Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Taylor: "Production" and "Use" of Devices are distinct

In U.S. v. Taylor, No. 14-13288 (March 28, 2016), the Court rejected the argument that the imposition of the mandatory two-year sentence for aggravated identity theft in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1028A did not preclude the imposition of an additional two-level enhancement under U.S.S.G. § 2B1.1(b)(11)(B)(i) for the “production” of an authorized access device. The Court explained that while § 2B1.6 of the Guidelines precluded the imposition of an additional Guideline enhancement for the “use” of a means of identification, this double-counting preclusion did not apply to the “production” of such a device. The Court reasoned that producing unauthorized devices creates more opportunities for prohibited conduct than mere use of a pre-existing device. Taylor’s scheme involved submitting false identities to banks in order to cause them to produce credit cards. The Court held that, in so doing, Taylor “willfully caused” the production of the credit cards, and was accountable for their “production” even though the cards were manufactured by the banks, an innocent third party.