Shaw v. United States

Shaw v. United States, 580 U.S. ___ (2016), was a United States Supreme Court case that clarified the application of the federal bank fraud statute to cases where a defendant intends to only defraud a customer of the bank, rather than the bank itself.[1]

Shaw v. United States
Seal of the United States Supreme Court
Argued October 4, 2016
Decided December 12, 2016
Full case nameLawrence Eugene Shaw, Petitioner v. United States
Docket no.15–5991
Citations580 U.S. ___ (more)
137 S. Ct. 462; 196 L. Ed. 2d 372
Opinion announcementOpinion announcement
Case history
PriorUnited States v. Shaw, 781 F.3d 1130 (9th Cir. 2015)
Court membership
Chief Justice
John Roberts
Associate Justices
Anthony Kennedy · Clarence Thomas
Ruth Bader Ginsburg · Stephen Breyer
Samuel Alito · Sonia Sotomayor
Elena Kagan
Case opinion
MajorityBreyer, joined by unanimous
Laws applied
18 U.S.C. § 1344


Lawrence Shaw received the information from a bank account at Bank of America that belonged to a customer, Stanley Hsu. Shaw used that information to take money from Hsu but did not directly steal from the bank. Shaw was convicted under a federal statute criminalizing fraud against banks and appealed, arguing his target was its customer.


In a unanimous opinion written by Justice Stephen Breyer, the Court held that a scheme to defraud customers also deprives the bank of money in which the bank held a "property right", and criminal defendants may therefore be convicted under the federal statute for schemes to defraud bank customers.[2] However, the Supreme Court remanded the case to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to determine whether the trial court administered an erroneous jury instruction.[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Shaw v. United States, No. 15–5991, 580 U.S. ___ (2016), slip. op. at 1.
  2. ^ Shaw, slip. op. at 1-3.
  3. ^ Shaw, slip. op. at 8-9.

External linksEdit