Expert Article Library

Court Rejects Challenge to Check Kiting Expert Testimony

Case Name: United States v. Abboud (Click here for the full text of the case)

Court: United States Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit; on appeal from District Court for the Northern District of Ohio at Cleveland

Date: February 17, 2006

Expert: Check Kiting Expert. FBI Special Agent Randall Wolverton

Issues: Did the district court err by admitting the expert evidence of FBI Special Agent Wolverton.

Summary of case: Defendants were convicted of, amongst other things, money laundering and bank fraud. The defendants appealed the conviction. The Court of Appeals considered the admissibility of the expert testimony provided by Wolverton, an FBI agent who had given testimony at trial about check kiting schemes.

Role of the expert: At trial Wolverton had testified about check kiting schemes in general. He also testified that after examining the results of FBI Check Kiting Analysis Software (“CKAS”) and the defendant’s bank accounts, he had concluded that check kiting had taken place.

Challenges to the Expert's testimony: The expert evidence provided by Wolverton was challenged by the defendants on the following grounds: 1) that Wolverton based his opinion on data that was collected and prepared by someone else; 2) Wolverton’s opinion was not based on a reasonable degree of banking certainty; 3) although Wolverton had previously given expert testimony in cases involving bank and money laundering, he had never testified in cases involving the money ordering, check cashing or grocery business; 4) Wolverton had failed to conduct a manual analysis of the CKAS report. The Court of Appeals rejected all the defendant’s objections to Wolverton’s evidence.

Summary prepared by R. Zapparoni