On January 16, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it would hear a case concerning the fraud or deceit offense definition of aggravated felony. In Nijhawan v. Mukasey, the Supreme Court will consider what Congress meant when it made a conviction for an offense involving fraud or deceit in which the loss to the victim exceeds $10,000. Can someone be deported under this provision even though the criminal conviction didn’t require the prosecutor to prove the loss amount? If so, what documents can the Immigration Judge look at to determine whether the amount lost exceeds $10,000?
The Court is unlikely to find that the criminal court must have found that the loss amount exceeded $10,000. Few theft statutes even include a provision related to the loss amount. How the Court will come out on the second question, however, is more difficult to predict. We’ll be watching.