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UNITED STATES v. MARIANI
June 5, 1996
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
CARMEN DANELLA and RENATO MARIANI
The opinion of the court was delivered by: BRODERICK
On February 8, 1996, a criminal indictment was filed against Defendants Carmen Danella and Renato Mariani, charging each defendant with conspiracy to defraud the United States, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371. Both Defendants were also charged with filing false corporate tax returns, in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7206(2), and Defendant Danella was charged with two counts of filing a false individual income tax return, in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7206(1). The indictment charged that the Defendants directed John Kaufman, a lawyer who is not a defendant in this indictment, to submit fake invoices for unprovided legal services to companies controlled by Defendants. The indictment further charged that the Defendants would pay these bills and receive a large percentage of the payments back from John Kaufman, after which they would take income tax deductions for the cost of the legal services which were purportedly never provided.
Defendants Carmen Danella and Renato Mariani have now filed a joint motion in which they seek dismissal of the § 371 conspiracy charge (which is Count One of the indictment) on the ground that it is legally deficient or, in the alternative, a bill of particulars. On May 20, 1996, the Court held oral argument on Defendants' joint motion. After consideration of counsels' argument and the briefs presented to the Court, the Court will deny the motion for the reasons set forth in this memorandum.
Count One of the indictment provides in relevant part:
From in or about January 1988 to in or about December 1992, in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and elsewhere, defendants
did knowingly and intentionally conspire, combine, confederate and agree with other persons known and unknown to the Grand Jury, to defraud the United States by impeding, impairing, obstructing, and defeating the lawful functions of the Internal Revenue Service of the United States Treasury Department in the ascertainment, computation, assessment and collection of revenue and in the examination of income tax returns.
Counts Two through Seven set forth individual violations of 26 U.S.C. § 7206(1) and 7206(2) based on the Defendants' alleged filing of false income tax returns.
§ 371 provides in relevant part:
If two or more persons conspire either to commit any offense against the United States, or to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose, and one of more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.
(emphasis added). Count One of the indictment is brought under the "defraud" clause of § 371. As the Third Circuit explained in United States v. ...
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