In United States v. Oudomsine, No. 22-10924 (Jan. 18, 2023) (Lagoa, Brasher, Ed Carnes), the Court affirmed the defendant’s 36-month sentence for providing false information to obtain pandemic-related benefits.

The district court varied upward to 36 months from a guideline range of 8-14 months.  The sentence was not procedurally unreasonable because the district court adequately explained the variance.  The district court emphasized that the fraud was atypical compared to other fraud cases, in that the defendant used his education to steal money from a federal relief program designed to save the country during the pandemic, and the district court did not rely on any clearly erroneous facts.  Nor was the sentence was substantively unreasonable.  The Court rejected the defendant’s argument that the district court gave too much weight to deterrence since the pandemic benefits program was now over, and that the court did not “like him” because he spent much of the money to buy a single Pokemon card.