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Fraudulent Conveyance Judgment Affirmed, and Criminal and Immigration Matters

By FindLaw Staff on August 11, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

In US v. Pineda-Doval, No. 08-10240, the court affirmed defendant's conviction for transportation of illegal aliens resulting in death, holding that 1) a defendant may be found guilty of transportation of illegal aliens resulting in death only if the government proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant's conduct was the proximate cause of the charged deaths, and the government made this showing; and 2) because there was no "reasonable likelihood that the jury" thought the greater and lesser offenses were equivalent, there was no error, let alone plain error, in the verdict form.  However, the court vacated defendant's sentence where, because the court required strict compliance with Fed. R. Crim. P. 32, it could not give the district court the benefit of the doubt and assume it meant "malice aforethought" when it said "recklessness."

In re: JTS Corp., No. 07-15970, concerned a bankruptcy adversary proceeding alleging that a member of debtor corporation's board of directors engaged in a constructive fraudulent conveyance by buying property from the company and that defendant was liable for the value of the property.  The court affirmed on the grounds that 1) the bankruptcy court's finding that the reasonably equivalent value of the property was $11,820,000 was not clearly erroneous; 2) this amount was reduced by $10,432,815 million because defendant was a good faith transferee under California Civil Procedure Code section 3439.08; and 3) defendant was entitled to a settlement credit of $4.5 million under California Civil Code section 877.

Yepremyan v. Holder, No. 05-76746, involved a petition for review of a decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) denying petitioner's motion to reopen for adjustment of status.  The court denied the petition on the grounds that 1) the day after Thanksgiving was a legal holiday for purposes of calculating time under Fed. R. App. P. 26(a); and 2) petitioner did not submit sufficient supporting documentation to show by clear and convincing evidence that her marriage was bona fide. 

In US v. Wahid, No. 09-50036, the court affirmed defendant's sentence for mail fraud, theft of government property, aggravated identity theft, and tax evasion, on the grounds that 1) while a district court may not reduce the sentence of a predicate felony to compensate for the mandatory two-year consecutive term, it may exercise its discretion to reduce a sentence for a non-predicate felony; and 2) the district court did not plainly err in considering its discretion to reduce the sentences for the non-predicate felonies; and 3) defendant failed to present any evidence that he did not make a knowing and intentional waiver of his right to counsel or that his conviction otherwise was unconstitutional.

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