Articles Posted in U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals

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Illinois law permits purchasers of tickets to sporting contests, concerts, and similar events to resell tickets via auction sites on the Internet. Chicago, which imposes an amusement tax on the original ticket price, contends that the websites through which tickets are resold must collect and remit an additional tax on the difference between the original price and the resale price. In parallel cases, the Supreme Court of Illinois decided that Illinois law does not allow Chicago to collect its tax from the auction sites. In a case involving another online site, the Seventh Circuit affirmed judgment against the city and denied the city's motion for an extension to allow petition for rehearing to the Illinois Supreme Court. View "City of Chicago v. Stubhub!, Inc." on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs, citizens of Illinois, brought a class action on behalf of licensed drivers in several states against West Publishing, asserting claims under the Driver’' Privacy Protection Act, 18 U.S.C. 2722. They contend that West acquires personal information contained in motor vehicle records of millions of drivers, directly or indirectly, from state DMVs for resale in violation of the Act. The district court dismissed for lack of standing. The Seventh Circuit affirmed.While the Act does create a federal private right of action for people who claim that their personal information has been disclosed in violation of the Act, it does not prohibit West Publishing from reselling the plaintiffs' personal information to those with uses permitted by the Act. View "Graczyk v. West Publ'g Co." on Justia Law

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Between 2003 and 2006, more than 2,000 fell victim to defendants' internet fraud scheme that involved individuals outside the U.S., often based in Romania posing as sellers of goods on eBay and other internet auction sites. Victims were directed to send payment by wire transfer. The foreign co-schemers developed a network of individuals in the U.S., who collected payment using false identifications. Defendant S pled guilty to wire fraud, (18 U.S.C. 1343), and G pled guilty to several counts of wire fraud and two counts of receipt of stolen funds (18 U.S.C. 1343, 2315). On remand for sentencing, S was sentenced to 97 months and G to 78 months in prison, the same sentences originally imposed. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, stating that the findings and reasonable inferences from the record supported accountability for the conduct of co-conspirators under U.S.S.G. 1B1.3(a)(1)(B). View "United States v. Salem" on Justia Law

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Defendant, a non-profit company that blocks unwanted bulk e-mail, maintains a list of internet protocol addresses of spam distributors, which internet service providers use to block e-mails originating from those addresses. Plaintiff, a now-defunct internet marketing company, sued for tortious interference with contractual relations, tortious interference with prospective economic advantage, and defamation. The district court granted default judgment and awarded $11,715,000 in damages. When defendant changed strategy, the Seventh Circuit affirmed default judgment but vacated the award. On remand, the court awarded a total of $27,002. The Seventh Circuit vacated and remanded with instructions to enter judgment in the nominal amount of three dollars. The district court properly struck most of plaintiff's evidence, either as an appropriate discovery sanction or for proper procedural reasons. The evidence did not support an award of $27,000 in actual damages because plaintiff based its damage calculations on lost revenues rather than lost profits. View "e360 Insight, Inc. v. Spamhaus Project" on Justia Law

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Defendants, based in Romania and Chicago, operated an internet scam using E-bay. The Seventh Circuit addressed appeals by defendants convicted of wire fraud (18 U.S.C. 1343). The court upheld a sentence of 63 months imprisonment, at the high end of the guidelines, that did not include credit for time served on related state charges or in custody of immigration officials. The court properly allowed the defendant's attorney to withdraw and declined to appoint new counsel. Another defendant's appeal was barred by his plea agreement. The court properly considered the foreseeability of losses caused by co-schemers in sentencing a third defendant, who also pled guilty to receipt of stolen funds in interstate commerce (18 U.S.C. 2315). With respect to the only defendant to go to trial, the court vacated a conviction for aggravated identity theft (18 U.S.C. 1028A), finding the evidence insufficient to show that he knew that the passport he used belonged to a real person and was not a purely fictitious document; affirmed his conviction for money laundering (18 U.S.C. 1956(h)),stating that the court did not commit plain error in not limiting jury consideration of âproceedsâ to the net profits of the internet fraud scheme; and vacated his 324-month sentence.