United States v. Seng Xiong, No. 17-3283 (8th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
The Eighth Circuit affirmed defendant's conviction of mail and wire fraud and sentence of 87 months in prison. Defendant's conviction stemmed from his scheme to promote the creation of a Hmong homeland by accepting money from donors.
The court held that the district court did not err in preventing defendant from raising a public authority defense at trial because he failed to show even apparent authority. Furthermore, the district court did not err by precluding him from presenting an entrapment by estoppel defense. The court also held that defendant's Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination was not violated; defendant's right to compulsory process under the Sixth Amendment was not violated; and the court declined to consider defendant's ineffective assistance of counsel claim. Finally, the court held that defendant's sentence was substantively reasonable where the district court did not abuse its discretion and explicitly considered sentencing disparities.