United States v. Wong, 072315 FED9, 14-10276

Docket Nº:14-10276, 14-10294
Party Name:UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee, v. HONG LEE WONG, AKA William Wong, Defendant-Appellant. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee, v. NGOC DUONG, AKA Danny Duong, Defendant-Appellant.
Judge Panel:Before: TALLMAN, M. SMITH, and MURGUIA, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:July 23, 2015
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
 
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UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee,

v.

HONG LEE WONG, AKA William Wong, Defendant-Appellant.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee,

v.

NGOC DUONG, AKA Danny Duong, Defendant-Appellant.

Nos. 14-10276, 14-10294

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

July 23, 2015

NOT FOR PUBLICATION

Argued and Submitted July 7, 2015 San Francisco, California

Appeal from the United States District Court Nos. 3:12-cr-00578-SI-2, D.C. No. 3:12-cr-00578-SI-1 for the Northern District of California Susan Illston, Senior District Judge, Presiding

Before: TALLMAN, M. SMITH, and MURGUIA, Circuit Judges.

MEMORANDUM [*]

Duong and Wong each were convicted of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, receiving sentences of thirty and twenty-eight months' imprisonment, respectively. The district court held Wong and Duong jointly liable to Cheery Way for $166, 781.31 in restitution. We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291, and we affirm.

I

Wong argues that the district court erred in instructing the jury that it could infer that Wong knew the Six Flags project was a fraud from evidence that Wong was deliberately ignorant of that fact. The instruction was proper. This court held long ago and recently reaffirmed that deliberate ignorance satisfies the knowledge element of a federal offense. United States v. Heredia, 483 F.3d 913, 922 (9th Cir. 2007) (en banc); United States v. Jewell, 532 F.2d 697, 702–04 (9th Cir. 1976) (en banc). We see no reason to treat the knowledge element of the wire fraud statute differently from other federal offenses. See, e.g., United States v. McDonald, 576 F.2d 1350, 1358 (9th Cir. 1978).

II

Wong argues that the evidence introduced at trial is insufficient to permit a rational inference that Wong actually knew of the Six Flags project's fraudulent nature. Duong testified that Wong asked Duong to prepare the fraudulent contract with the City of New Orleans. This testimony, viewed in the light most favorable to the Government, is alone sufficient to permit a reasonable juror to conclude that Wong knew the Six Flags project was fraudulent. See United States v. Arnt, 474 F.3d 1159, 1162 (9th Cir. 2007).

III

Wong argues that the district court abused its discretion in holding Wong and Duong jointly and severally liable for restitution, rather than apportioning the amount...

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