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United States v. Fendley, 522 F.2d 181 (5th Cir. 1975) (full-text).

Factual Background[]

The defendant embezzled a sum of money from an insurance company, and failed to include that sum as income in his tax return. He was convicted of filing a false return and for income tax evasion.[1]

The Government introduced a computer printout of the company's records showing a discrepancy between money received and money accounted for. The witness who testified about this information was not employed by the company at the time the records were made. Defendant objected to this evidence on the following grounds:

1. the evidence was hearsay;
2. the witness was someone other than the preparer of the records; and
3. the witness was unable to personally attest to the accuracy of the information.

The court held that the evidence fell within the business records exception to the hearsay rule.[2] Additionally, it found that the statute does not require the witness to either personally attest to the accuracy of the output, or to personally prepare it. While the Government's witness failed to lay a proper foundation for the introduction of the evidence by detailing its method of preparation, no objection was made on this ground, and, if there was error, it was not prejudicial. The judgment was therefore affirmed.


  1. 26 U.S.C. §§7201, 7206(1) (1976).
  2. 28 U.S.C. § 1732 (1976).