Eighth Circuit - Economic Crimes

United States v. Luna, 968 F.3d 922 (8th Cir. 2020). In a case about a recruitment-and-kickback scheme involving car-accident victims, a chiropractic clinic, and automobile insurers, §2B1.1 loss (as well as restitution) does not include the legitimate, compensable services provided by the chiropractic clinic. An offset for legitimate, compensable services, however, does not apply to forfeiture: the focus there shifts from the victim’s losses to the gross proceeds traceable to the commission of the offense.

United States v. Isler, 983 F.3d 335 (8th Cir. 2020). An upward variance from a range of 0-6 months to a sentence 42 months in a case involving theft of trade secrets and false statements was not substantively unreasonable. The court found that the Guidelines range underrepresented the seriousness of the offense because the court could not assign a precise figure to the victim’s significant loss.

United States v. Ruzicka, 988 F.3d 997 (8th Cir. 2021). Actual loss in a fraud offense is net loss – that is, the victim’s gross loss must be offset by the value of anything the victim received as a part of the fraud. In this case, the victim company was the defendant’s employer, and they gained nothing by receiving the defendant’s unvested ownership shares in an affiliate as part of the fraud scheme.

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