United States v. Abdelbary, No. 13-4083 (4th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Defendant appealed a restitution order as part of his sentence for bankruptcy fraud. The court concluded that attorneys' fee expenditures were includable under 18 U.S.C. 3663A(b)(1). In this case, the causal relationship the government sought to establish between the crime and the incurrence of the fees was not based simply on the fact that the fees were incurred to prevent harm from, or to remedy harm caused by, the defendant's criminal conduct. Rather, the government sought to prove that the fees incurred were directly and proximately caused by defendant's bankruptcy fraud because the fraud occurred in the context of defendant's bankruptcy proceeding and Jordan Oil incurred the fees defending its interest against defendant's fraud in that same proceeding. Accordingly, the court concluded that the district court properly determined that the amount of attorneys' fees Jordan Oil incurred in the bankruptcy case as a result of defendant's offense was includable as restitution under the Mandatory Victim Restitution Act (MVRA), 18 U.S.C. 3663A.