Sentence for Government Construction Project Fraud Affirmed, and Criminal and Insurance Matters - U.S. Tenth Circuit
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Sentence for Government Construction Project Fraud Affirmed, and Criminal and Insurance Matters

In US v. Martinez, No. 09-2117, the court of appeals affirmed defendant's sentence for conspiring to defraud the State of New Mexico during the construction of the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Courthouse in Albuquerque, on the grounds that 1) the district court did not err in applying the 2008 version of the Sentencing Guidelines; 2) the district court properly refused to embark upon an "apples and oranges" comparison between the fraudulent proceeds defendant gained from this conspiracy and the contract revenues for services rendered that other co-conspirators previously gained from allegedly bribing an official; and 3) any disparity between defendant's and the official's identical terms of imprisonment was explained by their different plea agreements.

Cahill v. Am. Fam. Mut. Ins. Co., No. 09-1200, involved an action against an insurer asserting state-law causes of action arising out of defendant's alleged failure to comply with Colorado insurance law.  The Tenth Circuit affirmed summary judgment for defendant, on the ground that plaintiff was incorrect in asserting that the relevant limitations periods should have been tolled until defendant informed him that it had not paid benefits required by law.

In US v. Simpson, No. 09-4127, the court of appeals affirmed defendant's drug trafficking conviction, holding that the district court properly denied defendant's motion to suppress narcotics found in his vehicle, because defendant's prior criminal conviction for drug trafficking, his extreme nervousness, and the fact that he provided inconsistent and evasive answers to queries about his travel plans together provided reasonable suspicion to justify extending a legitimate traffic stop to allow further questioning and a canine sniff of his automobile.

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