Mail fraud; relevance
In a fraud prosecution, evidence of crimes not involving the defendant were relevant to demonstrate the scope of the fraud.
“[E]vidence of the blatant and open nature of the requests for payments, and of the large number of individuals in the office who were participants in the scheme, was relevant to demonstrate that Boone must have known of the scheme. Regarding Plomin, her testimony was that she met with 6 or 7 persons in Troutman’s office seeking the letter of support, and that in the presence of those persons Troutman declared that Hall would explain the ‘political thing’ that she would need to do in order to obtain the support. The ‘political thing’ required of her was the payment of the $1,500. Similarly, the Pattison testimony established
that Troutman and another person requested a payment in only the second meeting with Pattison, informing Pattison that he had ‘already bought’ the fundraising tickets that they handed to him. That meeting and conversation occurred in a conference area outside of Troutman’s private office, near a reception or assistance desk, and took place in the presence of another person from Pattison’s office in addition to Pattison. Finally, Pattison testified that he was instructed by someone in Troutman’s office as to how to fill out the checks.
That evidence again established that the requests for money were not made in a secretive manner, but rather that such business was openly conducted in the presence of others in the office, and that such requests were made in the first or second contacts with the victims seeking the letters of support. That latter point is important because Boone argued at trial that it was unbelievable that Boone would approach Greer, a person he did not know, and request a bribe at that first meeting. Evidence that similarly-bold requests were made by Troutman and members of her office to other persons at their initial contacts with the office was relevant to demonstrate the manner in which the scheme operated, and to establish that Boone, as housing coordinator, had knowledge of that scheme and acted in furtherance of it.”
09-1960 U.S. v. Boone
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Castillo, J., Rovner, J.