Archive | willful causation

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

Second Circuit affirms above-guideline sentence; declines to consider one IAC claim on direct review, but rejects another where record below was sufficiently developed on the point

In United States v. Pendergrass, 15-1965, the Second Circuit affirmed the conviction of Terrence Pendergrass, a former captain at Rikers Island, on one count of willfully violating the constitutional rights of an inmate, who died following the ingestion of cleaning supplies, by refusing to get him medical attention and prohibiting other guards from getting him medical attention.  Pendergrass raised three issues:  that he received ineffective assistance of counsel at trial, that the District Court improperly instructed the jury regarding willfulness and conscious avoidance, and that his above-guideline sentence was unreasonable.

With respect to the ineffective assistance of counsel claims, the Court declined to consider Pendergrass’s first claim (that Pendergrass’s attorney was ineffective because he failed to call witnesses that would have been material to the defense) because the record with respect to the witnesses’ potential testimony was insufficiently developed to be considered on direct review.  The Court did reach …

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Categories: conscious avoidance, ineffective assistance of counsel, jury charge, substantive reasonableness, willful causation

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Saturday, August 13th, 2011

Insurance [Snow] Job

United States v. Ferguson, No. 08-6211-cr (2d Cir. August 1, 2011) (Jacobs, Kearse, Straub, CJJ)

For 3Q of 2000, the insurer AIG’s stock price dropped significantly, even though its earnings were satisfactory. The company concluded that the cause was a $59 million decline in its loss reserves – a measure of the company’s risk exposure.

In the true spirit of 21st Century American business ingenuity – the same, it seems, that caused the company to all but collapse entirely, and require a $90 billion government bailout, in 2008 – AIG, or at least some of its principals, decided that the best course would be – rather than actually increasing its loss reserves and satisfying its stockholders – to engage in an accounting fraud. The company accordingly entered into a sham reinsurance contract with General Re. The deal was structured to look – to AIG’s investors and auditors – like it …

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Categories: stipulations, Uncategorized, willful causation

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