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April 18, 2018

SCOTUS examining reach of restitution awards under MVRA in Lagos v. United States 

A somewhat non-traditional sentencing issue is the subject of Supreme Court oral argument this morning.  SCOTUSblog has this argument preview authored by Cortney Lollar which started and ends this way:

Next week, the Supreme Court has another opportunity to consider the scope of criminal restitution. Lagos v. United States raises the question of whether private investigation costs and a victim’s attorney’s fees are considered compensable losses under 18 U.S.C. §3663A, the Mandatory Victim Restitution Act....

In recent years, both Congress and the Supreme Court have taken an increasingly expansive approach toward criminal restitution.  Although the MVRA’s language is undoubtedly distinct from that in other restitution statutes, the court may yet again take this opportunity to interpret the language capaciously, requiring a defendant to reimburse increasingly attenuated costs through restitution.

April 18, 2018 at 10:11 AM | Permalink


I, for one, am anxiously awaiting for the decision on this one. I've had many very similar cases and have wrestled with the MVRA and its application for years. Although, I will say I doubt the Court will award all of the private investigation costs and victim's attorneys fees since they are outside the specific list of compensable losses in the MVRA. However, I would not be entirely surprised if some of the losses are included as they did assist in the prosecution of the defendant and the gov't used some of their information (private investigators) in their investigation.

Posted by: atomicfrog | Apr 19, 2018 10:41:25 AM

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