United States v. Lucas, Jr., No. 15-41229 (5th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Defendant was convicted of seven counts of wire fraud and one count of making false statements to an FBI agent. Defendant's convictions stemmed from his involvement in a fraudulent scheme involving the alleged development of a Disney theme park in Celina, Texas. The court rejected defendant's evidentiary challenges, concluding that the district court did not abuse its discretion by admitting evidence that defendant met the individual who informed him of the Disney development at a methadone clinic because the true nature of the relationship that defendant had with the person he claimed to be his source for the Disney information was inextricably intertwined with the fraudulent scheme. The court also concluded that, even assuming that new information regarding the involvement of defendant's uncle, the uncle's participation does not undermine the conclusion that defendant was involved in the scheme. Therefore, the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying defendant a new trial on these bases. Finally, the court rejected defendant's objections to the admission of portions of his deposition testimony through the summary-evidence testimony of a government agent. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment.