The question is whether the statute covers the defendants, and the bribe payor wasn't a defendant in the case. The Court held that the statute did cover the defendants because the Sheriff's Office received more than $10,000 in federal fund, and the Sheriff and the Chief Deputy were both "agents" of the Sheriff's Office for purposes of the statute. The only matter of significance under the statute is that the Sheriff's office recieved more than $10,000 in federal funds. If you think I'm wrong, then quote for me the language from Judge Kennedy's decision that suggests that I am.

      Maybe this quote is more clear to you since it doesn't include the word "affect" in connection with federal funds:
      The text of § 666(a)(1)(B) is unambiguous on the point under consideration here, and it does not require the Government to prove federal funds were involved in the bribery transaction.

      ... money under the federal contract was wholly connected to the bribe under a conventional "but for" causation analysis: but for the federal money ... there is no federal prisoner being held in custody.....

      Now let's look at who was accused of taking the bribe. In the case of Salinas, it is two deputies who have been tasked with administering the very duties arising with the federal money. ....the very same "but for" test applies to the recipients of the bribe, to wit: but for the federal money ....there are no local deputies being charged with the duty to supervise the custody of a federal prison.

      .....

      Collegiate basketball programs operate entirely outside the parameters of federal monies being paid to the universities. ...The coaches, who accepted the "bribes," were not carrying out any duties connected to any contract or program which arose from federal money.

      ....

      Find for me a reference in Salinas, Sabri, of Fischer which refers to a "but for" test. I'll save you the trouble -- there isn't one. This isn't tort law liability jurisprudence, and principles of tort law don't cross over to criminal law.

      Yes, the bribe payor was a federal prisoner. And what the Supreme Court said is that because of this fact, Salinas wasn't really even a close case because there was a direct connection between the corrupt act and a program funded with federal money. Even though the bribe money (and some of the bribe wasn't even money, it was personal property) had no connection to federal funds, the bribe payor was housed as part of a program that was paid for with federal funds. But its a fundamental error in legal analysis to take that acknowledgement by the Court and try to contort it into a limitation on application of the underlying principle. The Court's exact words were:
      Furthermore, there is no serious doubt about the constitutionality of § 666(a)(1)(B) as applied to the facts of this case. Beltran was without question a prisoner held in a jail managed pursuant to a series of agreements with the Federal Government. The preferential treatment accorded to him was a threat to the integrity and proper operation of the federal program. Whatever might be said about § 666(a)(1)(B)'s application in other cases, the application of § 666(a)(1)(B) to Salinas did not extend federal power beyond its proper bounds.
      But you have to combine that statement by the Court with its earlier statement that federal funds need not be involved at all.

      ... the Supreme Court concluded its analysis ... in the Salinas - "We simply decide that, as a matter of statutory construction, §666(a)(1)(B) does not require the Government to prove the bribe in question had any particular influence on federal funds and that under this construction the statute is constitutional as applied in this case." In other words, Salinas did not hold that someone could be convicted of bribery under 18 USC § 666 wholly independent of the federal money; rather it was simply that the federal money itself did not have to be influenced by the bribe.

      Actually, here is the Court's comment summing up its decision on Sec. 666:
      We simply decide that, as a matter of statutory construction, § 666(a)(1)(B) does not require the Government to prove the bribe in question had any particular influence on federal funds ....
      Your analysis simply confuses a jurisdictional element of the offense -- i.e., that the organization receives more than $10,000 in federal funds -- with an element of the offense conduct, i.e., that there is some connection between the receipt/use of federal funds and the alleged criminal action.

      In Sabri and Salinas the Supreme Court says no such connection is necessary. In Sabri a developer sought to bribe a city councilman in order to get approvals for a development project. The City received federal funding for a variety of purposes. The defendant moved to dismiss the indictment because there was no federal funding involved in his project, and his bribe offer was unconnected to any federal funds.

      Sabri raises what he calls a facial challenge to § 666(a)(2): the law can never be applied constitutionally because it fails to require proof of any connection between a bribe or kickback and some federal money. It is fatal, as he sees it, that the statute does not make the link an element of the crime, to be charged in the indictment and demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt.
      I could include a really long quote here showing how the Court dismissed this attack on the statute. I have quoted above the language from the opinion that federal funds need not be involved because prosecuting corrupt officials works as a safeguard of federal money even when such officials have not yet acted against federal monies. If you want, you can read the 4 paragraphs that follow the above quote. They make it clear as day that no connection to federal funds need be shown in order for the statute as written to apply.

      You've promised everyone here more, and I look forward to your next effort.

      Comment


      • #18
        All of your arguments in the post above would seem to be addressed in this post.

        Returning to our original issue .... does 18 USC § 666 require some nexus between the interest being served by the federal money/program/contract and the alleged bribery/solicitation: a federal District Court in Nevada tackled that issue in United States v. Kranovich, 244 F. Supp. 2d 1109.

        Kranovich was the Sheriff in Lander County. He was charged with violating § 666 by allegedly embezzling funds which the federal prosecutors had alleged from a program for the acquisition of bulletproof vests. However, during the trial, the evidence indicated that the funds Kranovich had actually embezzled came from funds obtained through drug forfeitures that Lander County received under a separate program.

        On an appeal of the conviction, the first issue the District Court sought to then analyze whether there was a sufficient nexus (i.e., connection) between the federal funds Lander County received and the funds that were embezzled by Kranovich. Rather than summarize that analysis, I copying and pasting the key parts of that analysis below. After that, I will analyze the effect on these new cases:

        Kranovich's first argument does not concern the elements listed in the statute. Evidence presented demonstrated that Kranovich was an agent of Lander County; he knowingly embezzled, obtained by fraud, or otherwise without authority, converted or misapplied funds worth at least $ 5,000; and the funds allegedly taken were under the care, custody, or control of Lander County. Moreover, although Kranovich challenges the fourth element in a separate argument, we have held there is sufficient evidence that Lander County received in excess of $ 10,000 under the Federal Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program for the one year period beginning July 1, 2001.

        What the dispute here concerns is whether there is a sufficient connection between the federal funds Lander County received and the funds that were embezzled. Kranovich claims that the government has failed to meet an element of Section 666 that requires proof that the charged misconduct bears a sufficient connection to the expenditure of federal funds or the integrity of federal programs. See United States v. Edgar, 304 F.3d 1320 (11th Cir. 2002). He asserts there was no evidence presented at trial regarding the integrity of a federal program.
        * * *



        However obliquely raised, Kranovich presents an interesting question that cannot be easily dismissed. Here, we have federal funds from the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program which serve as the required $ 10,000 jurisdictional element in Section 666. The funds embezzled, however, did not come from that program. Indeed, they came from funds obtained from the Federal Equitable Sharing Agreement, which Lander County entered into with the federal government. This program provided for distribution of assets seized from drug forfeitures in Lander County. While also a federal program, the equitable sharing agreement did not provide enough funding to supply the basis for jurisdiction.

        Therefore, the issue presented is twofold: First, must the government establish a connection between the federal funds received and the funds embezzled or that there was a threat to the integrity of a federal program? Second, if proof of a connection is required, can that connection be made through a federal program separate from the one that provided the basis for federal jurisdiction?


        A. Existence of a Nexus Requirement Under Section 666.

        Whether Section 666 requires a connection between the funds received and the funds involved in the charged conduct is a subject of debate among the circuits. This debate has been in part fostered by the Supreme Court decision Salinas v. United States, 522 U.S. 52, 139 L. Ed. 2d 352, 118 S. Ct. 469 (1997).

        In Salinas, the petitioner, a former deputy sheriff of Hidalgo County, Texas, was convicted under Section 666 for bribery. Hidalgo County entered into an agreement with the United States Marshals Service whereby the county would take custody of certain federal prisoners in exchange for a grant from the federal government to make improvements to the county's jail. The federal government also agreed to pay the costs of housing each federal prisoner. The defendant was convicted of accepting bribes from a federal prisoner in exchange for "contact visits" with the prisoner's wife and girlfriend. Id. On appeal, the defendant argued that the Government should have been required to prove that the bribe had some effect on federal funds.

        The Court began by noting that Section 666's "expansive, unqualified language, both as to the bribes forbidden and the entities covered, does not support the interpretation that federal funds must be affected to violate § 666(a)(1)(B)." According to the Court, the statute "applies to all cases in which an 'organization, government, or agency' receives the statutory amount of benefits under a federal program." The Court continued by touching on the issue of whether Section 666 could ever be unconstitutional without resolving it:
        furthermore, there is no serious doubt about the constitutionality of § 666(a)(1)(B) as applied to the facts of this case. Beltran was without question a prisoner held in a jail managed pursuant to a series of agreements with the Federal Government. The preferential treatment accorded to him was a threat to the integrity and proper operation of the federal program. Whatever might be said about § 666(a)(1)(B)'s application in other cases, the application of § 666(a)(1)(B) to Salinas did not extend federal power beyond its proper bounds.


        Limiting its holding to the facts of the case, the Court stated that:
        We need not consider whether the statute requires some other kind of connection between a bribe and the expenditure of federal funds, for in this case the bribe was related to the housing of a prisoner in facilities paid for in significant part by federal funds themselves.

        Consequently, the Court left the door open regarding whether or not some nexus must exist between the alleged theft or bribe and the federal funds.

        As a result of the Supreme Court's holding in Salinas, a circuit split has developed on the issue of whether some sort of nexus or connection must be shown. See, e.g., United States v. Dakota, 197 F.3d 821 (6th Cir. 1999) (holding that § 666 does not require any connection between the misconduct and federal funds); United States v. Grossi, 143 F.3d 348 (7th Cir. 1998) (holding that no federal nexus is required); United States v. Santopietro, 166 F.3d 88 (2d Cir. 1999) (holding that some federal connection to the misconduct is required); United States v. Zwick,199 F.3d 672 (3d Cir. 1999) (requiring a connection between the misconduct and a federal interest).

        The Ninth Circuit has not entered this debate post-Salinas. Nor does this circuit's prior jurisprudence provide much insight as to which side it would align itself with. The leading case discussing the reach of Section 666 is United States v. Simas, 937 F.2d 459 (9th Cir. 1991). In Simas, the defendant was a manager of the Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) and was convicted under Section 666 for accepting bribes for the awarding of maintenance and service contracts. Simas argued that because the government did not trace any of the federal funds received by BART to the particular project involved in the bribery, no federal interest was implicated and the Section 666 charge should be dismissed.

        The Ninth Circuit did not agree. It explained that, "the broad language of 18 U.S.C. § 666 does not require a tracing of federal funds to the project affected by the bribe or a showing that the defendant had the authority to administer federal funds." The Simas court reasoned that Congress's interest in passing Section 666 was to protect federal funds by guarding the general integrity of entities that receive those funds.

        While the Simas court held that tracing of federal funds was not required in order to sustain a conviction under Section 666, it did not reach the thornier issue left open by Salinas; namely, whether there need be any connection at all between the funds received and the misconduct in question. As there is no Ninth Circuit precedent to guide us, we adopt what we believe to be the best approach to this issue, given the current split among the circuits.

        As might be expected, two camps have emerged following Salinas. On one side, courts have found that the government need not prove a link exists. The Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Circuits occupy this camp. See United States v. Lipscomb, 299 F.3d 303 (5th Cir. 2002); United States v. Suarez, 263 F.3d 468 (6th Cir. 2001); United States v. Morgan, 230 F.3d 1067 (8th Cir. 2000); United States v. Grossi, 143 F.3d 348 (7th Cir. 1998).

        In these decisions, courts often rely on earlier precedents, which refused to recognize any nexus requirement. Some also infer that because Salinas skirted the issue, rather than impose a requirement when it had the chance, that no requirement is necessary. See, e.g.,Dakota, 197 F.3d at 826 (holding that no nexus is required in part because Salinas left the nature of any necessary connection unanswered); Morgan, 230 F.3d at 1067 (Salinas no more than suggested a link between the funds and the money was required). Still others find support in the statute itself, based on the fact that the language contains no requirement and the statute is to be broadly construed. See, e.g., Lipscomb,299 F.3d at 303 (finding that the plain language of the statute does not require a nexus); Grossi, 143 F.3d at 350 ("It is not our part to trim § 666 by giving its text a crabbed reading."). All in all, these decisions hold that neither the language of Section 666, nor the dictates of the Supreme Court, require such a nexus. Therefore, it would be inappropriate for the courts to impose one.

        The Second, Third and Eleventh Circuits are in the second camp. See United States v. Edgar, 304 F.3d 1320 (11th Cir. 2002); United States v. Zwick, 199 F.3d 672 (3d Cir. 1999); United States v. Santopietro, 166 F.3d 88 (2d Cir. 1999). As a starting point, some of these courts have also looked to the language of Section 666 to resolve the instant issue. However, rather than find the statute's silence determinative of the lack of the need for a connection, they have found the language ambiguous, requiring the courts to look to the legislative history of Section 666. In Zwick, for example, the Third Circuit concluded that Congress intended for some impact, however indirect, on a federally funded program in order to find a violation of Section 666. Zwick, 199 F.3d at 684; see also United States v. Frega, 933 F. Supp. 1536 (S.D. Cal. 1996) (finding that Section 666 was intended to protect the integrity of federal funds and not as a general anti-corruption statute). Other courts like the Second Circuit in Santopietro, relied on its pre-Salinas precedent to find that a requirement of some connection between the offense conduct and a risk to the integrity of the federally funded program was necessary. The Second Circuit reasoned that Salinas did not foreclose it. Santopietro, 166 F.3d at 93. Contrary to the cases in the first camp, these cases hold that a federal interest must be implicated for Section 666 to apply.

        While there is no definitive answer to this question, we are persuaded that proof of a link between the federal funds and the theft or bribe is necessary. Our review of the case law reveals that the holding of the cases in which a nexus is advocated appear better reasoned because they take into account federalism concerns that are potentially troubling. As the Third Circuit in Zwick aptly states:
        If we adopted the government's interpretation that § 666 requires no connection between the offense conduct and federal funds or programming, § 666 would criminalize a host of corrupt acts committed by state agents, among others, by virtue of the fact that all states receive at least $ 10,000 in federal funds per year. This result raises significant federalism concerns, turning traditionally local conduct into a matter for federal enforcement ….

        Zwick, 199 F.3d at 686.

        By not addressing these concerns, the analysis of the courts which have refused to impose a nexus requirement appears a bit shortsighted. Recognizing that Salinas has left the door open to impose such a nexus between the funds and the misconduct, these circuits have shied away from the invitation, preferring to stick safely to prior precedents which provide only that the statute be construed broadly. The problem with this reasoning is that it fails to either acknowledge or resolve the issues raised by the circuits that have found that such a requirement is necessary to stay properly within the bounds of federalism.

        We find further support for our conclusion from the only post-Salinas Supreme Court case interpreting Section 666. In United States v. Fischer,529 U.S. 667, 146 L. Ed. 2d 707, 120 S. Ct. 1780 (2000), the Court discussed the extent of what may constitute a "benefit" under Section 666. Recognizing the expansive nature of the statute, the Court stated that employing a broad, almost limitless use of the term benefit "would turn almost every act of fraud or bribery into a federal offense, upsetting the proper federal balance." Fischer, 529 U.S. at 681; accord Edgar, 304 F.3d at 1324. Requiring that the application of Section 666 be limited to conduct bearing on the expenditure of federal funds or the protection of the integrity of a federal program keeps Section 666 on firm constitutional ground.

        Based on these considerations, we join with the courts that have adopted an offense element requiring that there be a connection between the charged conduct and the expenditure of federal funds by the federal government or the integrity of the operation of a federal program.
        Last edited by chaseinmanhattan; 09-29-2017, 01:31 PM.

        Comment


        • #19
          Returning to our original issue .... does 18 USC § 666 require some nexus between the interest being served by the federal money/program/contract and the alleged bribery/solicitation: a federal District Court in Nevada tackled that issue in United States v. Kranovich, 244 F. Supp. 2d 1109.

          Why torture yourself? You should stop after this post because you are beginning to undermine the facade that you have put forward about being a Manhattan litigator. You have me doubting now whether I'm really debating an attorney, or a first year law student or paralegal.

          1. Kranovich is a District Court written opinion from the District of Nevada. The District Judge held there was a requirement of a nexus between the embezzlement and the expenditure of federal funds in a charge brought pursuant to Sec. 666.

          2. The District Court's opinion was published Feb. 7, 2003

          3. The District Court in its ruling ultimately upheld Kranovichs' conviction, and Kranovich appealed to the 9th Circuit, which had not yet taken a position after Salinas on the question of whether a nexus had to be proven.

          4. Before the 9th Circuit issued its decision on Kranovich's appeal -- wherein the upheld his conviction -- the Supreme Court decided United States v. Sabri, which I also quoted from in my comment above. Sabri was decided by the Supreme Court on May 17, 2004

          5. The 9th Circuit's opinion was issued March 23, 2005.

          Noteworthy in the 9th Circuits opinion is the following:
          Kranovich argues that a connection between the embezzled money and either an expenditure of federal funds or the integrity of a federal program is required for a conviction under 18 U.S.C. § 666.

          Section 666(a) provides for the imposition of criminal penalties against any agent of a state government who embezzles property "valued at $5,000 or more" that "is owned by, or under the care, custody, or control of" that government, provided that the requirements of section 666(b) are satisfied. 18 U.S.C. § 666(a)(1)(A). Section 666(b) requires that such government have received, in any one year period, federal benefits in excess of $10,000. Id. § 666(b). Although the express language of section 666 does not require any other connection between the embezzled funds and a federal interest or program, Kranovich contends such a nexus is a constitutionally required element of this offense. He argues that without a nexus, the "nature of the crime is inherently local and the application of federal jurisdiction violates the spending clause of the constitution."

          This argument is foreclosed by recent precedent, as Kranovich properly concedes in his supplemental brief. In Sabri v. United States, 541 U.S. 600, 124 S.Ct. 1941, 158 L.Ed.2d 891 (2004), the Supreme Court rejected a facial challenge to 18 U.S.C. § 666, stating:

          We can readily dispose of this position that, to qualify as a valid exercise of Article I power, the statute must require proof of connection with federal money as an element of the offense. We simply do not presume the unconstitutionality of federal criminal statutes lacking explicit provision of a jurisdictional hook, and there is no occasion even to consider the need for such a requirement where there is no reason to suspect that enforcement of a criminal statute would extend beyond a legitimate interest cognizable under Article I, § 8.... It is certainly enough that the statutes condition the offense on a threshold amount of federal dollars defining the federal interest, such as that provided here.... Id. at 1945-46. In United States v. Mirikitani, 380 F.3d 1223, 1225 (9th Cir.2004), we stated that "the Supreme Court [in Sabri] not only held that a federal nexus was not an element of the crime, but it held that no federal nexus must be shown at all." We rejected Mirikitani's claim that the existence of a nexus was required to be proven to a jury: "Because the government is not required to establish a federal nexus, the district court did not err by not submitting to the jury the question of whether a federal nexus existed." Id. Sabri and Mirikitani are controlling here, and we therefore hold the government was not required to establish any connection between the embezzled funds and a federal interest, apart from the express requirement 1112*1112 in section 666(b) that the County received federal benefits in excess of $10,000.

          That's it. Game over.

          The district court you cited -- the lowest level federal court whose decisions are controlling over no one -- was later reversed and the rationale put forward by that court, which you adopted to start this entire line of analysis, was tossed out by the Supreme Court in 2004. That was recognized by the 9th Circuit in 2005. No one has suggested the law has changed in the last 12 years.

          Stop.



          Comment


          • #20
            Wow, this thread is incredible. Kudos to both Chase and Ship.

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by shipwreckedcrew View Post

              The district court you cited -- the lowest level federal court whose decisions are controlling over no one -- was later reversed and the rationale put forward by that court, which you adopted to start this entire line of analysis, was tossed out by the Supreme Court in 2004. That was recognized by the 9th Circuit in 2005. No one has suggested the law has changed in the last 12 years.

              Stop.
              I did not quote the District Court case in Kranovich for its value as precedence. After all, the criminal defendant had been found liable under 666 anyway. I quoted to demonstrate how different Circuits had approached the statute, and what types of additional, non-literal requirements were being placed on prosecutors.

              Following on Sabri, which itself only dealt with the constitutional issue, the Ninth and several other Circuits (for example, the Eighth) eliminated a nexus test even outside of the jurisdictional issue. However, some of these very same Circuits, for example, the Fifth, as well as others, have continued to place limitations on the scope of 666 based on the "corruptly" element, which was the whole purpose of my original analysis.

              For example, in United States v. Thomas, 847 F.3d 193 (5th Circuit 2017), a case decided this calendar year, where an accountant had over-billed a traffic court, the Court ruled that the pattern jury instruction was improper, because it failed to adequately "stress the importance that the government meet its burden of proving that this critical federal nexus exists," but ultimately did not constitute reversible error. In United States v. Whitfield, 590 F.3d 325 (2009), another post-Sabri, Court of Appeals decision, which involved benefits provided to two state court judges by a trial attorney. There had been no question the jurisdictional element was met, or that the payments exceeded $5,000. The issue was whether the "corrupt" element had been satisfied by a demonstration of a nexus between the payment and the federal funds. The Court of Appeal ruled that it had not, because the benefits were not "offered or accepted in connection with any business, transaction, or series of transactions of the agency receiving federal funds," i.e., the facts did not demonstrate that the "federal funds were corruptly administered, were in danger of being corruptly administered, or even could have been corruptly administered," and vacated the convictions. In United States v. McLean, 802 F.3d 1228 (11th Cir. 2015), the Court of Appeals held that, in order to reach criminal liability under 666, the Government had to prove "a relationship between the program authorizing a disbursement of federal funds and the ultimate use of those funds at the local level." Finding that the Government had failed to prove such "a connection with programs defined by a sufficiently comprehensive 'structure, operation, and purpose,'" the Court affirmed the acquittal of the defendant.

              My point here is not a black and white one. As I said from the get-go, a literal reading of the statute sweeps up all types of theoretical conduct, which traditionally was not even considered bribery, into criminality. As I have demonstrated, ongoing case law, post-Salinas and post-Sabri, at the Court of Appeals level, continues to place limits on the literal, broad reading of the statute, including by requiring some further level of connection between federal monies and allegedly illicit payments, typically rolled under the element of "corruption."

              I am willing to bet a fair amount of money that once courts begin to look at what is going on with these new cases, and the consequences of finding criminal liability for violations of NCAA By-Laws, that you will see limitations placed on these types of cases by certain courts.

              I say this because I have now read dozens and dozens of § 666 cases, and have not once seen prosecutors take it this far: seeking to indict people with absolutely no connection whatever to federal money, let alone a governmental body, for the act of soliciting and receiving payments in exchange for services that have absolutely nothing to do with federal money or even the operation of the organizations they work for. None of the purposes sought to be achieved by Congress with this legislation -- even giving a broad reading where Congress wanted to prevent the involvement of "corrupt" people in the administration or operation of the federally funded program -- is being met by prosecuting these assistant coaches for the otherwise legal act of setting up financial arrangements between agents and advisors and players' families.




              Last edited by chaseinmanhattan; 09-29-2017, 06:21 PM.

              Comment


              • #22
                Both Chase and SWC know their legal stuff.

                But from a homerism/ sports perspective SWC has had a history of exhibiting some terrible biases and analysis. Couple gems:

                https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DKeFxuQU8AEWYii.jpg:large

                https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CwEfOPtVYAANBh5.jpg

                WOW.

                Also got one of BRO's better posters banned.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by TrojanRay1 View Post
                  Both Chase and SWC know their legal stuff.

                  But from a homerism/ sports perspective SWC has had a history of exhibiting some terrible biases and analysis. Couple gems:

                  https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DKeFxuQU8AEWYii.jpg:large

                  https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CwEfOPtVYAANBh5.jpg

                  WOW.

                  Also got one of BRO's better posters banned.

                  He's a well known sunshine pumper, which I have a feeling influenced his legal position in these posts. I'm guessing he's convinced himself that UCLA is clean in all this. If he thought UCLA might get swept up in this situation, I seriously doubt he'd be taking the position that it's a foregone conclusion that all these criminal defendants can get convicted under the federal bribery statute.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    All those research these guys are doing is to be appreciated. But what is the story in terms the layman can
                    understand?
                    USC this year has finally a squad to contend for the national title. And seems to have been done in a legal and honest manner.
                    It seems foolish for an assistant coach to ruin a 350k /yr career for 13k peanuts. And for recruits giving up a 300k/yr
                    scholarship for 5k. Something just doesn't make sense.
                    USC should come clean on this matter and clean house before more damage can be done.

                    Comment

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