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United States v. Walker

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

March 25, 2016

United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee
v.
Robert Allen Walker, Defendant - Appellant

         Submitted October 23, 2015

Page 417

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 418

          Appeal from United States District Court for the District of Minnesota - St. Paul.

         For United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee: Benjamin Langner, David J. MacLaughlin, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Manda M. Sertich, Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, District of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.

         For Robert Allen Walker, Defendant - Appellant: Aaron James Morrison, Minneapolis, MN.

         Robert Allen Walker, Defendant - Appellant, Pro se, Terre Haute, IN.

         Before LOKEN, MURPHY, and COLLOTON, Circuit Judges.

          OPINION

Page 419

          LOKEN, Circuit Judge.

         Robert Allen Walker was president, chief executive officer, and chairman of the board of Bixby Energy Systems (" Bixby" ) from its formation in 2001 until his ouster in May 2011 following the company's financial collapse. After an eight-week trial, the jury convicted Walker of four counts of mail fraud, eight counts of wire fraud, conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, witness tampering, and three counts of tax evasion, violations of 18 U.S.C. § § 1341, 1343, 1349, 1512(b)(1), and 26 U.S.C. § 7201. Walker appeals, arguing the evidence was insufficient because the government failed to prove he had the requisite intent to defraud Bixby investors, and the district court[1] committed procedural sentencing errors in calculating fraud loss and assessing a two-level enhancement for abuse of a position of trust. We affirm.

         I. Sufficiency of the Evidence.

         Walker argues the trial evidence established that he was a naive businessman who had no intent to defraud, an essential element of the seventeen counts of conviction. " In reviewing the sufficiency of the evidence, we consider the evidence in the light most favorable to the jury's verdict, accepting all reasonable inferences that support the verdict." United States v. Brown, 627 F.3d 1068, 1072-73 (8th Cir. 2010), cert. denied, 132 S.Ct. 274, 181 L.Ed.2d 163 (2011). " We must uphold the conviction unless no ...


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