United States v. Stockman
Opinion Date: January 10, 2020
Judge: E. Grady Jolly
Areas of Law: Criminal Law, White Collar Crime
The Fifth Circuit affirmed defendant's convictions on twenty-three felony counts related to his role in schemes to defraud philanthropists, using their money to finance his personal life and political career. Defendant served two nonconsecutive terms in the United States House of Representatives. The court held that the district court's jury instructions were not erroneous; it was not plain error for the district court to define 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organizations in the charge, and defendant was not entitled to an instruction on good faith; the district court did not err by denying defendant's motions for judgment of acquittal under Rule 29; the government provided ample evidence that defendant fraudulently devised, and implemented, a scheme to deprive two donors of their money and property, thus allowing the jury to rationally find him guilty of mail fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering; and the Federal Election Campaign Act's contribution limits apply to coordinated spending on political communications, irrespective of whether those communications contain magic words of express advocacy.
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