United States v. Eyraud

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 10-22-2015
  • Case #: 14-50261
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Trott for the Court; Circuit Judges O'Scannlain and Bybee
  • Full Text Opinion

Pursuant to the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act 18 U.S.C. § 3663A, courts have discretion to include attorneys’ fees in a restitution order when the victim acquired “reasonably necessary” expenses to involve law enforcement in prosecuting a defendant.

Rhino Building Services (RBS) employed Roxanne Eyraud. During a two-year period, Eyraud embezzled funds from RBS by writing company checks to herself and to some unknowing employees, amounting to $264,824.10. Subsequent to a stipulated agreement, Eyraud pleaded guilty to bank fraud under 18 U.S.C. § 1344. In addition to her sentence, Eyraud was also ordered to pay restitution damages totaling $425,445.44 to RBS. The heart of this dispute occurred after the negotiated agreement. RBS sought more restitution damages from Eyraud alleging that the plea agreement was negotiated prior to full calculation of RBS’s losses. The district court held that the award of attorneys’ fees to RBS was reasonably necessary. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit reviewed for an abuse of discretion whether RBS’s inclusion of their attorneys’ fees was reasonably necessary and thus appropriately included in the restitution damages Eyraud must pay. The general rule, pursuant to the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act (“MVRA”) 18 U.S.C. § 3663A, states courts have discretion to include attorneys’ fees in a restitution order when the victim acquired “reasonably necessary” expenses from law enforcement investigation and prosecution of a defendant. The panel held that due to Eyraud’s extensive attempts to conceal her embezzlement, the attorneys’ fees and other related fees RBS accumulated were “reasonably necessary” and thus properly included in the restitution order by the district court. AFFIRMED.

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