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United States v. Khorozian

June 20, 2003

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
ANGELA KHOROZIAN, APPELLANT



Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey (D.C. Criminal Action No. 00-cr-00393-1) District Judge: Honorable William H. Walls

Before: SCIRICA,*fn1 Chief Judge, Ambro and Garth, Circuit Judges

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Ambro, Circuit Judge

As amended August 25, 2003.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
ANGELA KHOROZIAN, APPELLANT

Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey (D.C. Criminal Action No. 00-cr-00393-1) District Judge: Honorable William H. Walls

Herald Price Fahringer, Esquire (Argued) Erica T. Dubno, Esquire Lipsitz, Green, Fahringer, Roll, Salisbury & Cambria, Llp 780 Third Avenue, 32nd Floor New York, NY 10017

Ivan Stephan Fisher, Esquire 251 East 61st Street New York, NY 10021 Attorneys for Appellant

Christopher J. Christie United States Attorney

George S. Leone Chief, Appeals Division Gail Zweig (Argued) Assistant U.S. Attorney Office of the United States Attorney 970 Broad Street, Room 700 Newark, NJ 07102-2535 Attorneys for Appellee

Before: SCIRICA,*fn1 Chief Judge, Ambro and Garth, Circuit Judges

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Ambro, Circuit Judge

PRECEDENTIAL

Argued April 24, 2003

OPINION OF THE COURT

We address the scope of the federal bank fraud statute, 18 U.S.C. § 1344. Angela Khorozian appeals her conviction on the ground that she could not have conspired to commit, and could not have committed, bank fraud by negotiating counterfeit checks because she did not know that those checks were counterfeit. She also alleges various errors in the District Court's evidentiary rulings, jury instructions, and application of the Sentencing Guidelines. We affirm both the conviction and sentence.

I. Background

In 2000, Khorozian was approached with a moneymaking opportunity by her longtime acquaintance Eduardo Queirolo, a businessman from Brazil. Queirolo told Khorozian that a third person, Mr. Camilo, had presented Queirolo with a scheme in which he could obtain part of a sizable commission — $6 million — if he negotiated $20,398,872 in checks through a bank in the United States. Camilo said the checks needed to be negotiated in the United States to avoid high taxes that would result were they negotiated in Brazil. Queirolo requested Khrozian's assistance in this project. It was agreed that Khorozian would receive $3 million of the commission, Queirolo and Camilio would each receive $1 million, and other unnamed individuals would split the remaining $1 million.

To facilitate negotiation of the checks, Khorozian attempted to open a commercial bank account at Hudson United Bank ("Hudson United").*fn2 To find out how to open such an account, she spoke with John Demetrius, a personal friend who sits on Hudson United's board of directors. Demetrius, in turn, ...


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