United States v. Steele, No. 17-4580 (4th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
The Fourth Circuit vacated the district court's restitution order after defendant was convicted of postal theft. Defendant, a mail handler for the postal service, was convicted of stealing video game discs sent by GameFly. The court held that fair market value was the appropriate measure of value for restitution and the Government failed to sufficiently demonstrate the victim's loss. In this case, the district court abused its discretion by relying on the victim's unsupported estimate of its replacement costs. The court held that the video games that GameFly lost were fungible and nothing in the record indicated that the stolen games had any unique or personal value to GameFly that fair market value could not adequately capture.