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United States v. Muñoz-Franco

United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
487 F.3d 25 (2007)


Facts

Muñoz-Franco and three others (defendants) were convicted of bank fraud. During trial, the prosecution’s use of evidence of the absence of certain things in the bank’s board and executive committee meetings was under consideration. The meeting minutes were admitted under Federal Rule of Evidence 803(6), which the defendants conceded was appropriate. Instead, the defendants argued that the prosecution could not use the absence of certain things from the meeting minutes as evidence under Federal Rule of Evidence 803(7). During trial, Enriquez, the vice-president, identified who had prepared the meeting minutes before 1986 and stated that he prepared them after 1986. Enriquez further testified that he took the notes and if he did not understand something, he could always ask the president. Enriquez testified that the meeting minutes were always ratified at the next meeting. The prosecution also submitted the affidavit of Pastor, who prepared the minutes before Enriquez, that attested the minutes were prepared in the regular course of business. The president of the board, Lugo, testified that the meeting minutes were a summary and not a complete transcription of the discussion. The court reviewed the minutes and found that the minutes contained more than a basic outline and included descriptions of specifics involved with each loan. Following their conviction, Muñoz-Franco and the three others appealed, arguing that the prosecution should not have been able to point to the absence of something in the meeting minutes as evidence that the board was not informed of its occurrence.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Lipez, J.)

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