Friday, September 29, 2023
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Ponzi Cases Remanded|for Sentencing

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - The 9th Circuit remanded for resentencing the cases of two men sentenced to long terms for a $16 million California Ponzi scheme.

The three-judge panel ruled that the district court made errors in sentencing Robert Brown and Duane Eddings.

Brown and Eddings were sentenced to prison in 2012 for the Ponzi scheme and bankruptcy fraud .

Brown, of Vallejo, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud. He was sentenced to nearly 16 years in prison.

Eddings, of San Francisco, was convicted by a jury of six counts of mail fraud, one count of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, and three counts of tax evasion. He was sentenced to 17½ years.

But the 9th Circuit ruled on Nov. 7 that the district court "erroneously imposed on both defendants an enhancement ... for endangering the solvency or financial security of 100 or more victims, where the government did not provide evidence of the impact of the crime on the requisite number of victims."

It's up to the district court to decide whether to take new evidence on remand, 9th Circuit Judge Andrew Hurwitz wrote for the panel.

The appeals court found that increasing Eddings' sentence for having 250 or more victims was wrong, because the district court relied on 148 victims who weren't included in a loss calculation.

The leadership role adjustment to Eddings' sentence also was erroneous, the appeals court said.

But the appeals court rejected the defendants' arguments that the remand should go to a new judge.

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