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Q: Felony Charges ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Felony Charges
Category: Relationships and Society > Law
Asked by: tparlin-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 19 Mar 2005 16:15 PST
Expires: 18 Apr 2005 17:15 PDT
Question ID: 497337
What is the degree of felony that goes with the charge "conspiracy to
steal honest services" that Form Gov. John G. Rowland of Connecticut
was charged with? (i.e. class C felony, class D felony)
Subject: Re: Felony Charges
Answered By: markj-ga on 19 Mar 2005 19:13 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
tparlin --

The federal offense of which Rowland was charged and convicted is a Class D felony.

Let me guide you through the legal maze that leads to that conclusion. 

1.  Rowland was charged with, and pled guilty to one count of a
violation of 18 United States Code 371, according to his plea

"John G. Rowland agrees to waive his right to be indicted and to plead
guilty to a onecount information charging him with Conspiracy to
Commit Honest Services Mail Fraud and Tax Fraud, in violation of 18
U.S.C.  371."

U.S. Department of Justice: John Rowland: Plea Agreement, 12/03/04

2.  A violation of 18 U.S.C. 371 is punishable by a maximum prison
sentence of five years:'

"If two or more persons conspire either to commit any offense against
the United States, or to defraud the United States, or any agency
thereof in any manner or for any purpose, and one or more of such
persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each shall
be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or

Cornell University Law School: U.S. Code: 18 U.S.C. 317

3.  The underlying crime to which the conspiracy statute (18 U.S.C.
371) relates is !8 U.S.C. 1341, which is entitled "Frauds and
Swindles" and includes "a scheme and artifice to defraud."  Here is a
link to the text of that section:

Cornell Law School: U.S. Code: 18 U.S.C. 1341

4.  According to 18 U.S.C. 1346, a "scheme and artifice to defraud"
specifically "includes a scheme or artifice to deprive another of the
intangible right of honest services":

Cornell Law School: U.S. Code: 18 U.S.C. 1346 

So, a conspiracy (18 U.S.C. 371) to "steal honest services" (18 U.S.C.
1341 and !8 U.S.C 1346, read together) is a federal felony punishable
by a maximum five year sentence.

The classification of a felony in the federal system (and, generally,
in state systems) varies with the maximum sentence.  A federal crime
with a maximum five year sentence is a Class D felony, according to 18
U.S.C. 3559:

Cornell Law School: U.S. Code: 18 U.S.C. 3559

Search Strategy:

I used the following Google searches, among others, to find this
information and to confirm its accuracy:

"theft of honest services OR service"

federal felony classification class

"18 usc " "scheme or artifice to defraud"

I am confident that this is the information you wanted.  If anything
is unclear, please ask for clarification before rating the answer.

tparlin-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $5.00
Wow, I'm very impressed by the speed and detail that my question was
given! I was also given the search terms, which will serve as a
learning tool to help me figure out this kind of answer on my own in
the future. Thanks Mark!

Subject: Re: Felony Charges
From: markj-ga on 20 Mar 2005 02:24 PST
tparlin --

Thanks much for the kind words, the stars and the nice tip.


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