United States v. Morris

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 03-13-2014
  • Case #: 12-50302
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Chief Judge Kozinski; Circuit Judges Reinhardt and Clifton
  • Full Text Opinion

In calculating loss associated with mortgage fraud cases, courts should use the following two steps set forth under U.S.S.G. §2B1.1(b): (1) calculate the greater of actual or intended loss by using a reasonable foreseeability analysis and (2) deducting from the actual or intended loss the value of any collateral recovered or recoverable by the creditor.

When Peter Morris (“Morris”) applied for loans from three different banks, he provided false information and documents to the banks, and withheld information from each bank about his other pending loan applications. After Morris’ applications were approved by all three banks, he purchased three different properties. He failed to pay two of the mortgages causing those banks to foreclose and sell the properties at a loss; Morris sold the remaining property causing a loss to the third bank. Several years later, Morris received a sentence of 63 months imprisonment after pleading guilty to making a false statement on a loan application and wire fraud. Morris appealed his 63 month sentence arguing that the district court erred in their calculation of a $1,033,500 loss to the banks. In determining Morris’s sentence, the district court used U.S.S.G. § 2B1.1, which applies to crimes of fraud. In mortgage fraud cases, the two steps under U.S.S.G. §2B1.1(b) used to calculate loss are (1) calculating the greater of actual or intended loss by using a reasonable foreseeability analysis and (2) deducting from the actual or intended loss the value of any collateral recovered or recoverable by the creditor. Since the two steps set forth in U.S.S.G. §2B1.1 (b) were followed by the district court in their calculation of the loss suffered by the banks, Morris’s sentenced is affirmed. AFFIRMED.


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