United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
380 F.3d 1203 (9th Cir. 2004)
On November 4, 1992, the yacht Principe di Pictor was scuttled off the coast of Italy. Rex DeGeorge (defendant) was charged with participating in a scheme to defraud to collect insurance proceeds on the yacht. DeGeorge had the yacht commissioned, inflated its value through a series of sham transactions, scuttled the yacht and then attempted to collect the insurance proceeds. DeGeorge entered into the sham transactions partly for the purpose of concealing his involvement with the yacht to the insurance carrier. Because DeGeorge had lost three boats in the past, and collected insurance proceeds on the boats, DeGeorge was concerned that he would not be able to obtain insurance on the Principe in his own name. The insurance on Principe was in the name of a corporation formed by DeGeorge. At trial, the prosecution sought to introduce the fact that DeGeorge had lost three boats previously to explain why DeGeorge distanced himself from the boat ownership and could not obtain insurance in his own name. The district court admitted only evidence showing that three boats owned by DeGeorge were insured, that DeGeorge claimed they were lost at sea, and that they were not recovered. The district court did not allow the prosecution to show that DeGeorge collected insurance on the boats. DeGeorge was convicted and appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Gibson, J.)
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