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United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois
September 15, 2022, Decided; September 15, 2022, Filed
Case No. 21-cr-40039-SMY
YANDLE, District Judge:
This matter comes before the Court on Defendant MingQing Xiao's Motion for Judgment of Acquittal or, in the Alternative, for a New Trial (Doc. 184), which the Government opposes (Doc. 189). For the following reasons, the Motion is DENIED.
Xiao was charged in a Superseding Indictment with two counts of wire fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343 (Counts 1 and 2); one count of making a false statement in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001(a)(1) (Count 3); three counts of filing a false tax return in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7206(1) (counts 4-6); and one count of failure to file a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts ("FBAR") in violation of 31 U.S.C. §§ 5313, 5322 (Count 7) (Doc. 57). He entered a not guilty plea and proceeded to a seven-day trial, commencing on April 25, 2022.
At the conclusion of the Government's case-in-chief, the Court granted in part Xiao's motion for judgment of acquittal and dismissed the two wire fraud counts (Counts [*2] 1 and 2). At the close of all the evidence, the jury acquitted Xiao of making a false statement (Count 3) but found him guilty of filing false tax returns and failing to file a FBAR (Counts 4-7).
Motion for Judgment of Acquittal
Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 29 allows a defendant to challenge whether the evidence is "insufficient to sustain a conviction." Fed. R. Crim. P. 29(a); United States v. Kohli, 847 F.3d 483, 489 (7th Cir. 2017). "When challenging a conviction based on sufficiency of the evidence, a defendant bears a heavy burden that is nearly insurmountable." United States v. Moses, 513 F.3d 727, 733 (7th Cir. 2008)). The Court will only overturn the jury's verdict if "after viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the Government, the record is devoid of evidence from which a reasonable jury could find guilt beyond a reasonable doubt." United States v. Wrobel, 841 F.3d 450, 454 (7th Cir. 2016) (quoting United States v. Campbell, 770 F.3d 556, 571-72 (7th Cir. 2014)).
Counts 4-6 charged Xiao with filing a false tax return under 26 U.S.C. § 7206(1) for tax years 2017-2019. Xiao asserts that the Court should acquit him of counts 4, 5 and 6 charging him with filing a false tax return for tax years 2017-2019 because no rational factfinder could have found all the elements of each count beyond a reasonable doubt. More specifically, he argues that the Government failed to prove that he actually prepared, signed, or filed the income tax returns in question and failed to prove [*3] that he willfully failed to report the foreign Ping An bank account on his tax returns.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167058 *; 2022 WL 4250585
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Plaintiff, vs. MINGQING XIAO, Defendant.
Prior History: United States v. Mingqing Xiao, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68630, 2022 WL 1104739 (S.D. Ill., Apr. 13, 2022)
tax return, Counts, foreign bank, new trial, willfully, returns, income tax return, calendar year, reasonable doubt, false statement