• Supreme Court to Consider Scope of "Honest Services" Mail and Wire Fraud
  • December 21, 2009
  • Law Firm: Arnold & Porter LLP - Washington Office
  • This term, the United States Supreme Court is reviewing three separate cases concerning the scope of “honest services” mail and wire fraud under 18 U.S.C. § 1346. The first two of these cases, United States v. Black, No. 08-876 and United States v. Weyhrauch, No. 08-1196, were heard on December 8, 2009. Both Black and the third case to be argued this term, United States v. Skilling, No. 08-1394, address the application of Section 1346 in the private sector context. In Black, the Court is considering whether the government must prove that an employee charged with using the mails or wires to deprive his or her employer of the employee’s honest services, intended to obtain a private gain at the expense of his or her employer, as opposed to a third party (such as a foreign government). In Skilling, the Court will decide the more fundamental question of whether Section 1346 requires a showing that the employee intended to obtain any private gain at all, or whether it is enough that the employer suffered some type of detriment. Weyhrauch, by contrast, deals with honest services in the public sector context. Specifically, the Court will address whether a public official, to be convicted of using the mails or wires to deprive the public of his or honest services, must have violated a state law. www.arnoldporter.com