United States v. Augare

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 09-09-2015
  • Case #: 14-30131
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Gould for the Court; Circuit Judges Goodwin and Ikuta
  • Full Text Opinion

“Sophisticated means” sentencing enhancement is applicable when a defendant employs coordinated and repetitive conduct to execute a criminal scheme.

Delyle Augare was the co-director of the Po’Ka Project. Augare and one of his co-defendants worked together to seemingly donate Po’Ka Project’s money to a charity controlled by the Po’Ka Project, which Augare then deposited into his personal account. For his role in the conspiracy, Augare pled guilty to two counts of conspiracy, theft from an Indian tribe, and federal income tax evasion. Augare appealed his sentence and the district court’s application of sentencing enhancements for a “sophisticated means” offense. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit held that “sophisticated means” sentencing enhancement is applicable when a defendant employs coordinated and repetitive conduct to execute a criminal scheme. The panel noted that the individual activities employed need not be sophisticated, but that it looked at the “totality of the scheme”. The panel concluded that the enhancement was appropriate because Augare repeatedly made coordinated fraudulent bank account transfers. AFFIRMED.

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