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The Champion

November 2003 , Page 48 

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Fourth Circuit upholds wire fraud conviction based on scheme to evade foreign tax

By Kathryn Keneally

Read more White-Collar Crime columns.

Fourth Circuit upholds wire fraud conviction based on a scheme to evade foreign tax

A long-standing common law principle known as the “revenue rule” holds that the courts of the United States generally are not required to recognize or to enforce foreign tax judgments. In two opinions decided within a few months of one another, the First Circuit held that the revenue rule prevented the use of the federal mail and wire fraud statutes to prosecute a scheme to evade Canadian excise taxes, while in direct contradiction the Second Circuit held that a nearly identical scheme could form the basis of a wire fraud predicate to uphold a conviction under the federal money laundering statute.1  

In a recent en banc decision, the Fourth Circuit has joined the Second Circuit in upholding convictions under the wire fraud statute based on a scheme to evade Canadian taxes in connection with the importation and sale of liquor.2

The prosecution in United States v. Pasquantino involved a fairly straightforwar

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