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Case Addresses Application of Relevant Conduct Finding in a Case of Jointly Undertaken Criminal Activity

By FindLaw Staff on March 09, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

In US v. Salem, No. 08-2378, the Seventh Circuit faced a challenge to defendants' contention that the district court erred in its relevant conduct findings, in its sentencing of defendants for wire fraud and receiving stolen funds related to a scheme to defraud buyers of various items on the internet.

As stated in the decision: "A district court must first determine the scope of the criminal activity the defendant agreed to jointly undertake, and then determine whether the conduct of others was in furtherance of, and reasonably foreseeable to the defendant in connection with, that activity."

In remanding the sentences, the court concluded that the district court only made findings as to the reasonableness of the co-schemers' acts only, and made no finding as to the scope of the jointly undertaken criminal activity. 

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