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United States of America v. Donald C. Mann

June 8, 2011




Members of the jury, now that you have heard all the evidence, it is my duty to instruct you on the law that applies to this case. A copy of these instructions has been added to your binders that you will be able to take with you when you retire to deliberate.

It is your duty to weigh and to evaluate all the evidence received in the case and, in that process, to decide the facts. It is also your duty to apply the law as I give it to you to the facts as you find them, whether you agree with the law or not. You must decide the case solely on the evidence admitted in court, and the law, and must not be influenced by any personal likes or dislikes, opinions, prejudices, or sympathy. You will recall that you took an oath promising to do so at the beginning of the case.

You must follow all these instructions and not single out some and ignore others; they are all important. Please do not read into these instructions or into anything I may have said or done any suggestion as to what verdict you should return-that is a matter entirely up to you.


The defendants are charged with wire fraud in violation of Section 1343 of Title 18 of the United States Code. In order for a defendant to be found guilty of that charge, the government must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

First, the defendant made up or participated in a scheme or plan for obtaining money or property by making false promises or statements, with all of you agreeing on at least one particular false promise or statement that was made;

Second, the defendant knew that the promises or statements were false;

Third, the promises or statements were material, that is, they would reasonably influence a person to part with money or property;

Fourth, the defendant acted with the intent to defraud; and Fifth, that the defendant used, or caused to be use, wire, radio or television communication in interstate or foreign commerce to carry out or attempt to carry out an essential part of the scheme.

A defendant causes a wire communication to be used when he knows such a communication will be employed in the ordinary course of business or when he can reasonably foresee such use. It does not matter whether the communication was itself false or deceptive so long as the communication was used as an important part of the scheme, nor does it matter whether the scheme or plan was successful or that any money or property was obtained.


An intent to defraud is an intent to deceive or cheat. A statement or representation is false or fraudulent, if known to be untrue, or made with reckless indifference as to its truth or falsity, and made or caused to be made with the intent to deceive.


A defendant's actions can constitute a scheme to defraud even if there are no specific false statements involved. The deception need not be premised upon words or statements standing alone. The arrangement of the words or the circumstances in which they are used may create an appearance which is false or deceptive, even if the words themselves fall short of this. Thus, even if statements as part of the scheme are not literally false, you may consider whether the statements taken as a whole were misleading and deceptive. Evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that a scheme was reasonably calculated to deceive is sufficient to establish a scheme to defraud.


Each member of a scheme to defraud is responsible for other members' actions during the course of and in furtherance of the scheme.

If you decide that a defendant was a member of a scheme to defraud and that the defendant had the intent to defraud, that defendant is responsible for what other members said or did to carry out the scheme, even if the defendant did not know what they said or did.

For a defendant to be guilty of an offense committed by another member in furtherance of the scheme, the offense must be one that could reasonably be foreseen as a necessary and natural consequence of the scheme to defraud.


The government is not required to prove that the defendant intended to cause loss to a victim. Rather, the government is only required to prove that the victim was induced to part with money or property as a result of false statements or promises.


If you find that a defendant in good faith believed that the representations which were being made by himself were true, the necessary intent did not exist and the defendant must be acquitted.

A defendant's belief that the victims of the fraud will be paid in the future or will sustain no economic loss is no defense to the crime.


The charges are not evidence. The defendants have pleaded not guilty to the charges. The defendants are presumed to be innocent unless and until the government proves the ...

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