United States v. Seidling, No. 13-1854 (7th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
Seidling admitted to knowingly mailing documents containing false information about service of process or publication of notice to small claims courts in Wisconsin and hiding the filings of the actions from named defendants. Seidling argued that the elements of the mail fraud statute could not be met because he never intended the false statements and misrepresentations to be communicated to the victims. The combined total intended loss amount was calculated as $370,220. None of the defendants suffered immediate pecuniary harm, but many experienced challenges in reopening the lawsuits, getting them dismissed, clearing their credit, and removing the fraudulent lawsuits from the system. The district court found him guilty of 50 counts of mail fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1341. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, rejecting an argument that there was no convergence between the victims’ losses and the fraudulent statements. Although his false statements and misrepresentations were not made directly to the victims, they still satisfied the requisite materiality element of mail fraud. The court noted Seidling’s history of fraudulent behavior, his lack of remorse, and the extensive details of his scheme, and held that the district court did not err in denying a reduction in sentencing for acceptance of responsibility.