The appellants were convicted of alleged conspiracy to defraud the United States by failing to pay and impeding the IRS's collection of employment taxes. A defendant may be able to establish substantive unreasonableness due to unwarranted sentence disparity based on a similarly situated defendant's sentence. However, a mere disparity of sentences among co-defendants does not, alone, constitute an abuse of discretion. The convictions and sentences are affirmed. 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 11-20323, 02-18-2013.
United States v. Heard
February 21, 2013