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Criminal Law Keyed to Gershowitz
Mathews v. United States
Citation:485 U.S. 58, 108 S.Ct. 883, 99 L.Ed.2d 54.
The defendant was employed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and was responsible for the SBA’s “8A Program,” which provided aid to certain small businesses. Under the program, the SBA obtained government contracts and subcontracted them to program participants. The SBA would then assist the participants in performing the contracts.
In October 1984, James DeShazer, one of the program’s participants, complained to a Government customer that defendant had repeatedly asked for loans. DeShazer believed that defendant was not providing him with certain 8A Program benefits because DeShazer had not made the requested loans. In early 1985, the FBI arranged for DeShazer to assist in the investigation resulting from his complaint. Under FBI surveillance, DeShazer offered defendant a loan that, according to DeShazer, defendant had previously requested. The defendant agreed to accept the loan, and two months later, DeShazer met defendant at a restaurant and gave him the money. The defendant was immediately arrested and charged with accepting a gratuity in exchange for an official act.
Before trial, the defendant sought to raise an entrapment defense. The District Court denied his request, ruling that entrapment was not available to the defendant because he would not admit all of the elements of the offense charged. While the defendant admitted to accepting the loan, he claimed that he did not do so with guilty intent, but rather believed it was a personal loan unrelated to his duties at the SBA. The defendant was convicted and the Court of Appeals affirmed.
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