No Loss or Gullible Victims
"It is the scheme to defraud and not actual fraud that is
United States v. Reid, 533 F.2d 1255, 1264 (D.C. Cir. 1976). "No
particular type of victim is required . . . nor need the scheme have
United States v. Coachman, 727 F.2d 1293, 1302-03 n. 43 (D.C. Cir.
No actual loss to the victims is required. See United States v.
Pollack, 534 F.2d 964, 971 (D.C. Cir.) ("The fraud statutes speak
alternatively of devising or intending to devise a scheme to defraud and do
require that the deception bear fruit for the wrongdoer or cause injury to
intended victim as a prerequisite to successful prosecution. [S]uccess of
scheme and loss by a defrauded person are not essential elements of the
under 18 U.S.C. §§ 1341, 1343 . . . ."), cert. denied, 429
924 (1976); see also United States v. Jordan, 626 F.2d 928,
(D.C. Cir. 1980) ("The amount of money realized as a result of the scheme is
an essential element of mail fraud. It was not even necessary to prove that
For a discussion of fraud loss computation in sentencing see
Sentencing (Federal Judicial Center, 1997), Section II.D.2. Offense
Fraud and Deceit.
"[I]t makes no difference whether the persons the scheme is
to defraud are gullible or skeptical, dull or bright . . . . " United
v. Maxwell, 920 F.2d 1028, 1036 (D.C. Cir. 1990) (quoting United
v. Brien, 617 F.2d 299, 311 (1st Cir.), cert. denied, 446 U.S.
(1980)). "[T]he monumental credulity of the victim is no shield for the
. . ." Id. (quoting Deaver v. United States, 155 F.2d 740,
(D.C. Cir.), cert. denied, 329 U.S. 766 (1946)); cf.
Pollack, 534 F.2d at 971 (To hold that actual loss to victim is
"would lead to the illogical result that the legality of a defendant's
would depend on his fortuitous choice of a gullible victim.") (quoted in
Maxwell, 920 F.2d at 1036).
[cited in USAM 9-43.100]