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Evidence that a defendant reasonably foresaw that material the defendant supplied to another person would be mailed is sufficient to convict the defendant of mail fraud in supplying the false information that was forwarded through the mails.
Defendant, a grape distributor, was convicted in the district court of conspiracy, mail fraud, and making a false statement to a federal agent, which were based upon a scheme in which the distributor over-charged wineries for grapes purchased from growers. The distributor claimed there was insufficient evidence to support his convictions, the indictment containing multiple counts was duplicitous, and his sentence was improperly computed.
Was there insufficient evidence to support defendant’s convictions?
The court affirmed the convictions and remanded to the district court to resentence, holding that evidence of the distributor's knowledge that false statements were being mailed by another participant in scheme, which involved excessive charges for grapes, was sufficient to support the mens rea necessary to violate the federal mail fraud statute and was sufficient to support the conspiracy convictions. The court further held that the indictment, which charged different counts of conspiracy had based the counts on different violations of federal statutes, which was not duplicitous, and that the district court was required to compute the monetary losses from the fraud scheme in order to properly enhance the distributor's sentence.