United states court of appeals for the ninth circuit united states of america, P

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Between April and June 2001, Prime, along with three coconspirators, David Hiestand (“Hiestand”), Juan Ore-Lovera, and Jeffrey Hardy, sold non-existent items on eBay, purchased items using counterfeit money orders created by the group, sold pirated computer software, and stole credit card numbers from software purchasers. To facilitate this operation, Prime and his cohorts used a credit card encoder to input the stolen data on their own credit cards, set up post office boxes under false names, manufactured false identifications, and used a filter bank account to hide proceeds of the crimes.

At trial, numerous victims testified as to the details surrounding how they had been defrauded by Prime’s various scams. In addition, co-conspirators Hiestand and Hardy both extensively testified as to the details of the conspiracy, implicating Prime in all of the crimes charged. The prosecution also elicited the expert opinion of Kathleen Storer (“Storer”), a forensic document examiner with the Secret Service. She testified that Prime was the author of as many as thirty-eight incriminating exhibits, including envelopes, postal forms, money orders, Post-it notes, express mail labels and postal box applications. Prime took the stand in his own defense and claimed that despite all of the evidence linking him to the various scams, including admissions that his fingerprints were on several items linked to the crimes, he was simply attempting to engage in legal entrepreneurial ventures. Prime also confirmed that he had previously been convicted of first and second degree theft, two counts of possession of stolen property in the second degree, and forgery. The jury found Prime guilty on all counts. Prime moved for a new trial based on the improper submission of extrinsic evidence to the jury. The district court denied the motion, and this appeal follows.

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