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United States v. Dioguardi, 428 F.2d 1033 (2d Cir.) (full-text), cert. denied, 400 U.S. 825 (1970).
Factual Background Edit
The defendants were charged and convicted of fraudulently transferring and concealing the property of a bankrupt in contemplation of bankruptcy, fraudulently concealing the bankrupt's assets from the trustee in bankruptcy, and conspiracy to do the same.
The Government introduced computer-generated evidence concerning the various sales and inventories of the bankrupt corporation to show the concealment and use of the bankrupt's property. The Government failed, however, to produce the actual computer program at trial; nor did it provide any other relevant materials for cross-examination. The defendants' objection to admission of the evidence under those circumstances was overruled.
Appellate Court Proceedings Edit
The Second Circuit held that the Government must provide the defendants with the program and other relevant data before trial in order to aid cross-examination. However, the court also held that the trial court's error was not prejudicial, and the conviction was affirmed. The court found the error non prejudicial, since
- 1. the computer compilation was very simple summing purchases and sales and subtracting from inventory, and thus, the defendants could have checked the computer's accuracy by manual compilation; and
- 2. the evidence went to the issue of whether the property was concealed and used. On this point, there was really not much doubt. The crucial issue was the defendant's intent, on which the computer-generated evidence had no bearing.