Duquesne Law Review


Mark D. Yochum


This article explores Cheek v United States, ___ US ___, 111 S Ct 604 (1991), which reaffirmed that ignorance of the law is a defense to the principal federal tax crimes. The author discusses the beginnings of a disturbing trend toward overenthusiasm for the decision which might result in the unwarranted expansion of the defense and corollary rules, not only for federal tax crimes and penalties, but other crimes as well. The author argues that Cheek presents an unattractive and unseemly rule of law which should not be emulated or broadened.

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