US v. Boone, 09-1960, concerned a challenge to a conviction of defendant for mail fraud and other offenses, arising from charges related to a political corruption scheme. In affirming the conviction, the court held that the government is entitled to establish the scheme and can rely on the evidence that occurred before and after the mailing in order to do so. The court also held that the evidence of the interaction with one of the victims was admissible as direct evidence of the offense as it was directly relevant to establish a critical component of the scheme. Lastly, the evidence regarding the two victims also served to establish an element of the offense - defendant's knowledge.
As the court wrote: "In order to prove mail fraud, the government was
required to establish: (1) that Boone participated in a scheme to
defraud; (2) that he did so knowingly and with the intent to defraud;
and (3) that Boone used or caused the use of the mails in furtherance of
the scheme...The challenge evidence was relevant to prove both the
scheme itself and to prove that Boone participated in the scheme
knowingly and with intent to defraud."