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US v. Koestner, No. 10-2097

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By FindLaw Staff on December 29, 2010 2:41 PM

Witness Tampering Sentence Affirmed

In US v. Koestner, No. 10-2097, the court affirmed defendant's sentence for tampering with a witness to cover up the fraudulent use of food stamp benefits where the court was permitted to consider the district court's additional explanation of its reasons for imposing an upward variance set forth in its order denying defendant's motion to stay the fine pending appeal.

  • As the court wrote:  "Kris Koestner pleaded guilty to one count of tampering with a witness, 18 U.S.C. § 1512(b)(3), to cover up the fraudulent use of food stamp benefits at his grocery store in Centerville, Iowa. Consistent with the written plea agreement, the district court1 sentenced Koestner to one year of probation. However, noting that Koestner was a "millionaire," the court also imposed a $100,000 fine, an amount that was $70,000 above the advisory guidelines range, see U.S.S.G. § 5E1.2(c)(3), but well-within the statutory maximum for the offense, $250,000, see 18 U.S.C. § 3571(b)(3)."

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