United States v. Thomas, No. 15-30758 (5th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Defendant appealed his sentence and conviction for theft from a program receiving federal funds, money laundering, and payment structuring arising out of work he performed for the New Orleans Traffic Court. The court concluded that the evidence presented at trial, taken in the light most favorable to the government, was sufficient for a rational trier of fact to find that the elements of 18 U.S.C. 666, theft from a program receiving federal funds, were met. In the alternative, the court concluded that the application of section 666 to the unlawful conduct here is constitutional because the evidence was sufficient to establish an agency relationship between defendant and the entity receiving federal funds according to the statutory definition and the limiting principles described in United States v. Phillips. Finally, the court rejected defendant's evidentiary errors and defendant's challenge to the district court's grant of the government's reverse-Batson challenge. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment.