United States v. Tetioukhine, No. 12-1049 (1st Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
Defendant, a native of Russia, assumed the name, identifying information, and life history of Fionghal MacEoghan for more than twenty years. After law enforcement officials discovered Defendant's appropriation of MacEoghan's identity, Defendant was charged with, inter alia, aggravated identity theft, wire fraud, and providing false information to obtain federal financial aid in a nine count indictment. During trial, Defendant testified that he believed he had been lawfully adopted by MacEoghan's biological father, and thus that he had taken on MacEoghan's identity through legitimate means. The jury rejected Defendant's defense and found him guilty of eight counts of the indictment. The First Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that the district court did not err (1) in excluding a proposed expert witness in Soviet adoption practices and cultural difference between the former Soviet Union and the United States; and (2) in admitting evidence pertaining to Defendant's prior larceny conviction.