Marinello v. United States

Brief of Amici Curiae Cause of Action Institute and National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in Support of Petitioner (On Petition for a Writ of Certiorari).

Brief filed: 04/21/2017


Marinello v. United States

United States Supreme Court; Case No. 16-1144

Prior Decision

Decision below, United States v. Marinello, 839 F.3d 209 (2nd Cir. Oct. 14, 2016).


This Court should grant certiorari because under the law in the majority of circuits, the “corruptly” mens rea requirement fails to limit the reach of 26 U.S.C. § 7212(a)’s “omnibus clause.” This Court has routinely cabined omnibus clauses. The definition of “corruptly” applied to 26 U.S.C. § 7212(a) does not restrict the application of the statute in any meaningful manner. Whether the defendant has the “intent to obtain an unlawful benefit” depends on whether the benefit was unlawful, not on whether the defendant knew the benefit was unlawful. Even legal acts or omissions can be criminal. The “unlawful benefit” does not need to be a tax benefit. The prevailing § 7212(a) “omnibus clause” interpretation swallows the remainder of the criminal provisions of Title 26 and grants prosecutors unfettered discretion. The Court should grant certiorari to vindicate its ruling in Aguilar

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John Vecchione and Erica L. Marshall, Cause of Action Institute; Jeffrey T. Green, NACDL, Washington, DC.