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Civil Rights Suit Against JROTC Instructor for Sexual Abuse, Plus, Criminal Matters

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By FindLaw Staff on August 20, 2010 12:26 PM

US v. LaFaive, 09-2344, concerned a challenge to a conviction of defendant on two counts of bank fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft for assuming the identity of her deceased sister and opening checking accounts in her name and using counterfeited checks.  In affirming the conviction, the court held that the district court did not plainly err in entering the jury's conviction of defendant for violating 18 U.S.C. section 1028A(a)(1) as the statute criminalizes the misuse of another person's identity, whether that other person is living or deceased.  The court also affirmed the sentence as the district court did not plainly err in calculating or imposing defendant's sentence.

US v. Holstein, 09-2822, concerned a challenge to a conviction of defendant for bankruptcy fraud and making false statements in bankruptcy petitions, based on providing bankruptcy services at his law firm while on suspension for professional conduct.  The court affirmed the conviction in concluding that the evidence was sufficient to establish beyond a reasonable doubt the essential elements of both 18 U.S.C. section 157(1) and 18 U.S.C. section 1519.

US v. Hills, 09-2151, involved a prosecution of defendants for conspiracy to impede the IRS and filing false income tax returns, for selling fraudulent trust packages which were used by defendants' clients to conceal income from the IRS.  The court affirmed the judgment where: 1) because trial began within the seventy-day period, defendants' Speedy Trial Act argument fails; 2) defendants failed to show a constitutional speedy trial violation as most of the delay in proceeding to trial was attributable to the defendants and they failed to show that they suffered any prejudice; 3)  a warrant was sufficient and the evidence obtained pursuant to that warrant was properly admitted; and 4) it was neither prosecutorial misconduct nor an abuse of discretion to admit defendant's evidence of subsequent tax returns

The court rejected defendants' claims where: 1) that his conviction for filing a false tax return is time-barred by the statute of limitations; 2) that the district court imposed an excessive sentence on him; and 3) co-defendant's sufficiency of evidence argument.

However, co-defendant's conviction is vacated and remanded as the government's references to the Fifth Amendment was plain error that affected co-defendant's substantial rights.

Trentadue v. Redmon, 08-3442, involved a plaintiff's action raising a Title IX claim against a school district and a section 1983 claim against a supervisor of an instructor in the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) for sexual abuse.  In affirming district court's dismissal of the section 1983 claim against the supervisor and grant of summary judgment for the school district on the Title IX claim, the court held that, although the basis for dismissal of the section 1983 claim against the supervisor was erroneous as under Fitzgerald v. Barnstable School Committee, 129 S. Ct. 788 (2009), it is clear that Title IX was not meant to replace section 1983 claims alleging violations of the Equal Protection Clause, the district court's entry of summary judgment dismissing plaintiff's Title IX claim against the school district and dismissal of her section 1983 claim against the supervisor is nevertheless affirmed as the record falls short of establishing a basis for her claims.

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