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Honest Services Fraud Case (Other (Not Listed) Sample)
what is Honest services fraud case, Give an example and your judgment . source..
A Case Brief Name Institution A Case Brief Introduction Honest services fraud cases involve a level of corruption depicted by the defendant. These cases are characterized by bribery or extortion on the part of the accused that was otherwise expected to deliver services without expecting any rewards. This type of crime has seen lawmakers battle to distinguish between its substantiality in the private and public sectors (Tucker & Lampson, 2011). However, the Court arrived at a decision that the statute would incorporate fraudulent schemes that deprive another party of their deserved services if they cannot offer bribes and other enticements which will be supplied by a third party that has not been duped. Consider the case that had Jeffery Skilling as the petitioner and the United States as the respondent. Elements of the Crime The Skilling v. the United States case was held in the US Capitol building. The petitioner’s advocate was Sri Srinivasan while that for the respondent was the Deputy Solicitor General, Department of Justice (Skilling v. United States. (n.d.). The petitioners claimed that Skilling, who was the former chief executive officer of Enron, lied to investors about the company’s financial status. At that time, Enron was an energy and commodities company that was ranked seventh by revenue-grossing. Shortly after Jeffery Skilling was appointed CEO, the company was declared bankrupt. Its stocks’ value depreciated significantly. The prosecution argued that Jeffery was well aware of the company’s financial situation and instead of notifying investors, he covered up the case. The company was in the habit of reporting its financial results. However, the prosecution stated that these figures were doctored, and they represented a false picture of the firm. Skilling was at the forefront of manipulation since as the company’s chief executive officer, he authorized these financial reports. Additionally, he made false statements concerning the firm’s finances. All these allegations were substantiated with hard evidence. The government presented, before the Court, improperly manipulated accounting rules. These ensured that losses that were incurred by the less profitable departments appeared in, the most cost-effective ones to cover up for their weakness. To a layman, these figures represented a profitable organization that was worthy of competing with companies that posted high stock prices. The government also declared that the defendant, with aid from some of his colleagues, created third party shell companies (Skilling v. United States. (n.d.). These were vital in their quest for masquerading Enron’s stalemate. The prosecution, therefore, wanted the court to find Skilling guilty of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud, alongside other violations such as insider trading, securities fraud, and making false representations to auditors. Defenses Claimed by the Defense In his case, Jeffery Skilling denied the illegality of his actions. According to him, he had acted in the company’s best interests as was required of him. As Enron’s chief executive officer one of his duties was to be a good ambassador for his corporation. The defense, therefore, argued that his actions were in line with his role as an employee. It is important to note that Skilling accepted that he committed fraud. His protests were directed at his reasons for having perpetrated the fraud. Additionally, Skilling’s defense team claimed that the statements presented before the Court were inadmissible. He claimed that they were taken out of context and that they should not be used against him in that particular case. He acknowledged that the false financial statements were indeed in existence, but they should not be used to substantiate his involvement in honest services fraud. Since the prosecution also used his speech against him, the defense disapproved of the context of which he was quoted (Skilling v. United States. (n.d.). The latter claimed that the statements that Skilling made by word of mouth were also taken out of context. Another defense mechanism was a dismissal of the government’s witnesses. The defense argued that there was no way the Court could ascertain the credibility of the witnesses. The surety that they were not witch-hunting was at stake. For that reason, the witnesses together with their testimonies should have been inadmissible in court since they might as well have ill motives against the defendant. He also argued that the company’s collapse, months after his appointment as the chief executive officer, was a mere coincidence and that the witnesses could not prove his direct involvement in it being declared bankrupt. These counter-arguments provided by the defense bore some fruits despite Jeffery’s protests that they were biased. The defendant argued that the case received the negative publicity that affected the jury and led them to make prejudicial decisions. For that reason, he wanted the case’s venue to be changed, a request that was later denied by the court. Eventually, Jeffery Skilling was found guilty of nineteen counts after four months of trial. This ruling made him file a petition. Constitutional Protection Issues One constitutional provision that was followed to the latter, in this case, was the right to fair trial (Ritchie & JusticeLearning, 2006). The defendant claimed that he would face a biased jury in Houston and therefore wanted the court to relocate the matter to a neutral place. His allegations were accorded the desired seriousness as is evident when the Court made a follow up on the complaints since the constitution protected Jeffery and he had every right to a free and fair trial. Although the co-accused had already received their verdicts in other courts, Jeffery Skilling’s motion was considered since the tribunal was intent on delivering a fair judgment which can only result from a fair trial. For that matter, the Court established that most of Houston’s residents did not recognize Enron’s employees. The latter was therefore not in a position to make prejudicial conclusions due to the publicity that the case was attracting. Additionally, the Court followed the correct procedure, as stipulated in the constitution, when appointing the jury (Ritchie & JusticeLearning, 2006). A pool of potential jurors was presented with a questionnaire that sought to clarify factors such as their political affiliations, professional background, and relationship with Enron Company, among others. In it, they provided answers that were later used to gauge individual possibilities for impartiality or otherwise. Additionally, other qualifying factors were considered based on the potential jurors’ responses. Eventually, jurors were vetted by the Court and counsel and those who were deemed capable of making a judgment based on evidence provided in Court were selected. These efforts by the tribunal clearly indicate that Jeffery’s constitutional concerns were satisfactorily addressed. After the ruling, the defendant exercised his constitutional right by filing a petition (Ritchie & JusticeLearning, 2006). According to the constitution, an individual is allowed to protest court decisions through petitions. Jeffery thought that the tribunal ruling was unfair since according to him, his actions did not depict honest services wire fraud. The defendant argued that Jeffery’s deeds were meant to protect Enron since he did not prioritize his personal interests. However, his petition was rejected, and the Court cited that the jury was mandated to make that decision. One can comfortably state that Jeffery Skilling underwent a free and fair trial. He enjoyed his constitutional rights and was therefore accorded the sentence that he deserved. Case Brief Case Title: Skilling v. the United States (2010) Facts of the Case: Jeffery Skilling, a former chief executive officer of Enron Corporation, was convicted of securities fraud, and conspiracy alongside other violations such as insider trading, and making false representations to auditors by a Texas federal district court. There was a direct appeal by Skillet to the United States Court of Appeal. Issues: Does the “Honest Services” Fraud law as laid down by the legislature demand that the government proves without a reasonable doubt the defendant’s conduct as intending to achieve “private gain”? If it does not, is the Section 1346 that dictates the latter unconstitutionally vague? Should the government rebut the presumption of prejudice based on the concerns by the defendant that the jury may be prejudicial because of widespread community impact caused by elements such as the media on his alleged conduct? If so, is the government obligated to prove beyond reasonable doubt that any such bodies compromised no juror? Holding (the final decision): Yes. The “Honest Services” demands that the government bears the burden of proof in determining the defendant’s conduct as intending to achieve private gain. Section 1346 is adequately confined to cover bribery and kickback schemes. No. The government should not repulse the presumption of prejudice based on the concerns by the defendant that the jury may be prejudicial based on any impacts, and caused by whichever elements. The govern...
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