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United States v. Desu

3rd Circuit

January 7, 2022

The Third Circuit worked to “clarify the standard we should use to review a district court’s application of the two-element test provided in Franks for deciding motions for evidentiary hearings” and affirmed the defendant’s convictions for tax fraud. The Court noted the basics: “To obtain a Franks hearing, a defendant must establish (1) that a warrant application contained false statements made with reckless disregard for the truth and (2) that the remaining truthful statements, standing alone, do not establish probable cause.” The defendant must prove his allegations by a “substantial preliminary showing.” Crucially here, the Court ruled that “a district court’s resolution of the question whether a particular false statement in a warrant affidavit was made with reckless disregard for the truth is subject to reversal only upon a finding of clear error.” The Court reviews lower court probable cause determinations de novo. After an exhaustive analysis of the defendant’s alleged eighteen omissions from the affidavit of probable cause, the Court ruled that he had failed to make the requisite showing for a Franks hearing.

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