Wednesday, May 22, 2019

US v. Audette, No. 17-10017 (5-14-19)(M. Smith w/Hawkins & Hurwitz). Note:  This is an Az FPD case.  The 9th affirmed numerous fraud counts. The defendant told victims he needed funds to pay for the FBI and CIA to protect him from the Mafia.  He would pay them back once he inherited millions (he purported to be related to Lucky Luciano). If the victims did not pay, the Mafia would brutally kill them, and the defendant and his family.  At trial, the defendant represented himself.  The principal question on appeal was whether the principles of Faretta were followed.  The 9th affirmed they were. The 9th did so even though the defendant had mental issues, and made equivocal statements about counsel. He did have advisory.  The principles of Faretta were adhered to, even in light of the unorthodox defense.  As to evidentiary and confrontation clause issues, the 9th found no error.  It did dismiss 10 of the 91 counts due to insufficient evidence and remanded for a new sentencing (he had received 240 months).

Hard fought appeal by AFPD Elizabeth Kruscheck of Az FPD (Phoenix).

The decision is here:



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