Saturday, November 14, 2009

Bye-Bye Baby

United States v. Hasan, No. 08-4921-cr (2d Cir. November 10, 2009) (Cabaranes, Sack, CJJ, Rakoff, DJ)

Syed Hasan was convicted of a number of crimes in connection with his successful scheme to kidnap his infant son and spirit the child off to India. He appealed on a number of grounds. This long opinion covers little new ground, but closes one open question.

In preparation for the kidnapping, Hasan applied for a passport for the child. In the application, he falsely gave his brother's address in South Carolina as the child’s home address . In fact, the child lived in Brooklyn. On appeal, Hasan challenged his passport fraud conviction, arguing that the South Carolina address was not a “material misstatement.”

The circuit affirmed. It looked at the text of the statute, which makes it a crime to “willfully and knowingly make[] any false statement in an application for a passport,” and concluded that “the statute plainly does not require that the false statement be material.”



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