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Category: White Collar Crime

The Meaning of the Guidelines’ “Otherwise Extensive” Criminal Activity

In United States v. Kent, 14-2082, 14-2874, the Court (Livingston, J., Hall, J., and Hellerstein, J. sitting by designation), the Court vacated the sentence imposed by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Forrest, J.) and held that the record was insufficient to impose Guidelines Section 3B1.1(a)’s leadership enhancement.  Section 3B1.1 provides for a four-level increase in offense level if the defendant “was an organizer or leader of a criminal activity that involved five or more participants or was otherwise extensive.”  In Kent, the Court restated that the “otherwise extensive” prong of this enhancement is not meant to be a qualitative assessment of whether the crime was serious, but rather involves a quantitative question about the number of criminally responsible and unknowing participants in the offense.  Because the district court did not conduct the required analysis, the Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the case.

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The Second Circuit Affirms the Convictions of the “Madoff Five” in a 29-page Summary Order

In United States v. Bonventre, 14-4714-cr (April. 20, 2016) (JMW, RR, CFD), the Court affirmed by summary order the convictions of five former employees of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities (the “Appellants”) convicted in the Southern District of New York (Swain, J.)  for multiple counts of conspiratorial and substantive securities fraud, bank fraud, and records falsification; making false SEC and IRS filings; obstructing enforcement of tax laws; and tax evasion. 

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