<h1>Federal Jury Charge Bank Fraud</h1> <p>In any jury trial there are, in effect, two judges. I am one of the judges; the other is the<br />jury. It is Imy duty to preside over the trial and to decide what evidence is proper for your<br />consideration. It is also my duty at the end of the trial to explain to you the rules of law that<br />you must follow and apply in arriving at your verdict.</p> <p>First, I will give you some general instructions which apply in every case, for example,<br />instructions about burden of proof and how to judge the believability of witnesses. Then I will<br />give you some specific rules of law about this particular case, and finally I will explain to you<br />the procedures you should follow in your deliberations.</p> <p>You, as jurors, are the judges of the facts. But in determining what actually</p> <p>CHARGE OF THE COURT &ndash; Page 1<br />happened-that is, in reaching your decision as to the facts-it is your sworn duty to follow all<br />of the rules of law as I explain them to you.</p> <p>You have no right to disregard or give special attention to any one instruction, or to<br />question the wisdom or correctness of any rule I may state to you. You must not substitute or<br />follow your own notion or opinion as to what the law is or ought to be. It is your duty to<br />apply the law as I explain it to you, regardless of the consequences.</p> <p>It is also your duty to base your verdict solely upon the evidence, without prejudice or<br />sympathy for or against a defendant. That was the promise you made and the oath you took<br />before being accepted by the parties as jurors, and they have the right to expect nothing less.<br />The indictment or formal charge against a defendant is not evidence of guilt. Indeed,<br />each defendant is presumed by the law to be innocent. The law does not require a defendant<br />to prove his innocence or produce any evidence at all and no inference whatever may be<br />drawn from the election of a defendant not to testify. The government has the burden of<br />proving each defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and if it fails to do so, you must<br />acquit the defendant.</p> <p>While the government&rsquo;s burden of proof is a strict or heavy burden, it is not necessary<br />that a defendant&rsquo;s guilt be proved beyond all possible doubt. It is only required that the<br />government&rsquo;s proof exclude any &ldquo;reasonable doubt&rdquo; concerning the defendant&rsquo;s guilt.<br />CHARGE OF THE COURT &ndash; Page 2</p> <p>A &ldquo;reasonable doubt&rdquo; is a doubt based upon reason and common sense after careful and<br />impartial consideration of all the evidence in the case. Proof beyond a reasonable doubt,<br />therefore, is proof of such a convincing character that you would be willing to rely and act<br />upon it without hesitation in the most important of your own affairs. If you are convinced that<br />the accused has been proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, say so. If you are not<br />convinced, say so.</p> <p>As I told you earlier, it is your duty to determine the facts. In doing so, you must<br />consider only the evidence presented during the trial, including the sworn testimony of the<br />witnesses and the exhibits. Remember that any statements, objections, or arguments made by<br />the lawyers are not evidence. The function of the lawyers is to point out those things that are<br />most significant or most helpful to their side of the case, and in so doing to call your attention<br />to certain facts or inferences that might otherwise escape your notice. In the final analysis,<br />however, it is your own recollection and interpretation of the evidence that controls in the<br />case. What the lawyers say is not binding upon you.<br />Also, do not assume from anything I may have done or said during the trial that I have<br />any opinion concerning any of the issues in this case. Except for the instructions to you on the<br />law, you should disregard anything I may have said during the trial in arriving at your own<br />findings as to the facts.</p> <p>CHARGE OF THE COURT &ndash; Page 3</p> <p>While you should consider only the evidence, you are permitted to draw such<br />reasonable inferences from the testimony and exhibits as you feel are justified in the light of<br />common experience. In other words, you may make deductions and reach conclusions that<br />reason and common sense lead you to draw from the facts which have been established by the<br />evidence.</p> <p>In considering the evidence you may make deductions and reach conclusions which<br />reason and common sense lead you to make; and you should not be concerned about whether<br />the evidence is direct or circumstantial. &ldquo;Direct evidence&rdquo; is the testimony of one who asserts<br />actual knowledge of a fact, such as an eye witness. &ldquo;Circumstantial evidence&rdquo; is proof of a<br />chain of facts and circumstances indicating that the defendant is either guilty or not guilty.<br />The law makes no distinction between the weight you may give to either direct or<br />circumstantial evidence.</p> <p>I remind you that it is your job to decide whether the government has proved the guilt<br />of each defendant beyond a reasonable doubt. In doing so, you must consider all of the<br />evidence. This does not mean, however, that you must accept all of the evidence as true or<br />accurate.</p> <p>You are the sole judges of the credibility or &ldquo;believability&rdquo; of each witness and the<br />weight to be given the witness&rsquo;s testimony. An important part of your job will be making<br />CHARGE OF THE COURT &ndash; Page 4</p> <p>judgments about the testimony of the witnesses, including each defendant, who testified in this<br />case. You should decide whether you believe what each person had to say, and how important<br />that testimony was. In making that decision I suggest that you ask yourself a few questions:<br />Did the person impress you as honest? Did the witness have any particular reason not to tell<br />the truth? Did the witness have a personal interest in the outcome of the case? Did the<br />witness have any relationship with either the government or the defense? Did the witness<br />seem to have a good memory? Did the witness have the opportunity and ability to understand<br />the questions clearly and answer them directly? Did the witness&rsquo;s testimony differ from the<br />testimony of other witnesses? These are a few of the considerations that will help you<br />determine the accuracy of what each witness said.</p> <p>[The testimony of each defendant should be weighed and their individual credibility<br />evaluated in the same way as that of any other witness].</p> <p>The testimony of a witness may be discredited or impeached by showing that he<br />previously made statements which are inconsistent with his present testimony. The earlier<br />contradictory statements are admissible only to impeach the credibility of the witness, and not<br />to establish the truth of these statements. It is the province of the jury to determine the<br />credibility, if any, to be given the testimony of a witness who has been impeached. If you<br />believe that a witness has been discredited in this manner, it is your exclusive right to given<br />CHARGE OF THE COURT &ndash; Page 5</p> <p>the testimony of that witness whatever weight you think it deserves. I remind you that a<br />defendant has the right not to testify. When a defendant does testify, however, her testimony<br />should be weighed and her credibility evaluated in the same way as that of any other witness.<br />In making up your mind and reaching a verdict, do not make any decisions simply<br />because there were more witnesses on one side than on the other. Do not reach a conclusion<br />on a particular point just because there were more witnesses testifying for one side on that<br />point. Your job is to think about the testimony of each witness you have heard and decide<br />how much you believe of what each witness had to say.</p> <p>You are here to decide whether the government has proved beyond a reasonable doubt<br />that the defendant is guilty of the crime charged. The defendant is not on trial for any act,<br />conduct, or offense not alleged in the indictment. Neither are you concerned with the guilt of<br />any other person or persons not on trial as a defendant in this case.</p> <p>Counts One and Three of the indictment charge defendants, Paola Garcia and Teresa<br />Guerrero, with the offense of False Representation of Social Security Number, in violation of<br />Title 42, United States Code, Section 408(a)(7)(B).</p> <p>Title 42, United States Code, Section 408(a)(7)(B), makes it a crime for anyone, with<br /> intent to deceive, lo falsely represent a number to be the social security account number<br />^-assigned by therCommissioner of Social Security to her.</p> <p>CHARGE OF THE COURT &ndash; Page 6</p> <p>For you to find each defendant guilty of this crime, you must be convinced that the<br />government has proved each of the following beyond a reasonable doubt:<br />That on or about the date and location alleged in Counts One and Three of the<br />indictment:</p> <p>First for the purpose of obtaining a loan;<br />Second: each defendant with intent to deceive;<br />Third: falsely represented a number to be the social security account<br />number assigned by the Commissioner of Social Security to her; and<br />Fourth: that number was not the social security account number assigned by<br />the Commissioner of Social Security to her.</p> <p>Counts Two and Four of the indictment charge defendants, Paola Garcia and Teresa<br />Guerrero, with the offense of False Statement, in violation of Title 18, United States Code,<br />Sections 1001(a)(2) and (3).</p> <p>Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1001(a)(2) and (3), makes it a crime for anyone<br />to knowingly and willfully make a materially false statement in a matter within the jurisdiction<br />of the Executive Branch of the United States Government.<br />For you to find each defendant guilty of this crime, you must be convinced that the<br />government has proved each of the following beyond a reasonable doubt:<br />That on or about the date and location alleged in Counts Two and Four of the<br />CHARGE OF THE COURT &ndash; Page 7</p> <p>indictment:<br />First the defendant made a false statement to the Federal Housing J<br />A d m i n i s t r a t i o n ; ^ &mdash; S<br />Second: the defendant made the statement intentionally, knowing it was false;<br />Third: the statement was material; and<br />Fourth: the defendant made the false statement for the puipose of<br />misleading the Federal Housing Administration.</p> <p>A statement is &ldquo;material&rdquo; if it has a natural tendency to influence, or is capable of<br />influencing, a decision of the Federal Housing Administration.</p> <p>Intent ordinarily may not be proved directly, because there is no way of fathoming or<br />scrutinizing the operation of the human mind. But you may infer a defendant&rsquo;s intent from the<br />suuounding circumstances. You may consider any statement made by that defendant, and all<br />other facts and circumstances in evidence which indicate his or her state of mind. It is<br />reasonable to infer that a person ordinarily intends the natural and probable consequences of<br />his or her knowing acts. You may draw the inference that the defendant under consideration<br />intended all the consequences which one standing in like circumstances and possessing like<br />knowledge should reasonably have expected to result from any intentional act or conscious<br />omission. Any such inference drawn is entitled to be considered by you, as the jury, in<br />determining whether or not the government has proved beyond a reasonable doubt that a<br />CHARGE OF THE COURT &ndash; Page 8</p> <p>defendant possessed the required criminal intent.</p> <p>You may find that a defendant had knowledge of a fact if you find that the defendant<br />deliberately closed her eyes to what would otherwise have been obvious to her. While<br />knowledge on the part of the defendant cannot be established merely by demonstrating that the<br />defendant was negligent, careless, or foolish, knowledge can be inferred if the defendant<br />deliberately blinded herself to the existence of a fact.</p> <p>You will note that the indictment charges that the offense was committed &ldquo;on or<br />about&rdquo; a specified date. The government does not have to prove that the crime was<br />committed on that exact date, so long as the government proves beyond a reasonable doubt<br />that the defendant committed the crime on a date reasonably near the dates as stated in each<br />respective count of the indictment.</p> <p>A separate crime is charged against one or more of the defendants in each count of the<br />indictment. Each count, and the evidence pertaining to it, should be considered separately.<br />Also, the case of each defendant should be considered separately and individually. The fact<br />that you may find one or more of the accused guilty or not guilty of any of the crimes charged<br />should not control your verdict as to any other crime or any other defendant. You must give<br />separate consideration to the evidence as to each defendant.</p> <p>You have heard evidence of acts of the defendant which may be similar to those</p> <p>CHARGE OF THE COURT &ndash; Page 9<br />H<br />charged in the indictment, but which were committed on other occasions. You must not<br />consider any of this evidence in deciding if the defendant committed the acts charged in the<br />indictment. However, you may consider this evidence for other, very limited, purposes.<br />If you find beyond a reasonable doubt from other evidence in this case that the<br />defendant did commit the acts charged in the indictment, then you may consider evidence of<br />the similar acts allegedly committed on other occasions to determine:</p> <p> Whether the defendant had the state of mind or intent necessary to commit the crime<br />charged in the indictmeruTyhether the defendant had a motive or the opportunity to commit<br />the acts charged in the indictment;whether the defendant acted according to a plan or in<br />preparation for commission of a crime; whether the defendant committed the acts for which<br />she is on trial by accident or mistake.</p> <p>These are the limited purposes for which any evidence of other similar acts may be<br />considered.</p> <p>If a defendant is found guilty, it will be my duty to decide what the punishment will be.<br />You should not be concerned with punishment in any way. It should not enter your<br />consideration or discussion.</p> <p>To reach a verdict, all of you must agree. Your verdict must be unanimous on each<br />count of the indictment. Your deliberations will be secret. You will never have to explain<br />CHARGE OF THE COURT &ndash; Page 10</p> <p>your verdict to anyone.</p> <p>You are here to decide whether the government has proved beyond a reasonable doubt<br />that the defendant is guilty of the crimes charged. The defendant is not on trial for any act,<br />conduct, or offense not alleged in the indictment. Neither are you concerned with the guilt of<br />any other person or persons not on trial as defendant in this case.</p> <p>To reach a verdict, whether it is guilty or not guilty, all of you must agree. Your<br />verdict must be unanimous on each count of the indictment. Your deliberations will be secret.<br />You will never have to explain your verdict to anyone.</p> <p>It is your duty to consult with one another and to deliberate in an effort to reach<br />agreement if you can do so. Each of you must decide the case for yourself, but only after an<br />impartial consideration of the evidence with your fellow jurors. During your deliberations, do<br />not hesitate to reexamine your own opinions and change your mind if convinced that you were<br />wrong. But do not give up your honest beliefs as to the weight or effect of the evidence solely<br />because of the opinion of your fellow jurors, or for the mere purpose of returning a verdict.<br />Remember at all times, you are judges-judges of the facts. Your sole duty is to decide<br />whether the government has proved the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. When<br />you go to the jury room, the first thing that you should do is select one of your number as your<br />foreperson, who will help to guide your deliberations and will speak for you here in the<br />CHARGE OF THE COURT &ndash; Page 11</p> <p>courtroom.<br />A form of verdict has been prepared for your convenience.</p> <p>The foreperson will write the unanimous answer of the jury in the space provided for in<br />each count of the indictment, either guilty or not guilty. At the conclusion of your<br />deliberations, the foreperson should date and sign the verdict.</p> <p>If you need to communicate with me during your deliberations, the foreperson should<br />write the message and give it to the marshal. I will either reply in writing or bring you back<br />into the court to answer your message.</p> <p>Bear in mind that you are never to reveal to any person, not even to the court, how the<br />jury stands, numerically or otherwise, on any count of the indictment, until after you have<br />reached a unanimous verdict.</p>
Los Abogados
  • Francisco Hernandez
  • Daniel Hernandez
  • Phillip Hall
  • Rocio Martinez