Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Judge Ryskamp Says Honest Services Fraud Statute Is Unconstitutional

The Palm Beach Post has an article titled "Masilotti seeks early release from prison citing judge's comments on constitutionality of honest services fraud statute."  The article can be found here.  Essentially, Masilotti is arguing that he should be released based upon statements by Southern District Judge Ryskamp that the statute he is is prison for violating is unconstitutional.  The Post said:
His request for relief comes two weeks after U.S. District Judge Kenneth Ryskamp said he believes the honest services fraud statute that sent Masilotti to prison is unconstitutional.

While declining to spring Masilotti before his five-year prison sentence is up on Christmas Eve 2011, Ryskamp wrote that he believes the statute is unconstitutional because "it fails to advise a defendant of what conduct is prohibited" and it also violates the "basic principles of federalism."


Anonymous said...

There is a case in the Middle District of Florida, United States v. Thomas Spellissy,et al, where Spellissy was convicted of conspriracy to commit honest services fraud. Spellissy was found to have deprived the intangible right of a private contractor's honest services to the Department of Defense because the contractor did not disclose that he worked 45 hours for Spellissy, however, Spellissy had disclosed who his clients were to the Department of Defense. No where in the indictment in the conspiracy count does it mention honest services or failure to disclose a conflict of interest. The honest services statatue is vaugue and undefined. This

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