The administration of President Joe Biden has lost another case before the United States Supreme Court in a rare unanimous decision.
The Supreme Court issued a unanimous 9-0 ruling to limit “the reach of the federal Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act,” rebuffing the Biden administration’s efforts to prosecute a man previously convicted of Medicaid fraud with a separate charge of aggravated identity theft stemming from the same fraud case.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor authored the decision in Dubin v. United States, while Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote a concurring opinion. For violations, the Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act mandates a two-year prison sentence. When President George W. Bush signed the bill into law in 2004, he stated that it created the federal “offense of aggravated identity theft” to ensure that anyone convicted of this crime would be sentenced to prison “for stealing a person’s good name.”
“These punishments will come on top of any punishment for crimes that proceed from identity theft,” Bush said then, adding it “raises the standard of conduct for people who have access to personal records through their work at banks, government agencies, insurance companies, and other storehouses of financial data.”
However, the Supreme Court rejected the U.S. Department of Justice’s argument that petitioner David Fox Dubin was automatically guilty under the act because the patient’s Medicaid reimbursement number was included as a “means of identification” on a fraudulent Medicaid billing form.
Dubin held the position of managing partner at PARTS, an Austin, Texas-based company founded by his licensed psychologist father, William Dubin. A U.S. district court convicted both defendants for their participation in a conspiracy to defraud the Medicaid program in Texas.
Due to the precedent established by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, the U.S. district court upheld Dubin’s conviction for aggravated identity theft, despite the fact that the primary focus of the case was fraudulent invoicing, not identity theft.
A divided 5th Circuit upheld the conviction in March 2022, despite acknowledging that, according to the government’s interpretation of the statute, “the elements of [the] offense are not captured or even fairly described by the words ‘identity theft.'”
This is the second time in a week that the Supreme Court has ruled against the administration of Vice President Joe Biden.
The Biden administration was recently wounded by yet another unanimous Supreme Court decision, which of course included his nominee, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson.
Friday, the Supreme Court ruled 9-0 that some individuals convicted of gun offenses may be eligible for reduced prison terms. In such instances, sentences for gun-related crimes may be served concurrently.
More on this story via Conservative Brief:
“Congress could certainly have designed the penalty scheme at issue here differently. But Congress did not do any of these things. And we must implement the design Congress chose,” Jackson wrote in the ruling. CONTINUE READING…