United States v. Manatau

647 F.3d 1048 (2011)

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United States v. Manatau

United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
647 F.3d 1048 (2011)

Facts

Afuhia Masiu Manatau (defendant) was arrested after he was caught writing and cashing checks that did not belong to him. Manatau had stolen convenience checks, which are issued by credit-card companies to account holders, who can write and cash the checks against their lines of credit, charging the amount of the check to their credit cards. At the time he was arrested, Manatau had written and cashed convenience checks totaling $1,800. He did not have any stolen checks remaining in his possession. The credit limits on the credit cards he stole totaled over $60,000. Manatau pled guilty to bank fraud and identity theft. The United States (plaintiff) took the position that his offense level at sentencing should be increased based on the combined value of all the credit limits for the accounts impacted by his scheme. Manatau argued that he did not know the credit limits of each of the cards at the time he stole or used them and therefore could not intend to steal up to the entire credit limit, nor could he do so as a practical matter because he did not have any convenience checks left. The district court sided with the United States and sentenced Manatau based on the higher offense level the prosecution requested. Manatau appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Gorsuch, J.)

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