United States v. Gatwas, No. 17-3683 (8th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
The Eighth Circuit affirmed defendant's conviction for seven counts of aggravated identity theft stemming from his involvement in preparing personal income tax returns for his clients that obtained inflated refunds by falsely claiming dependents. The court held that the district court did not err in interpreting the term "uses, without lawful authority" under 18 U.S.C. 1028A(a)(1) where defendant knowingly used the names and social security numbers of falsely claimed dependents, including his own children, in committing wire fraud, and whether the minors "consented" to the use was irrelevant. Therefore, the district court did not err by denying defendant's motion for acquittal. The district court also did not abuse its discretion by rejecting a jury instruction incorporating defendant's interpretation of the statute.