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United States v. Lebreault-Feliz

United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit

November 25, 2015

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Appellee,
v.
SAMUEL STALIN LEBREAULT-FELIZ, Defendant, Appellant

APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS Hon. Denise J. Casper, U.S. District Judge.

Larry J. Ritchie was on brief for appellant.

Mark T. Quinlivan, Assistant United States Attorney, with whom Carmen M. Ortiz, United States Attorney, was on brief for appellee.

Before Howard, Chief Judge, Torruella and Barron, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 2

BARRON, Circuit Judge.

Samuel Stalin Lebreault Feliz (" Lebreault" ) appeals his convictions on two counts of passport fraud, one count of false representation to the Social Security Administration, and one count of theft of public money. He contends that the District Court erred in barring him from presenting the defenses of duress and necessity as to the first count of passport fraud, and that this error also prejudiced his ability to defend against the other counts against him. In addition, Lebreault contends that the District Court erred in denying his motion for acquittal as to the second count of passport fraud. We affirm the convictions.

I.

On October 15, 2014, Lebreault was convicted of two counts of passport fraud pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 1542, one count of false representation to the Social Security Administration pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 408(a)(6), and one count of theft of public money pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 641. On May 29, 2014, Lebreault was sentenced to serve thirty-three months in prison with three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay restitution for theft of public funds.

The passport fraud convictions arise from Lebreault's efforts to secure a passport first for himself and then, years later, for his daughter. These convictions relate to his use of false identities in his applications for each passport. The other convictions arise from Lebreault's use of a false identity in connection with his efforts to work in the United States and to secure government benefits for himself and his children.

With respect to the first count of passport fraud, on November 18, 2003, Lebreault submitted a passport application to

Page 3

officials at the United States embassy in Caracas, Venezuela using a false identity, " Juan Antonio Castro Pizarro" (" Castro identity" ). On the basis of this application, Lebreault was issued a temporary, limited passport to return to the United States. Upon arrival in Miami, Lebreault admitted to United States immigration officials in a sworn statement that he had used a false identity to obtain the passport and that he was actually " Antonio Jose Rodríguez Rodríguez" (" Rodríguez identity" ) from Venezuela (which, it turned out, was also a false identity).

With respect to the second count of passport fraud, on June 14, 2007, Lebreault applied from the United States for a passport for his then-seven-year-old daughter Adriana Lebreault, a United States citizen. Federal regulations require parents of a minor to execute the passport application on the minor's behalf and to provide certain evidence of parentage, which includes identifying information. See 22 C.F.R. ยง ...


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