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United States v. Repak

United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit

March 28, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
RONALD W. REPAK, Appellant

          Argued: December 19, 2016

         On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania District Court No. 3-14-cr-00001-001 District Judge: The Honorable Kim R. Gibson

          Rebecca R. Haywood, Esq., Laura S. Irwin, Esq., Counsel for Appellee

          Timothy J. Lyon, Esq., Counsel for Appellant

          Before: SMITH, Chief Judge, MCKEE, and SHWARTZ, Circuit Judges

          OPINION

          SMITH, Chief Judge

         Ronald Repak was convicted of two counts of Hobbs Act extortion, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1951, and two counts of federal program bribery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 666. Repak appeals his conviction and sentence on those counts. For the reasons stated below, we will affirm.

          I

         This is a public corruption case coming out of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. The defendant, Ronald Repak, was the Executive Director of the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority ("JRA"), which receives federal and state funding to assist in economic development for the City of Johnstown. A voluntary Board of Directors governs the JRA. To promote economic development in Johnstown, the JRA's Board of Directors awards contracts to remediate industrial proprieties and issues grants to attract companies to Johnstown.

         While the JRA's Board of Directors ultimately confers contracts and grants, the JRA's Executive Director, who runs the day-to-day operations of the organization, makes recommendations to the Board as to which contractors should receive those contracts and grants. The JRA's Board of Directors "relied on the director to keep [them] informed as to what was going on." JA263. As one JRA Board member testified, "95 percent of what any board member [knew] in most . . . situations . . . w[as] told [to them] by the director." JA262-63. In short, the Executive Director plays a vital role in the process of selecting who receives JRA contracts and grants.

         Repak was the Executive Director from November 1977 to February 2013. His assistant was Debbie Walter. With Walter's help, Repak solicited a number of items from contractors who had been awarded contract work by the JRA during his time as Executive Director.[1] Repak's solicitations included requests for concert tickets, sporting event tickets, and golf outings. JRA contractors acquiesced in Repak's solicitations because "if [they] didn't, [they] felt that [they] would lose work." JA284. As one contractor testified, Repak "would sometimes . . . provide some innuendos like, 'Hey, I'm reviewing some invoice here of yours, ' which [was] usually followed up with some type of request. Or sometimes, [he would say, ] 'Well, I can get someone else to do the work.'" Id.; see also JA301 ("Mr. Repak provided a lot of, I said innuendos, subtle things through conversations. And then it would always be followed in a short period of time by either an instruction or request. . . . [W]ith him[, ] [instructions and requests] were the same thing."). Of particular importance in this appeal are two items that Repak received from JRA contractors but that were unassociated with any JRA project: a new roof on his house and excavating services for his son's gym. The Government also charged Repak with receipt of Pittsburgh Steelers tickets from another contractor, Kimball & Co. The jury, however, acquitted Repak on the counts related to receipt of the Steelers tickets. For that reason, we discuss only the receipt of the roof and excavating services in detail.

         In 2009, JRA contractor EADS Group ("EADS") replaced the roof on Repak's home at no cost to Repak. While Repak and several EADS employees were together, Repak overheard an EADS employee, Stephen Sewalk, discussing his past roofing business. Repak then asked Sewalk to take a look at the roof on his home. At that time, EADS did significant business with the JRA. Based on Repak's past solicitations for tickets and other items, Sewalk stated that he "inward[ly] sigh[ed]" following Repak's roof request and thought "here we go [again]." JA286. Although Sewalk initially tried to ignore Repak's request, Sewalk "knew it wasn't going to go away" after Repak made the request again several months later. Id. Sewalk then went to look at Repak's roof but testified at trial that he did not give Repak a quote for work on the roof. Rather, after Sewalk spoke with EADS's CEO, EADS "figured [the roof] was going to be another . . . favor" and informed Repak that it would cover the cost of replacing his roof. JA287. Sewalk testified that, although Repak offered to pay for the roof at one point, Repak also told him to "bury [the roofing expenses] in an invoice" to the JRA. JA288. EADS ultimately replaced the roof at a cost of $3, 000 to $4, 000. Instead of concealing those expenses in JRA invoices as Repak instructed, EADS simply bore the cost of replacing the roof. When asked at trial why EADS did this for Repak, Sewalk responded that EADS replaced the roof simply so that EADS could "maintain the workload" with the JRA. Id.; see also JA289 ("[W]e wanted to keep people employed and do our work. So I figured if we told [Repak] no that we weren't going to be working there much longer.").

         Also in 2009, a JRA contractor performed excavating services at a gym owned by Repak's son. Neither Repak nor his family paid for it. Repak initially asked another JRA contractor to do the excavating work, but, after Repak told the contractor to bury $5, 000 out of the $6, 000 excavating price quoted in a JRA invoice, the contractor turned him down and refused to work for the JRA again. As that contractor put it, "I just discussed it with my wife and kids, . . . and we just decided it would be better just to walk away [than continue to work for the JRA and Repak]." JA359.

         Repak then enlisted another JRA contractor, L&M Excavating Company ("L&M"), to do the work. Repak instructed L&M to demolish two abandoned homes and level lots adjoining his son's gym and then to spread gravel on the leveled area for parking. This work cost L&M $17, 500. After completing the requested work, an L&M employee, Rick McNulty, asked Repak whom L&M should invoice for the work. Repak told McNulty to "just bury [the $17, 500] in invoices" to the JRA and did not offer to pay for L&M's services. JA325-26. At that time, sixty percent of L&M's business came from the JRA. Yet, rather than follow Repak's instruction to submit fraudulent invoices, L&M assumed the $17, 500 cost to level and gravel the property near the gym. When asked why L&M did this, McNulty explained that providing these gratuitous services to Repak was just "part of doing business with the [JRA] and Mr. Repak." JA311.

         As members became suspicious of Repak's dealings with JRA contractors, the JRA's Board of Directors implemented policies to control gratuities and expenditures. The gratuities policy prohibited JRA contractors from offering any gratuity to any JRA employee and prohibited JRA employees from accepting the same. The expenditures policy required the approval of the JRA's Board of Directors for all JRA expenditures over $500. At trial, JRA contractors expressed the relief they felt following enactment of the gratuities policy. One JRA contractor testified, "I was relieved [because] . . . it gave me my ammunition to say no, I guess. I didn't have to continue doing this." JA290. Echoing the sentiment behind the JRA policies, another contractor opined, "It had to stop. It was getting to the point that [Repak] was like one power running everything in the city of Johnstown and if . . . this wasn't the way you would choose to do business, you wouldn't do business here." JA330.

         II

         A grand jury returned a six-count indictment against Repak arising out of his actions as the Executive Director of the JRA. The six counts related to three underlying factual circumstances: Counts 1 and 2 pertained to Repak's receipt of Pittsburgh Steelers tickets from Kimball & Co.; Counts 3 and 4 dealt with the installation of a new roof on Repak's house by EADS; and Counts 5 and 6 related to the excavation services performed by L&M at Repak's son's gym. Counts 1, 3, and 5 charged Repak with violations of the Hobbs Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1951(a), for knowing obstruction, delay, or effect on commerce "by extortion" through the solicitation and receipt of goods and services, "which were not due him or his office, and to which he was not entitled, . . . in exchange for [his] official action and influence as the Executive Director of the [JRA] to facilitate the award of [JRA] contracting work." JA55, JA57, JA59. Counts 2, 4, and 6 charged Repak with violations of the federal program bribery statute, 18 U.S.C. § 666(a)(1)(B), alleging that he "did corruptly solicit, demand, accept, and agree to accept something of value, intending to be influenced and rewarded in connection with [JRA business], " specifically that Repak respectively "solicited and obtained" goods and services "in exchange for his official actions and influence as the Executive Director of the [JRA]." JA56, JA58, JA60.

         Before trial, the District Court decided two motions in limine filed by the Government that were relevant to Repak's appeal. First, Repak challenged the admission of evidence of solicitations and items he received beyond those items charged in the indictment ("other-acts evidence"). The District Court allowed the Government to introduce the other-acts evidence, determining that the evidence was admissible to prove Repak's mental state for the charged offenses. See United States v. Repak, No. 3-14-cr-00001, 2015 WL 4108309, at *4-6 (W.D. Pa. July 7, 2015). Second, Repak challenged the admission of evidence of an affair he had with Walter under Rule 403 of the Federal Rules of Evidence. Following briefing on the issue, the District Court permitted admission of the affair evidence, concluding the affair was relevant to Repak's mental state and would further assist the jury in assessing Walter's credibility when she testified. See JA11-17.

         At trial, the parties jointly proposed and, with limited exceptions not relevant here, agreed to jury instructions. The District Court later read those instructions to the jury. The instructions informed the jury of the elements of the two charged offenses- violations of the Hobbs Act and the federal program bribery statute. The elements of a Hobbs Act violation were defined as follows:

First, that the defendant took from [the three JRA contractors] the property described in Counts 1, 3, and 5. Second, that the defendant did so knowingly and willfully by extortion under color of official right. Third, that as a result of defendant's actions interstate commerce was obstructed, delayed, or affected.

JA656. The elements of federal program bribery were defined as:

First, that at the time alleged in the indictment defendant was an agent of the [JRA]. Second, that the [JRA] received federal benefits in excess of $10, 000 in a one-year period. Third, that defendant solicited and accepted something of value from [the three JRA contractors]. Fourth, that defendant acted corruptly with the intent to be influenced or rewarded in connection with the business and transactions of the [JRA].

JA660-61. Repak's main defense to the charges at trial was that he lacked the requisite mental state in accepting any items to influence the awarding of JRA contracts.

         The jury convicted Repak on Counts 3 through 6, the Hobbs Act and federal program bribery charges involving the roof on Repak's house and the excavating services for his son's gym. The District Court sentenced Repak to 42 months of incarceration on each count of conviction, with the sentences to run concurrently. The District Court also ordered Repak to pay restitution to EADS in the amount of $3, 500 and to L&M in the amount of $15, 000. Repak timely appealed his judgment of conviction and sentence.[2]

         III

         The District Court had jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3231 because this case involves an offense against the laws of the United States. We have jurisdiction over the appeal under 28 U.S.C. § 1291.

         On appeal, Repak raises six arguments related to the District Court's evidentiary rulings, the jury instructions, the sufficiency of trial evidence, and the prosecutor's conduct during closing arguments. We conclude that none are meritorious.

         A

         Repak's first contention is that, under Rule 404(b) of the Federal Rules of Evidence, the District Court improperly admitted evidence of his solicitations of items from JRA contractors beyond those charged in the indictment. We review the District Court's evidentiary ruling for abuse of discretion, e.g. United States v. Friedman, 658 F.3d 342, 352 (3d Cir. 2011) (citing United States v. Starnes, 583 F.3d 196, 213-14 (3d Cir. 2009)), but also "exercise plenary review . . . to the extent [the rulings] are based on a legal interpretation of the Federal Rules of Evidence, " Complaint of Consolidation Coal Co., 123 F.3d 126, 131 (3d Cir. 1997).

         Rule 404(b)(1) states: "Evidence of a crime, wrong, or other act is not admissible to prove a person's character in order to show that on a particular occasion the person acted in accordance with the character." Fed.R.Evid. 404(b)(1). While generally excluding evidence of an individual's "other acts" to show that individual's propensity to behave in a certain manner, Rule 404(b)(2) permits admission of other-acts evidence "for another purpose, such as proving motive, opportunity, intent, preparation, plan, knowledge, identity, absence of mistake, or lack of accident." Fed.R.Evid. 404(b)(2).

         "Rule 404(b) is a rule of general exclusion . . . ." United States v. Caldwell, 760 F.3d 267, 276 (3d Cir. 2014); see also United States v. Brown, 765 F.3d 278, 291 (3d Cir. 2014) ("Rule 404(b) is generally a rule of exclusion."). That is, "Rule 404(b) directs that evidence of prior bad acts be excluded-unless the proponent can demonstrate that the evidence is admissible for a non-propensity purpose." Caldwell, 760 F.3d at 276. We clarified in Caldwell that this Court's past description of Rule 404(b) as "inclusionary, " see, e.g., United States v. Cruz, 326 F.3d 392, 395 (3d Cir. 2003), referred to Rule 404(b)(2)'s language allowing other-acts evidence to be used for any purpose other than to show propensity, Fed.R.Evid. 404(b)(2). See Caldwell, 760 F.3d at 276. That is, our prior reference to Rule 404(b) as inclusionary "merely reiterate[d] the drafters' decision to not restrict the non-propensity uses of evidence." Id. We used that language because, prior to Rule 404(b), the corresponding common law rule for other-acts evidence limited the uses of such evidence. See United States v. Green, 617 F.3d 233, 244 (3d Cir. 2010). Rule 404(b) altered the common law rule with "inclusionary" language, allowing the proponent of other-acts evidence to identify any non-propensity purpose and no longer requiring the proponent "to pigeonhole his evidence into one of the established common-law exceptions, on pain of exclusion." Id. In sum, Rule 404(b) is a rule of exclusion, meaning that it excludes evidence unless the proponent can demonstrate its admissibility, but it is also "inclusive" in that it does not limit the non-propensity purposes for which evidence can be admitted.

         Because Rule 404(b) is a rule of general exclusion, the party seeking to admit other-acts evidence has "the burden of demonstrating [the evidence's] applicability." Caldwell, 760 F.3d at 276. Admissibility under Rule 404(b) requires the satisfaction of four distinct steps: (1) the other-acts evidence must be proffered for a non-propensity purpose; (2) that evidence must be relevant to the identified non-propensity purpose; (3) its probative value must not be substantially outweighed by its potential for causing unfair prejudice to the defendant; and (4) if requested, the other-acts evidence must be accompanied by a limiting instruction. See Huddleston v. United States, 485 U.S. 681, 691 (1988); Caldwell, 760 F.3d at 277-78.

         The Government here sought to introduce evidence of Repak's "business relationships with vendors of the JRA, which specifically include[d] instances of other uncharged acts of solicitations by Mr. Repak to JRA vendors, including but not limited to" Kimball & Co., EADS, and L&M. JA123. Without further explanation, the Government contended in its motion in limine that Repak's "prior course of conduct and business dealings/relationship with the named entities, including previous solicitations, [was] extremely relevant and [would] go directly to prove" Repak's "knowledge" and "corrupt intent." JA125-26. The prosecution also argued that the uncharged acts of solicitation were admissible under Rule 404(b) as "background" evidence to "complete[] the story" and provide "context." JA127- 29.

         The District Court permitted introduction of the proffered evidence. In relevant part, the District Court reasoned:

[T]he Court finds that the Rule 404(b) evidence that the Government intends to introduce is admissible. . . . Defendant's business dealings with the various vendors, including other instances of solicitations that were not charged in the indictment in this case, are relevant to showing a necessary element of the crimes charged in this case. Specifically, these business dealings and other solicitations will be used by the Government to establish Defendant's knowledge as to the charges of extortion under color of official right and his willful intent as to the charges of solicitation by a bribe. Thus, the "other acts" evidence is being introduced for a proper evidentiary purpose and not as propensity evidence. . . . The Government intends to introduce other act evidence to develop examples of solicitations during the course of Defendant's business transactions with various entities, and for which Defendant acted with the requisite corrupt intent and knowledge. Likewise, the Government's evidence of other solicitations is relevant under Rule 401 to establish necessary elements of the crimes charged in this case. The Government has presented a sufficient chain of inferences connecting these other acts to material facts in this case without implicating the evidentiary rules' prohibition of using propensity evidence. Furthermore, this evidence satisfies the balancing requirements of Rule 403. The other act evidence to be introduced by the Government is probative of facts in this case and that probative value is not substantially outweighed by any unfair prejudice. Finally, in accordance with the law on this issue, the Court will provide a limiting instruction as necessary.

JA25-27.

         Repak challenges the sufficiency of the District Court's Rule 404(b) analysis, arguing that (1) the District Court failed to properly explain how the uncharged acts of solicitation relate to a non-propensity purpose and (2) the District Court erred by not properly scrutinizing the evidence's prejudicial effect vis-à-vis its probative value. We agree with Repak that the District Court's analysis was lacking but conclude that, under a proper Rule 404(b) analysis, the Government's other-acts evidence was admissible.

         We proceed by critically analyzing each of the four steps in the methodological process for determining admissibility under Rule 404(b).

         1

         The Government and District Court satisfied step one of the applicable Rule 404(b) analysis, properly identifying a non-propensity purpose for introducing Repak's other past solicitations-knowledge and intent.[3]See Brown, 765 F.3d at 291; Caldwell, 760 F.3d at 276. The plain text of Rule 404(b) allows for the admission of other-acts evidence to show knowledge and intent as the Government proffered here. See Fed. R. Evid. 404(b) (noting that other-acts evidence may be admissible for proving "intent" and "knowledge"); see also United States v. Vega, 285 F.3d 256, 261 (3d Cir. 2002) ("Evidence of prior bad acts may be admitted for the purpose of demonstrating the defendant's knowledge in the later offense with which he is charged."). Repak put his mental state at issue in this case. His knowledge and intent are elements of the two charged offenses. See 18 U.S.C. § 1951(a); 18 U.S.C. § 666(a)(1)(B); see also Evans v. United States, 504 U.S. 255, 268 (1992) (concluding that, to show extortion under the Hobbs Act, the Government must prove that a defendant obtained a payment "knowing that the payment was made in return for official acts"). Repak contested those elements at trial, contending that he did not accept items from JRA contractors with the intention of influencing the awarding of JRA contracts. Use of the uncharged solicitations to show Repak's mental state was a proper non-propensity use of that evidence under Rule 404(b).

         2

         The Government and District Court, however, faltered at step two of the Rule 404(b) analysis. Both failed to explain how the Government's proffered evidence was relevant to Repak's mental state. See Caldwell, 760 F.3d at 276 (other-acts evidence must be "relevant to [a non-propensity] purpose"). Nonetheless, the admission of this evidence was proper because it was relevant to that non-propensity purpose.

         To be relevant, proffered evidence must fit into "a chain of inferences-a chain that connects the evidence to a proper purpose, no link of which is a forbidden propensity inference." United States v. Davis, 726 F.3d 434, 442 (3d Cir. 2013). "[T]his chain [must] be articulated with careful precision because, even when a non-propensity purpose is 'at issue' in a case, the evidence offered may be completely irrelevant to that purpose, or relevant only in an impermissible way." Caldwell, 760 F.3d at 281.

         We have recently reiterated the importance of concretely connecting the proffered evidence to a non-propensity purpose. In United States v. Caldwell, we rejected the use of prior gun possession convictions to show a defendant's knowledge that he actually possessed a gun. Id. at 283. Testimony at trial demonstrated that the defendant was seen carrying the gun, and yet the Government proceeded to introduce the defendant's prior gun possession convictions to show his actual possession of the charged gun. Id. at 279. "Because the Government proceeded solely on a theory of actual possession, " we held that the defendant's "knowledge was not at issue in the case." Id. ("[A]bsent unusual circumstances (such as when a defendant claims he did not realize the object in his hand was a gun), the knowledge element in a felon-in-possession case will necessarily be satisfied if the jury finds the defendant physically possessed the firearm."). We reached that conclusion because we could observe "no articulation by the Government of a logical chain of inferences showing how [the defendant's] prior convictions [were] relevant to show [the non-propensity purpose of] knowledge." Id. at 281. Rather, the Government there simply relied on ipse dixit, stating the "baseline position" that the evidence of the defendant's prior gun convictions was "generally relevant" to show the defendant's knowledge that he possessed the gun related to the charged offense. Id. That baseline position told us "nothing about how the evidence" helped established the defendant's knowledge. Id. We further observed that the District Court in Caldwell "likewise failed to articulate how the disputed evidence tend[ed] to show that [the defendant] knowingly possessed the gun [related to the charged gun possession]." Id. In doing so, we "emphasize[d] that it is not enough to merely recite a Rule 404(b) purpose that is at issue; the Court must articulate how the evidence is probative of that purpose." Id. at 282. In summary, Caldwell makes clear that a logical chain of inferences must be articulated so that we are "assure[d] that the evidence is not susceptible to being used improperly by the jury." Id.

         Similarly, in United States v. Brown, 765 F.3d 278 (3d Cir. 2014), we rebuffed the Government's efforts to introduce evidence of a defendant's previous use of straw purchasers to buy guns to show that the defendant had knowledge that he was in a car with a gun. Id. at 294. As in Caldwell, we began by noting the complete lack of an explanation by the Government for how its evidence was relevant to its proffered non-propensity purpose. See id. at 293 ("The Government has completely failed to explain how the fact that [the defendant] used a straw man in 2005 to purchase firearms tends to prove that he knowingly possessed the gun under the driver's seat of the Impala six years later. These are two entirely distinct acts, and participation in one has no relationship to the other."). The Government's explanation was that the defendant's prior use of a straw purchaser made it "more likely that he used . . . a straw purchaser to obtain the gun" he was charged with possessing. Id. That, we noted, was "too great a leap in logic" and "indubitably forged" the Government's chain of inferences "with an impermissible propensity link." Id. Critically, the District Court there also failed to explain sufficiently its basis for admitting the evidence. The District Court stated simply that the Government could use the evidence "to show motive or knowledge and that type of thing along those lines." Id. at 294 (citations omitted). We instructed that the District Court "should not merely inquire of the prosecution what it wishes the evidence to prove" but rather put the Government to the task of explaining how the evidence "should work in the mind of a juror to establish the fact the government claims to be trying to prove." Id. (quotation marks and citations omitted).

         The Government's proffer and District Court's explanation here fell short, failing to explain how evidence of uncharged solicitations would have a tendency to make Repak's knowledge and intent more probable in the mind of a juror. The question is whether the evidence of other uncharged solicitations by Repak was relevant to show Repak's mental state as to the charged conduct-solicitation of the roof and excavation services. In its motion in limine, the Government merely stated, in cursory fashion, that Repak's "prior course of conduct and business dealings/relationship with the named entities, including previous solicitations, [was] extremely relevant and [would] go directly to prove" Repak's "knowledge" and "corrupt intent." JA125-26. As in Caldwell and Brown, the Government failed to articulate a chain of inferences supporting the admission of Repak's uncharged solicitations. Instead, the Government stated only that a logical chain connecting the evidence to a non-propensity purpose exists. That statement is not enough to demonstrate the admissibility of Rule 404(b) evidence. The District Court should have asked the Government to explain "how the proffered evidence should work in the mind of a juror to establish" Repak's knowledge and intent related to the roof and excavation services. Caldwell, 760 F.3d at 282 (quoting United States v. Miller, 673 F.3d 688, 699 (7th Cir. 2012)).

         The District Court's analysis of the Rule 404(b) admission is also wanting. As quoted above, the District Court observed, "Defendant's business dealings with the various vendors, including other instances of solicitations that were not charged in the indictment in this case, are relevant to showing a necessary element of the crimes charged in this case." JA26. It added that "[t]he Government ha[d] presented a sufficient chain of inferences connecting these other acts to material facts in this case." JA27. Like the Government's explanation, this analysis is inexact and fails to adequately link the other-acts evidence to a non-propensity purpose with "careful precision." Caldwell, 760 F.3d at 281; see also Brown, 765 F.3d at 294 ("When confronted with a proffer under Rule 404(b), a district court should not merely inquire of the prosecution what it wishes the evidence to prove."). In essence, this was the "mere recitation of the purposes in Rule 404(b)(2)" that we have previously deemed inadequate. Caldwell, 760 F.3d at 277.

         Despite the inexact nature of the Government's proffer and the District Court's Rule 404(b) analysis, our review of the record leads us to conclude that the evidence of Repak's uncharged solicitations was properly admitted to prove Repak's mental state. Although we strongly prefer that the Government and District Court provide the chain of inferences supporting the admission of other-acts evidence (as this Court has repeatedly required), we are able to discern that the chain exists here. Repak repeatedly solicited and received items from JRA contractors at great cost to the contractors; the growing costs of these items to the JRA contractors tends to show that Repak knew that these items were not unilateral token gifts; therefore, it is more likely that Repak knowingly and intentionally accepted the roof and excavating services with an understanding that those items were to influence the award of JRA contracts to those contractors.[4] This chain of inferences did not require the jury to make "too great a leap in logic." Brown, 765 F.3d at 293.

         That chain of inferences is not unfamiliar. In United States v. Console, 13 F.3d 641 (3d Cir. 1993), we upheld the admission of other-acts evidence against two lawyers who conspired with a doctor to submit fraudulent medical bills to insurances companies. Id. at 658-59. The other-acts evidence there showed that the lawyers also engaged in a similar scheme with doctors other than the doctor charged in the indictment. Id. We reasoned that the other-acts evidence "tended to support the finding that [the lawyers] knew [the] bills [related to the charged conduct] were fraudulent and that they intentionally submitted them to insurance companies as part of a broader ...


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