Wednesday, May 22, 2019

US v. Singh, No. 17-50337 (5-16-19)(M. Smith w/Watford & Hurwitz). Back in 2012, defendants sought to influence the San Diego mayoral election via contributions.  One defendant was a Mexican citizen who sought to develop Chula Vista into the Miami Beach of the West Coast (Query: is that by itself criminal?).  The problem was that the influence was through contributions by a foreign national. This violated various statutes, including the actual contributions and many reporting requirements.  The defendants raised a host of challenges: jurisdictional (Congress can reach to a mayoral race), constitutional (first amendment), intent (general or specific), and sufficiency of the evidence. The 9th examined the use of “willfully” in 52 U.S.C. § 30121, and held that it was a general intent offense.  As for falsifying information, the 9th held there was sufficient evidence. It did vacate one conviction (count 37) for insufficient evidence.  The 9th found no evidentiary errors, jury instructions, nor IAC.  It affirmed too the conviction of a firearm possession by an immigrant visa holder. The case is remanded for resentencing for the one vacation of conviction.
The decision is here:



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