United States v. Carter

530 F.3d 565 (2008)

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United States v. Carter

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
530 F.3d 565 (2008)

Facts

Morris Carter (defendant) was the elected county recorder. Peter Livas, an informant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), owned three real estate rehab and redevelopment companies. Carter was indicted for extortion in violation of the Hobbs Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1951(a). Audio and video recordings, hidden-camera footage, and testimony at trial established that (1) Livas was seeking a list of homes in foreclosure and a contractor’s license to build in the county in which Carter was the recorder; (2) Livas paid Carter for the foreclosure lists; (3) Carter instructed Livas to bring money to Carter’s office, where he would connect him to someone who administered the written test for the contractor’s license; (4) at Carter’s office, Carter told Livas to pay him by giving the money to the subcontractor and sent Livas upstairs to meet with the individual who could help Livas get the contractor’s license; (5) Livas paid the subcontractor for the contractor’s license; (6) Livas took and intentionally failed the contractor’s license test, but a new exam with a passing score was completed for him; and (7) Carter sent the individual who had helped with the test a thank-you note and some cash. Carter was convicted and appealed, arguing that there was insufficient evidence that his actions affected interstate commerce.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Flaum, J.)

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