Ocasio v. U.S.

Posted: October 14, 2015 by beguide in Criminal Procedure
WHAT HAPPENED:  Defendant was a Baltimore police officer who was accused of a participating in a conspiracy involving an auto-body repair shop.  The essential facts is that Defendant and the repair shop were involved in some form of kick-back scheme regarding referrals, which is against federal law.
WHY IS THIS BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT:  The charge of conspiracy in this instance requires the State to prove that the participants of the conspiracy harmed someone as part of their conspiracy.  Defendant argues that since he only defrauded the auto body repair shop, he cannot be charged with conspiracy because he only defrauded his co-conspirators.
WHAT IS THE RULING:  This case is not yet decided.
WHAT ARE THE RAMIFICATIONS OF THIS DECISION:  Not much, to be honest.  This case is likely one of statutory interpretation, in that the question involves the text and interpretation of the kickback statute, which is likely an add on charge that results in higher penalties.  This will likely only apply to future persons who are charged with this form of conspiracy, and hopefully if you’re reading this, this is not you.
YOU SHOULD ROOT FOR OCASIO IF YOU:  Enjoy ironic legal arguments, and/or are a aspiring writer of THE WIRE fan fiction.
YOU SHOULD ROOT FOR THE US IF YOU:  Enjoy the karmic retribution of police officers and auto-body repair shops getting overcharged for something.

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