United States v. Bennett, No. 12-3754 (8th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Defendants Bennett, Jennifer, and Clayton were found guilty of several counts stemming from two fraudulent schemes. Bennett and Clayton appealed their convictions and sentences, and Jennifer appealed her convictions. Clayton died while this appeal was pending. The court vacated Clayton's convictions and remanded his case with instructions to dismiss the indictment as it pertains to him because the criminal proceedings against Clayton abated ab initio. The court concluded that the district court did not err in denying Bennett's motion to dismiss the mail-fraud and mail-fraud-conspiracy counts on the ground that they are barred by the statute of limitations; the district court did not err in denying Bennett's motion for a judgment of acquittal on the mail-fraud charge because the Government presented sufficient evidence to support the jury's verdict; the facts found by the district court did not alter the statutory maximum or minimum sentence that Bennett faced and, therefore, the court rejected Bennett's Alleyne claim; Clayton's death does not necessitate reversal of Bennett's convictions and sentences; and the district court did not err in denying Jennifer's motion to sever her trial from the other defendants.