United States v. Ravneet Singh

FOR PUBLICATION UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, No. 17-50337 Plaintiff-Appellee, D.C. No. v. 3:14-cr-00388- MMA-2 RAVNEET SINGH, AKA Ravi Singh, Defendant-Appellant. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, No. 17-50387 Plaintiff-Appellee, D.C. No. v. 3:14-cr-00388- MMA-1 JOSE SUSUMO AZANO MATSURA, AKA Mr. A, AKA Mr. Lambo, Defendant-Appellant. OPINION Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of California Michael M. Anello, District Judge, Presiding Argued and Submitted March 13, 2019 San Francisco, California Filed May 16, 2019 2 UNITED STATES V. SINGH Before: MILAN D. SMITH, JR., PAUL J. WATFORD, and ANDREW D. HURWITZ, Circuit Judges. Opinion by Judge Milan D. Smith, Jr. SUMMARY * Criminal Law The panel reversed Jose Susumo Azano Mastura’s and Ravneet Singh’s convictions on count 37 for falsification of campaign records, affirmed all other convictions, vacated the sentences, and remanded for resentencing, in a case in which Azano, a foreign national, and his co-conspirators sought to influence local politicians during the 2012 San Diego election cycle by providing campaign contributions. Rejecting appellants’ contention that Congress lacks the power to prohibit foreign nationals from donating and contributing to state and local elections, the panel held that Congress acted within its constitutional authority in enacting 52 U.S.C. § 30121(a). Bound by the Supreme Court’s summary affirmance in Bluman v. FEC, 800 F. Supp. 2d 281 (D.D.C. 2011), aff’d, 565 U.S. 1104 (2012), the panel rejected appellants’ contention that § 30121(a) violates foreign nationals’ First Amendment rights. The panel rejected appellants’ contention that 52 U.S.C. § 30109(d), the penalty provision applicable to violations of § 30121, requires that the government prove that a defendant * This summary constitutes no part of the opinion of the court. It has been prepared by court staff for the convenience of the reader. UNITED STATES V. SINGH 3 harbors the specific intent to evade § 30121, not merely the intent to commit unlawful conduct. As to the jury instruction on the charge that Singh aided and abetted Azano’s unlawful donations, the panel rejected Singh’s argument that the district court’s failure to include the element that Singh knew Azano lacked immigration status constitutes reversible error. The panel held that the instructions as a whole adequately covered the element of Singh’s knowledge of Azano’s immigration status. Appellants contested their convictions under counts 5 through 37, arguing there was insufficient evidence to satisfy the material elements of 18 U.S.C. § 1519 (falsifying campaign records). • Singh argued that § 1519 requires an affirmative act, and that a mere omission, without an affirmative duty, cannot satisfy the actus reus element. The panel held that an omission satisfies the actus reus element for § 1519. The panel observed that Singh was not simply convicted under § 1519, but under 18 U.S.C. § 2(b) (willfully causing an act to be done which if directly performed by him or another would be an offense against the United States) in conjunction with § 1519, in which scenario the actus reus element merges ...

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Source: All recent Immigration Decisions In All the U.S. Courts of Appeals