NIJHAWAN v. HOLDER

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Case Basics
Docket No. 
08-495
Petitioner 
Manoj Nijhawan
Respondent 
Eric Holder
Advocates
(argued the cause for the petitioner)
(Assistant to the Solicitor General, Department of Justice, argued the cause for the respondent)
Term:
Facts of the Case 

Manoj Nijhawan was convicted of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, mail fraud, and wire fraud. He was found responsible for having caused over $600 million in damages and sentenced to 41 months imprisonment. Subsequently, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) determined that Mr. Nijhawan had committed an "aggravated felony" and was subject to deportation because his offense involved fraud or deceit in which the loss to the victims exceeded $10,000. On appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Mr. Nijhawan argued that 1) his offense did not involve fraud or deceit as those terms are used in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and 2) that his conviction did not establish that loss to his victims exceeded $10,000. The court of appeals affirmed the BIA's findings and refuted Mr. Nijhawan's arguments. It held that Mr. Nijhawan's offenses constituted fraud or deceit as understood by the INA and that his conviction did establish that the loss to his victims exceeded $10,000, even though the jury did not determine that amount.

Question 

When a person is convicted of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, mail fraud, and wire fraud and held responsible for having caused more than $10,000 in damages, but the sum is not established by a jury, does this satisfy the requirements of the Immigration and Nationality Act in order to deport an alien for having committed an "offense that involves fraud or deceit in which the loss of victims exceeds $10,000?"

Conclusion 
Decision: 9 votes for Holder, 0 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Immigration and Nationality Act

Yes. In a unanimous opinion authored by Justice Stephen G. Breyer, the Court held that the $10,000 threshold stated by the Immigration and Nationality Act refers merely to the particular circumstances in which an offense is committed, and does not require that the statute used to convict the potential deportee contain $10,000 in damages as an element of the crime. Here, the Court reasoned that the statute used to convict Mr. Nijhawan for conspiracy did not require that he cause a minimum of $10,000 in damages; but regardless, the jury's computation of damages at his sentencing was sufficient to meet the requirements of the INA to trigger his deportation.

Cite this Page
NIJHAWAN v. HOLDER. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 12 December 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/2000-2009/2008/2008_08_495>.
NIJHAWAN v. HOLDER, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/2000-2009/2008/2008_08_495 (last visited December 12, 2014).
"NIJHAWAN v. HOLDER," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed December 12, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/2000-2009/2008/2008_08_495.