Tuesday, April 13, 2021

US v. Koziol, No. 19-50018 (4-13-21)(Bade w/Bea & Drain). A Hobbs Act conviction for extortion can be based on a sham threat. The extortion here – against a well-known entertainer and the manager—was fabricated, but threats of exposure of sham salacious or violent acts can support the conviction. The 9th finds any instructional error by the district court stating that damage can be to a reputation is harmless. Harmless too were several evidentiary errors related to the opinions on the truthfulness of witnesses. The 9th does remand for resentencing. The district court erred when it failed to use the guideline 2X1.1 which applies to “attempts” where all the steps were not completed.

Another hard-fought appeal by Carl Gunn, CJA. 

The decision is here:



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