Atty. Scungio delivered a $5,000 bribe to tax board officials to obtain a tax assessment reduction for his clients. He also gave officials $200 of his own money and lied to FBI agents when questioned. After FBI agents revisited Scungio and presented him with new evidence he took a plea. His cooperation helped open the flood gates in the Plunder Dome investigation and won him a lenient sentence.
US Judge Lagueux ruled Scungio obstructed justice and used his special skills as a lawyer to mislead investigators. Although Operation Plunder Dome had received heavy publicity as an ongoing investigation, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled that there was "no evidence" that Scungio, when interviewed the first time by the FBI, "knew or had notice of a pending [grand jury] proceeding that his false statements would obstruct." The First Circuit Court Of Appeals also said there was "insufficient evidence that Scungio's skill as a tax lawyer significantly facilitated his deceitful responses to the FBI." (Note: it may have facilitated his lying but the court noted it didn't significantly facilitate his lying!) Atty. Scungio lied to FBI agents about illicit tax breaks and about his role as a lawyer. The First Circuit Court Of Appeals also reduced Scungio's fine by $35,000. "Atty. Scungio gained $35,000 by appealing," Judge Lagueux stated. Clearly Attorney Scungio's skill as a tax lawyer SIGNIFICANTLY facilitated him in some ways!
A close analysis of Garganta v Union Central will show The First Circuit Court Of Appeals condones institutionalized, court sponsored insurance fraud...using carefully crafted legal "reasoning" of course.