USA v. Courtney Stadd, No. 09-3121 (D.C. Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
Appellant appealed a conviction on one count of committing an act affecting a personal financial interest in violation of 18 U.S.C. 208(a) and 216(a)(2) and two counts of making false statements in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1001(a)(2) where the convictions arose from his involvement in the allocation of a $15 million congressional earmark while serving as the interim Associate Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration ("NASA"). At issue was whether there was sufficient evidence to support his convictions under section 208(a) and whether the district court properly charged the jury with the section 208(a) violation. The court held that there was sufficient evidence to support appellant's conviction under section 208(a) where there was ample evidence from which the jury could conclude that the allocation of the earmarked funds was indeed a "particular matter" within the meaning of the statute; that appellant participated both "personally and substantially" in the distribution of the earmarked funds; and that appellant knew he had a financial interest in the "particular matter." The court also held that even if the district court erred by not including the "direct and predictable effect" language in the jury charge, its error was harmless.