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United States v. McCaskill

United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
202 Fed.Appx. 70 (2006)


In an effort to help Eric Hoberg obtain financing to build a grain mill in North Dakota, Sheila Greenspan recommended that Hoberg obtain an insurance binder that he could use to obtain funding from a bank or finance company. Greenspan contacted Jay Elbel (defendant), who described himself as an attorney for Nigella Insurance Company. Nigella’s president was Dan Cimini (defendant). Ebel informed Greenspan that Nigella could provide the insurance guarantee for Hoberg’s project. However, Nigella was not a double- or triple-A rated insurer and thus required a major insurance company to reinsure, or provide an insurance wrap, for Nigella’s policy. Nigella was a sham company created by insurance businessman, Luther McCaskill (defendant). McCaskill contacted Ardeana Vance (defendant) of A-Vance Insurance Agency to obtain the reinsurance. Vance instructed Greenspan to send Hoberg’s $35,000 binder to a company Vance controlled. The $35,000 was split between McCaskill ($10,000), Vance ($10,000), Cimini ($10,000) and Ebel ($5,000) and no financing was ever obtained for Hoberg. McCaskill, Ebel, Vance, and Cimini (collectively Defendants) were indicted in a 32-count indictment. The charges against Vance were dismissed prior to trial. Cimini pled guilty. And Ebel was placed in a pretrial diversion program. Only McCaskill went to trial and represented himself. The three counts presented at trial were conspiracy, wire fraud, and possession of forged securities. McCaskill was convicted and sentenced to 60-month consecutive terms of imprisonment on the conspiracy and wire fraud counts. Additionally, McCaskill was sentenced to a 68-month sentence on the forged securities count for a total of 188 months. McCaskill appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Stafford, J.)

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