McKool Smith Principal Charles Fowler authored an article on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit’s recent denial of a petition to rehear USA v. Greenlaw, which involves four real estate investment trust executives who were found guilty of running a Ponzi scheme. Interpreting recent Supreme Court cases, the panel held that model jury instruction that define "intent to defraud" as intent to deceive or cheat misstates the law.

Charles points out how the Fifth Circuit’s holding will likely spawn future appellate litigation, pointing to the Ninth Circuit as an example of a court that has decided at least 14 cases challenging “deceive or cheat” instructions since it disapproved it in United States v. Miller.

In his article, Charles points out that the instruction was likely used in other trials predating the Fifth Circuit’s decision and can mistakenly be applied moving forward. He also sheds light on the “intent to defraud” instruction claim from the defendants and how that might impact future cases.

Read the full article here with in-depth analysis and key takeaways

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