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February 8, 2010

Intriguing little Eleventh Circuit ruling on loss calculation and restitution

The Eleventh Circuit has an interesting little decision today in US v. Patterson, No. 09-13354 (11th Cir. Feb. 8, 2010) (available here), that should be of interest to folks working on various white-collar sentencing issues.  Here is how the ruling starts:

This appeal presents the question of whether it is error for a court to sentence a defendant under a Guidelines calculation of intended loss that is more than double the amount of restitution ordered in the same case.  We conclude that the facts of this appeal do not present the plain error that appellant asserts.  We also reject appellant’s claim of ineffective assistance of counsel because the record is not sufficiently developed and collateral attack is the preferable avenue for such challenges.  Therefore, we affirm the judgment of the district court.

February 8, 2010 at 03:00 PM | Permalink


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Prof.: This isn't a novel case at all, FYI. Loss calculations, especially intentional loss calculations, necessarily are not the same as restitution calculations. Conflating the two is a rookie mistake.

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