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Elkan Abramowitz and Jonathan Sack

A conspiracy charge is a powerful tool of the prosecution in a federal criminal case. A conspiracy charge allows prosecutors to combine many defendants and alleged criminal acts in one indictment so long as they are generally linked to a common criminal purpose, or purposes. Alleging a conspiracy also expands the scope of admissible evidence by permitting the government to introduce acts and statements of conspirators against one another under relatively relaxed standards of admissibility. The impact can be substantial. In a multi-defendant trial, it is harder to portray a defendant as an individual, and not simply a member of a group, and it is harder to separate the evidence against one individual from the evidence against others.

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