Friday, March 30, 2018
Theft of Government Money Conviction Overturned - It Wasn't Government Money
United States v. Osborne
Defendant Osborne stole funds from Document and Packaging Brokers, Inc., who obtained their money from the US Government to run a program to increase recruiting to the Air National Guard. The Government tried and convicted Osborne on the theory that the funds given to DPB were still Government funds, because the Government placed restrictions on the use of the funds, required reporting on the use of the funds, and created the program that was run by DPB.
On appeal, Osborne argued that the Government did not retain "sufficient supervision and control over the funds involved such that the funds retained their federal character." The Court agreed, finding, under a fact-bound inquiry, that (1) the Government did not prove that they maintained a reversionary interest in the funds, (2) the Government did not place sufficient restrictions on the use of the funds, and (3) the Government did not place sufficient accounting requirements on the use of the funds. The Court also noted "It seems to us that the prosecution made the most unremarkable attempt to prove its case." "Thus, we hold the government failed to provide sufficient evidence to support Osborne’s conviction under 18 U.S.C. § 641."
Congratulations to AFPD Andrew Brandon on a job well done.