South-Western Legal Studies in Business

Book Authored by Defendant May Be Used in Evidence against Him
Description

Appeals court upheld a conviction for fraud. To bolster the case against defendant, a book he authored that described the fraud could be used as evidence to show that he understood the scheme very well.

Topic Criminal Law
Key Words

Bank Fraud; Mail Fraud; Evidence; Prejudice

C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts

Fraser wrote a book, The Birth of a Criminal, under the name Asante Kahari. The book describes the exact counterfeit-check scheme Fraser was convicted of performing. The book was used as evidence at trial. Fraser appealed the conviction, contending that it was reversible error for the trial court to admit portions of the book into evidence and caused the jury to be prejudiced.

Decision

Affirmed. The book was properly admitted as evidence to help establish the defendantís guilt. There was no question the defendant authored the book; it served, with other evidence, to rebut the defendantís contention that he did not understand the fraud scheme that occurred. The value of the book as evidence outweighs the risk of prejudice.

Citation

U.S. v. Fraser, 448 F.3d 833 (6th Cir., 2006)

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