Submitted: March 13, 2015.
[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
Appeal from United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas - Little Rock.
For United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee: Jana K. Harris, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Cameron Charles McCree, Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Arkansas, Little Rock, AR.
For Brandy Marie Thomas, Defendant - Appellant: Nicki Nicolo, Law Offices of Nicki Nicolo, North Little Rock, AR.
Brandy Marie Thomas, Defendant - Appellant, Pro se, Grand Prairie, TX.
Before MURPHY and SHEPHERD, Circuit Judges, and HARPOOL, District Judge.
SHEPHERD, Circuit Judge.
Brandy Thomas was convicted, after a jury trial, of four counts of wire fraud based on a scheme she perpetrated to defraud mortgage lenders by submitting false income information on loan applications. The district court sentenced Thomas to 48 months imprisonment followed by 18 months supervised release and ordered her to pay restitution. Thomas appeals, arguing the district court erred in two of its evidentiary rulings, in the instructions it gave to the jury, in allowing the government to constructively amend the indictment, and in issuing an Allen charge to the jury and polling individual jurors. We affirm.
A grand jury indicted Brandy Thomas on four counts of wire fraud for allegedly engaging in a scheme to defraud mortgage lenders between June 2006 and December 2006. The government alleged that Thomas defrauded lenders by submitting false income information on loan applications in relation to the purchase of three properties and the refinancing of one property, specifically alleging Thomas overstated her income, provided fictitious rental agreements to support the overstated income amount, and failed to list a mortgage debt on loan documents.
We first consider whether the district court erred in the instruction it gave the jury regarding the " intent to harm" element of wire fraud. Before submitting the case to the jury, the district court considered proposed jury instructions from both Thomas and the government concerning the " intent to defraud" element of the wire fraud offense. The district court rejected Thomas's proposed instruction and instead used an instruction that closely followed the Eighth Circuit Model Jury Instruction for mail fraud. Thomas ...