In United States v. Estepa, No. 19-12272 (May 25, 2021) (Lagoa, Anderson, Marcus), the Court affirmed the defendants’ wire fraud convictions.
The Court rejected the defendants’ two arguments that the evidence was insufficient to support their convictions, which arose from misrepresentations made in bidding on local government construction contracts. First, the Court found that the evidence was sufficient to show that the defendants engaged in a scheme to defraud by intentionally making material misrepresentations that it intended to comply with certain legal requirements and not to use subcontractors. The Court rejected the defendants’ argument that there was no scheme to defraud because the government did not suffer a financial loss. Second, the Court found that the evidence was sufficient to show that the defendants knowingly and voluntarily agreed to commit the scheme to defraud and pursued overt acts in furtherance of that agreement. The Court rejected the defendants’ argument that their misstatements arose from a reasonable and good-faith interpretation of a complex regulatory regime.