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United States v. Czubinski

United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
106 F.3d 1069 (1997)


Facts

Richard Czubinski (defendant) was an IRS employee who primarily dispensed advice to taxpayers about their returns. Czubinski had access to an IRS database that logged the income tax information of all taxpayers, which he was authorized to use only in the performance of his official duties. However, in 1992, Czubinski frequently accessed the database to look up the income tax information of acquaintances, as well as other people of interest to him. These searches were unrelated to the performance of his official duties. As a result, Czubinski was charged with wire and computer fraud. At trial, a fellow Ku Klux Klan (KKK) member of Czubinski’s testified that Czubinski had once said he would use the income tax information of people associated with the KKK to build a dossier. But the government did not offer any evidence that Czubinski created such a dossier, took any steps towards creating a dossier, or disclosed the tax information to anyone. Czubinski was convicted on all counts of wire and computer fraud.

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Holding and Reasoning (Torruella, C.J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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