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Ocasio v. United States

578 U.S. 282, 136 S. Ct. 1423 (2016)

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Ocasio v. United States

United States Supreme Court

578 U.S. 282, 136 S. Ct. 1423 (2016)

Facts

Two brothers (defendants) owned a struggling auto-repair shop. The brothers convinced police officer Samuel Ocasio and other local police officers (defendants) to refer people involved in automobile accidents to the brothers’ shop to have their cars repaired. In exchange, the brothers would pay the officers between $150 to $300 for each referral. The officers were eventually charged with violating the Hobbs Act by extorting money from the brothers. In addition, the brothers and the officers were charged with conspiring to violate the Hobbs Act. Ocasio was convicted of the regular Hobbs Act violations and the conspiracy charge. On appeal, Ocasio argued that his conspiracy conviction was impossible because, as a matter of law, (1) a person could not conspire to extort money from a coconspirator and (2) a public official could not conspire with a layperson to commit extortion because a layperson could not commit the act of extortion. The United States Supreme Court agreed to review the issue.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Alito, J.)

Concurrence (Breyer, J.)

Dissent (Sotomayor, J.)

Dissent (Thomas, J.)

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