United States v. Hernandez, No. 16-51226 (5th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
The Fifth Circuit affirmed Defendant Hernandez and Mendoza's sentences after they pleaded guilty to wire and bank fraud charges arising out of their modified Ponzi scheme. Defendants, two former credit union employees, issued unrecorded share certificates and misappropriated the proceeds. The court held that the district court did not abuse its discretion by applying a two-level sentencing increase to Hernandez's sentence under USSG 2B1.1(b)(11) for possession or use of an authentication feature to further the crime; the district court did not err by holding Hernandez responsible for a loss of $18,376,542, which led to a 20-level increase in her base offense level under USSG 2B1.1(b)(1); and the district court carefully considered Mendoza's request for a downward departure, mitigating factors, the 18 U.S.C. 3553(a) factors, and reasonably concluded that her sentence was warranted.