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1093. Multiplicity

One court has held that the solicitation and conspiracy statutes are not multiplicitous. United States v. Holveck, 867 F. Supp. 969, 976-77 (D.Kan. 1994). Applying the rule of statutory construction in Blockburger v. United States, 284 U.S. 299 (1932), the court ruled that a §  371 conspiracy and a § 373 solicitation each requires proof of different elements. For a defendant to be found guilty of solicitation, the Government need not prove that an agreement or conspiracy existed between the defendants. Likewise, a conspiracy charge does not require proof of a serious effort to induce another person to commit a Federal offense. United States v. Holveck, 867 F. Supp. at 977. Further, the legislative history of § 373 does not show that Congress intended it to be charged only when a conspiracy is not charged. Prosecutors may decide, in the exercise of their discretion, not to charge a § 373 solicitation when a § 371 conspiracy can be proven. However, there is no legal impediment to charging both offenses in an indictment relating to the same criminal conduct.

[updated January 1998] [cited in USAM 9-60.500]

Updated June 10, 2015