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Defendant's Sentence for Perjury in a Bankruptcy Case Upheld

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By FindLaw Staff on May 11, 2010 3:26 PM

In US v. Boulware, No. 09-5125, the Fourth Circuit faced a challenge to the district court's imposition of a 15-month sentence upon a defendant convicted of fraudulently making a declaration under penalty of perjury in a bankruptcy case

As the court wrote: "The indictment did not characterize Boulware's failure to disclose the prior bankruptcies as being part of a plan to avoid making payment to specific creditors.  Rather, the indictment focused on the fact that her nondisclosure constituted a false declaration made to the bankruptcy court under penalty of perjury."

Thus, defendant's sentence is affirmed as, the district court did not err by using U.S.S.G. section 2J1.3 rather than section 2B1.1 to set her offense level, as the gravamen of the charge was that defendant interfered with the bankruptcy court's administration of justice, not that she defrauded any creditors.  Furthermore, even assuming that the district court committed procedural error in failing to sufficiently explain the sentence imposed in light of the section 3553(a) factors, any error was harmless.     

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