Decisions in a Case Claiming Deceptive Pricing and Criminal Matters
The Seventh Circuit decided two criminal matters, both involving defendants' challenge to their sentences and a civil suit against a well known children's clothing retailer accused of deceptive pricing.
In US v. Angle, No. 08-2087, the court faced a challenge to district court's significant upward departure in sentencing a defendant convicted of child pornography crimes, on appeal for the fourth time.
In affirming the sentence, the court pointed to the several reasons given by the district court in imposing an above-range sentence plus "pattern of abuse" adjustment. Defendant had an unbroken 20-year pattern of abusive conduct and exploited positions of trust to get at his young victims and created child pornography as well as consumed it. Furthermore, he showed no remorse and the court reiterated that defendant would have faced a significantly higher sentence if sentenced under the current version of the guidelines.
In US v. Lewis v. No. 08-3278, the court addressed the issue of government's failure to file a section 851 information in conviction of defendant for attempted possession. with intent to distribute over 500 grams of cocaine and sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of 20 years. In affirming the sentence, the court held that, although it was a mistake, government's failure to file the section 851 information did not cause prejudice. First, defendant did not suffer from a lack of formal notice as he was aware of his prior conviction. Second, the lack of notice did not affect defendant's decision on how to plead, as he proceeded to trial.
In Kim v. Carter's Inc., No. 09-2169, the court faced a challenge to the district court's dismissal of plaintiffs' complaint for failure to state a claim in their suit against a children's clothing retailer for damages under Illinois contract and consumer protection law. In their complaint, the plaintiffs claimed that they were victims of deceptive pricing.
In affirming the decision, the court concluded that the plaintiffs received the benefit of the bargain as defendant fulfilled its obligations under the straightforward contract. And, although defendant's alleged deceptive practice may violate the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, plaintiffs have failed to show actual damages.
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