Tuesday, May 03, 2005

"Government Crossed the Line . . ."

The Fifth Circuit recently reversed and remanded for resentencing U.S. v. Munoz. Munoz had signed a plea agreement with the Government wherein he and the Federal Prosecutor stipulated to a total offense level 25 (71 months max) in exchange for his plea of guilty to the wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering counts in the indictment. The Presentence Report sought the application an "abuse of trust" enhancement to his sentence and a higher calculation for the loss amount. The PSR recommended a total offense level 29. What is worse, the Federal Prosecutor urged the court to apply the "abuse of trust" enhancement, in violation of his own plea agreement. Of course, the court went along with the Government and sentenced Mr. Munoz to 90 months.

Who Abused Their Trust?

The Fifth wrote that this type of prosecutorial slight of hand "crossed the line . . ." In particular, the Court found that the Governement breached the plea agreement by advocating the "abuse of trust" enhancement.
Read the opinion