United States v. Whyte (P)

A jury convicted the defendant-appellant of several fraud offenses, with parallel False Claims Act proceedings, arising from his failure to provide multinational forces in Iraq with contracted-for armored vehicles.

First, the criminal prosecution was not collaterally estopped by the prior False Claims action because the government is not a party to a False Claims action in which it has declined to intervene. Here, the district court correctly concluded that the government cannot be considered to have been a party to the False Claims suit — with a full and fair opportunity to litigate the matter — for collateral estoppel purposes as it relates to this criminal proceeding. The district court properly declined to dismiss the indictment on this basis.

Second, the indictment properly charged the essential elements of the offense, and the evidence was sufficient to support the convictions, even if the contract at issue was ultimately with the multilateral MNF-I rather than the government. Evidence at trial was sufficient to establish the status of the government under the contract because the defendant’s company contracted with and defrauded the U.S. Department of Defense.

Affirmed.

United States v. Whyte (P), No. 18-4123, Mar. 12, 2019. 4th Cir. (Agee) from WDVA at Danville (Kiser).



Categories: 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Opinions, Published

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