Exempt: how Defence dodges the taxman Michael West Biz
‘Foreign military contractors have been awarded a staggering $73 billion in contracts, apparently tax-free, because successive governments have struck contracts directly with offshore companies’. See also: Defence giants: the “Valley of Death” is really a Mountain of Money, and Defence responds on weapons-grade tax leak.
Paul Manafort has been found guilty of eight counts and could not reach a verdict on the remaining 10 counts. The judge has declared a mistrial on those 10 counts. The case will now proceed to sentencing on the 8 counts of conviction. Before sentencing, there may be post-trial motions, including a motion for new trial on the counts of conviction. The Government now has choice whether to re-try on the counts that were subject to mistrial.
Focusing on the count of conviction. I understand that the counts of conviction and their maximumsentences (by "stacking" the sentences for the counts of conviction) are:
Most readers of this blog will know that the maximum sentence amount is maximum possible. The actual sentence is determined under the Sentencing Guidelines and the sentencing court's Booker discretion. The Guidelines calculations generally (certainly in most tax cases even with nontax crimes of conviction), produces an indicated sentencing range much less than the maximum. Readers should also recall that the judge should consider "relevant conduct" -- conduct other than the counts of conviction -- in calculating the Sentencing Guidelines range. Thus, the judge can consider relevant conduct even if the conduct is: (i) uncharged, (ii) charged and dismissed (usually by plea agreement), (iii) charged but acquitted, or (iv) charged but subject to mistrial. All the Government has to do to establish relevant conduct is prove the conduct by a preponderance of the evidence. Thus, specifically, if Judge Ellis is convinced by a preponderance of the evidence that Manafort was guilty of the charges for which he declared a mistrial, the Sentencing Guidelines range will be exactly the same as if Manafort had been convicted of all counts (i.e., no counts were subject to mistrial). (Some readers may want more on this so, I cut and text below some discussion on this.)
For this reason, if the judge includes some or all of the mistried counts in the relevant conduct calculation, I can't see what the advantage would be for re-trying the mistried counts.