Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States v. Larkin

United States District Court, D. Nevada

July 20, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiffs,
v.
MARIA LARKIN, Defendants.

          ORDER

         Presently before the court is defendant Maria Larkin's motion for judgment of acquittal. (ECF No. 318). The government filed a response (ECF No. 319), to which Larkin did not reply.

         I. Background

         On November 16, 2016, the government filed a second superseding indictment, charging Larkin with tax evasion, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 7201. (ECF No. 135).

         At the conclusion of a seven-day jury trial, the jury found Lark guilty of the offense of tax evasion as charged in count one of the second superseding indictment. (ECF No. 313).

         In the instant motion, Larkin moves for a judgment of acquittal pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 29(c). (ECF No. 318).

         II. Legal Standard

         A defendant may move for a judgment of acquittal, or renew such a motion, within fourteen days after a guilty verdict. Fed. R. Crim. P. 29(c). Such a motion is reviewed for sufficiency of the evidence. United States v. Stoddard, 150 F.3d 1140, 1144 (9th Cir. 1988).

         “The standard of review for determining the sufficiency of the evidence is whether, after viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution, any rational trier of fact could have found the essential elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.” United States v. Inzunza, 638 F.3d 1006, 1013 (9th Cir. 2009) (internal quotation marks omitted) (citing Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307, 318 (1979) (explaining that “the critical inquiry” is “whether the record evidence could reasonably support a finding of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt”)).

         “[The] district court must bear in mind that it is the exclusive function of the jury to determine the credibility of witnesses, resolve evidentiary conflicts, and draw reasonable inferences from proven facts.” United States v. Alarcon-Simi, 300 F.3d 1172, 1176 (9th Cir. 2002). “Circumstantial evidence and inferences drawn from it may be sufficient to sustain a conviction.” United States v. Reyes-Alvarado, 963 F.2d 1184, 1188 (9th Cir. 1992).

         III. Discussion

         In United States v. Kayser, the Ninth Circuit set forth the elements of attempted tax evasion under 26 U.S.C. § 7201[1] as follows: (1) willfulness; (2) the existence of a tax deficiency; and (3) an affirmative act constituting an evasion or attempted evasion of the tax. 488 F.3d 1070, 1073 (9th Cir. 2007) (citing Sansone v. United States, 380 U.S. 343, 351 (1965); United States v. Marashi, 913 F.2d 724, 735 (9th Cir. 1990)).

         In the instant motion, Larkin asserts that the trial evidence was insufficient to prove she willfully attempted to evade and defeat the payment of trust fund recovery penalties by committing the alleged affirmative acts of evasion. (ECF No. 318 at 3). Larkin contends that no rational trier of fact could find elements (1) and (3), or the requisite specific intent, beyond a reasonable doubt, based on the evidence at trial. (ECF No. 318 at 4).

         A. Willfulness

         “Willfulness, as construed by our prior decisions in criminal tax cases, requires the Government to prove that the law imposed a duty on the defendant, that the defendant knew of this duty, and that [s]he voluntarily and intentionally violated that duty.” Cheek v. United States, 498 U.S. 192, 201 (1991). This same definition applies equally to all tax offenses, misdemeanors and felonies alike. Un ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.