CREW FILES AMICUS BRIEF IN BLACK V. UNITED STATES
On September 17th, CREW filed a friend-of-the-court, or amicus, brief in support of the government in Black v. United States. The plaintiffs in the case, executives of a private company, were convicted of honest services and mail fraud for allegedly looting the company for their own benefit.
Congress enacted the honest services fraud statute to criminalize government corruption under the mail fraud statute by punishing those who use the mail to execute a scheme to deprive another of the right of honest services. Fearing the Supreme Court might reach out to declare the honest services fraud statute unconstitutional, CREW filed its amicus brief to argue that at least as to public officials, prosecution under the honest services fraud statute does not require proof that they threatened or caused tangible harm to the public.
The honest services fraud statute is an invaluable prosecutorial tool and if invalidated will make it very difficult to prosecute public corruption.