United States v. Ross

502 F.3d 521 (2007)

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United States v. Ross

United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
502 F.3d 521 (2007)

Facts

Ross (defendant) got involved with two individuals who offered to develop real estate with him. The first individual sent a check that turned out to be counterfeit. Thereafter, Ross sustained substantial business losses and declared personal bankruptcy. A second individual sought to revive the transaction and sent two counterfeit checks. Ross learned that one check was counterfeit when he called the car dealership on whose account the check was drawn. Ross learned the second check was counterfeit after depositing it. When Ross told the bank investigator who contacted him that he was dealing with Nigerians on a real estate investment, the bank investigator warned him that it was likely a scam. Ross was contacted again about reviving the deal and insisted on payment by wire transfer from a United States bank. Thereafter, a bank received a United States Treasury check and deposited it into Ross’s corporate account. Ross used the funds to purchase cashier’s checks to pay off debts and moved some to an investment account he had opened a month earlier. The Treasury check turned out to be counterfeit, and the bank referred the case for criminal prosecution. When government agents visited Ross, he told them about his dealings with the two individuals and indicated in a written statement that he had researched Nigerian scams on the internet after receiving the first counterfeit check and insisted that all further transactions be wire transfers, that he knew that the individuals were likely scammers, and that greed got the better of him. Ross was indicted and convicted of bank fraud. On appeal, Ross argued that the evidence at trial was insufficient to support his convictions.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Martin, Jr., J.)

Concurrence/Dissent (Batchelder, J.)

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