Archive | abuse of trust

Saturday, March 14th, 2009

Trust Fun

United States v. Friedberg, No. 08-3763-cr (2d Cir. March 2, 2009) (Pooler, Katzmann, CJJ, Preska, DJ)

Daniel Friedberg was Grand Secretary of an Odd Fellows lodge for eighteen years. During that time, he embezzled nearly $600,000 of the organization’s funds. He also failed to pay tax on the money, and ultimately pled guilty to tax evasion. At sentencing, over his objection, the court imposed a two-level enhancement for abuse of trust, over his objection.

The circuit affirmed. Friedberg conceded that he abused a position of trust with respect to the Odd Fellows, but argued that he did not occupy a position of trust with respect to the government, which was the primary victim of the tax evasion. But the circuit pointed out that the commentary to the abuse-of-trust guideline requires consideration the relevant conduct, not just the elements and acts cited in the count of conviction.

The embezzlement was clearly …

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