Conspiracy to Defraud the United States

Business Law Final

The case involving John is a part of a pattern of behavior that is designed to benefit him at all costs. This has made him more egotistical in his dealings with others by knowingly violating the law. As he is has been indicated and never found guilty 10 times. This is problematic, as it is giving John and his associates a sense of aloofness. To effectively curtail these activities a review needs to be conducted of what illicit dealings he is involved in. This will be accomplished by focusing on: the key facts / issues in the case, the way the rule of law applies, how they are relevant to this circumstance and what conclusions can be drawn. Together, these elements will demonstrate how John is knowingly breaking the law based upon his actions.

To determine the different facts of the case, there will be a focus on: the issues, rules, applications and conclusions (IRAC method). This will provide specific insights that will highlight the options prosecutors have available in going after John. Once this takes place, is when they can prevent his actions from causing further problems in the future.

What are the key facts and Issue in the case?

There are many different facts / issues that are considered to be relevant to this case. The most notable include:

John is defrauding the government by cashing the checks of dead veterans for two months and then reporting it to actuaries.

He is using these profits to open up businesses.

John believes that he is above the law and will engage in any kind of activities that he feels appropriate to include: attacking employees who cheat him and threatening the family of competitors.

He is in possession of a tiger that attacked a 16-year-old boy.

He is purchasing and selling different notes in an effort to increase his profit margins.

These different elements are illustrating how John is continuing to engage in actions that are considered to be criminal. Where, he is trying to hide behind his position, in order to justify his behavior.

What rules of law apply to the case?

There are many different laws that John is violating. The most notable include:

18 U.S.C. § 371 (Conspiracy to Defraud the United States): This is law states that anyone who is involved in a conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government of property or money is in violation of the statue. The language says that two people must play a role in committing these kinds of activities.

However, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that this provision can be applied to anyone who is intentionally defrauding the U.S. government. Evidence of this can be seen with the Supreme Court saying (in Hammerschmidt v. United States), “The general purpose of this part of the statute is to protect governmental functions from frustration and distortion through deceptive practices. Section 371 reaches any conspiracy for the purpose of impairing, obstructing or defeating the lawful function of any department of government. The defraud part of section 371 criminalizes any willful impairment of a legitimate function of government, whether or not the improper acts or objective are criminal under another statute.” This is illustrating how John is in direct violation of the statue based upon the scheme that he is running (i.e. defrauding the government of dead veterans’ checks). (“18 U.S.C. § 371”)

The Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO): This is a federal law that allows prosecutors to go after anyone who is a part of criminal enterprise. Some of the different violations that fall under this statute include: embezzlement, fraud, obstruction of justice and money laundering. John is violating this provision by using his illegal funds to run legitimate businesses (in an effort to hide the gains). (“18 USC Chapter 96”)

Assault: John is in violation of state laws on assault. This occurred when he attacked an employee for stealing from him with a baseball bat (effectively cracking his skull). Under the statute, this occurred with him intentionally attacking this person in the counting room (at one of his businesses). Moreover, the threat that he made against another nightclub owner falls under this basic definition. This is because he is creating fear that the other person will be the subject of bodily harm. (Larson)

Attempted Murder: This is when someone will engage in actions without disregard for human life. The way John attacked his employee, is illustrating how he knowingly wanted to inflict harm upon this person. (“Attempted Murder”)

The law controlling exotic animals: In this case, John could be in violation of the law by possessing a tiger (which may be banned in the state or he is required to have a license). There is also the possibility that no regulations would apply. However, this depends upon the state that John is living in. (“Summary of State Laws”)

Negotiable Instrument without Recourse, Holder in Due Course and Fraud: Under this aspect of the law, John has to honor any kind of promissory notes that are sold to another party. At the same time, the deal that he made with Shady Sam is considered to be fraud. This is because John and Shady misrepresented the facts of the case to another buyer (who is suing the original party). (“Uniform Commercial Code”) (“Fraud Laws”)

How are the rules of law applied to the particular facts and circumstances of this case?

There are many different laws that can be applied to the facts and circumstances of the case. As far as 18 U.S.C. § 371 (Conspiracy to Defraud the United States) is concerned, John is intentionally stealing money from the U.S. government. This is considered to be in violation of the law by knowingly hiding and defrauding federal officials.

Moreover, the RICO statutes are applicable. This is because the illegal funds were used to create legitimate businesses to hide the gains that John was making. These elements are showing how John should be arrested and charged with violating these federal laws.

The statues on assault are relevant in the case involving: John threatening another nightclub owner and his family with violence. A few days later, when he saw an employee stealing money from him, is that point that John grabbed a bat and hit him in the head (cracking his skull). After this happened, John said, “Nobody steals from me.” This is illustrating how John engaged in activities that are physically harming others or threatening them with violence.

Under the law, John should be arrested by local authorities for the attack on the employee. Moreover, one could potentially argue that John engaged in attempted murder by grabbing a blunt instrument and hitting the person the way he did. This is highlighting how he went into the situation with the intention of causing bodily harm to this employee (which could be considered to be attempted murder based upon: the malice and intent of the perpetrator). The fact that he was disregarding human life is an indication that John violated this portion of the law. As a result, John should be arrested immediately for the assault and attempted murder.

The laws on exotic animals may or may not apply based upon the state that John lives in and if he has a permit. However, he is subject to damages that the animal caused to the 16-year-old boy when he escaped. In this aspect, animal control and the police should remove the tiger out of concern for public safety.

The negotiable instrument without recourse and holder in due course, means that John must honor the deal he made with William. As the sale of the promissory note to Frank is William forfeiting his rights to proceeds from the transaction. However, John also engaged in similar transaction with a car that was knowingly defective. In this aspect, John and Shady Sam are in violation of fraud statutes. As a result, both should be arrested and charged with fraud for their involvement in the illicit transaction.

What conclusion should be drawn?

The conclusion that can be drawn from these events is that John has a pattern of knowingly violating the law. This is troubling, as this trend will continue until he is stopped. As a result, John should be arrested initially on attempted murder and assault. Once this takes place, is when prosecutors can begin including federal charges against him. At the same time, they can work with state to coordinate their case. This will make it harder for John to claim that he is the victim of overzealous prosecution. Instead, the government can show that he is the head of a criminal enterprise (which he created and runs for his own benefit).

Works Cited

“18 U.S.C. § 371.” U.S. Justice Department, 2012. Web 7 May 2012

“18 USC Chapter 96.” Cornell Law School, 2011. Web. 7 May 2012

“Attempted Murder.” U.S. Legal, 2012. Web 7 May 2012

“Fraud Laws.” U.S. Legal, 2012. Web. 7 May 2012

“Summary of State Laws.” Born Free USA, 2010. Web. 7 May 2012

“Uniform Commercial Code.” Cornell Law School, 2012. Web. 7 May 2012

Larson, Aaron. Assault and Battery. Expert Law, 2003. Web. & May 2012

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