Published on: Friday, June 28, 2019

Today, in Kelly v. United States, No. 18-1049 (June 28, 2019) (cert. granted), the United States Supreme Court granted a petition for writ of certiorari to decide the following question presented: “Does a public official ‘defraud’ the government of its property by advancing a ‘public policy reason’ for an official decision that is not her subjective ‘real reason’ for making the decision?”

This case arises from the convictions of William E. Baroni, Jr., and Bridget Ann Kelly, for engaging in a scheme to impose crippling gridlock on the Borough of Fort Lee, New Jersey, after Fort Lee’s mayor refused to endorse the 2013 reelection bid of then-Governor Chris Christie.  As relevant to Kelly's certiorari grant, Baroni and Kelly were convicted of conspiring to obtain by fraud, knowingly convert, or intentionally misapply property of an organization receiving federal benefits, in violation of 18U.S.C. §§ 371 and 666(a)(1)(A); a substantive count of § 666(a)(1)(A); and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1349; and two substantive counts of wire fraud.

The opinion of the Third Circuit below is here.  The certiorari stage documents are available on the Supreme Court’s website, here.

The Training Division provides resource materials on defending fraud cases.