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No Specific Intent Necessary, Conviction for Sending Fake Anthrax Affirmed, Plus Civil Procedure and Trade Regulation Issues

By FindLaw Staff on May 14, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

In US v. Castagana, No. 08-50057, the court of appeals affirmed defendant's conviction for committing threats and hoaxes in violation of 18 U.S.C. section 1038(a)(1), holding that section 1038(a)(1) contained no specific intent element, and thus the government was not required to prove that defendant specifically intended the recipients of his letters reasonably to believe that they contained anthrax.

FTC v. Neovi, Inc., No. 09-55093, involved an action by the FTC arising from a website managed by defendants that created and delivered unverified checks at the direction of registered users.  The court of appeals affirmed summary judgment for plaintiff, on the grounds that 1) a single violation of the FTC Act may have more than one perpetrator; 2) defendants' business practices might have served to assist others in illicit or deceptive schemes, but the liability under the FTC Act that attached to defendants was not mediated by the actions of those third parties; and 3) defendants did not show that there was a material issue of fact as to whether consumer injuries were reasonably avoidable on either end of the fraudulent transactions.

Adam Bros. Farming, Inc. v. County of Santa Barbara, No. 09-55315, concerned an action against the County of Santa Barbara and several of its employees in federal court, alleging that the county had, through a false wetland delineation, temporarily taken plaintiffs' land without providing just compensation in violation of the Fifth Amendment.  The court of appeals affirmed the dismissal of the complaint, on the ground that plaintiffs' claim was  based on the same underlying factual circumstances as the claims it raised in state court.

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