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United States v. DeCastris

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
798 F.2d 261 (1986)


Facts

DeCastris (defendant) held a full time job with Zenith Electronics while also working a second full time job with the Chicago Police Department. Zenith prohibited employees from holding two full time jobs. Zenith learned about DeCastris’ employment with the police department and demanded that he quit one of the two jobs. DeCastris left the police department job with disability benefits. After DeCastris collected disability benefits for 27 months, the police department learned about his job with Zenith. DeCastris was charged with federal mail fraud offenses on the basis of affidavits he had submitted by mail to disability officials that failed to disclose his income from continuing employment with Zenith. The prosecution was required to prove that DeCastris knew he had to disclose his employment with Zenith and intentionally failed to do so. At trial, the prosecution introduced past documents in which DeCastris lied about his level of education and failed to disclose his employment with the police department. The court excluded the admission of a document in which DeCastris falsely claimed residence in the city of Chicago. DeCastris was convicted and appealed on grounds that the prosecution impermissibly used the past documents as “other wrong” evidence of character in contravention of Federal Rule of Evidence 404(b).

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Holding and Reasoning (Easterbrook, J.)

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Dissent (Ripple, J.)

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