Do We Need a 'Beanie Baby' Fraud Statute

16 Pages Posted: 9 Dec 2009

See all articles by Ellen S. Podgor

Ellen S. Podgor

Stetson University College of Law

Date Written: January 7, 2000


This Essay examines the appropriate line in legislative drafting between the overly generic fraud statute (e.g., mail fraud) and the addition of an overly specific statute, such as "Beanie Baby" fraud. Clearly, issues of federalism warrant consideration to determine whether the conduct belongs in the realm of the state and local prosecutor or more aptly in the federal system. Likewise, the scope of the federal statute needs to be clear in order to avoid ambiguity, overbreadth, and application of the Rule of Lenity.

This Essay looks to a third factor for considering the propriety of the legislation: Whether the statute is designed to advance the historic roles provided to each of the three branches of government. When legislation accords a fair balancing to the executive, legislative, and judicial bodies, the appropriate line between the generic and specific statute is achieved.

Suggested Citation

Podgor, Ellen S., Do We Need a 'Beanie Baby' Fraud Statute (January 7, 2000). American University Law Review, Vol. 49, No. 5, p. 1031, 2000, Available at SSRN:

Ellen S. Podgor (Contact Author)

Stetson University College of Law ( email )

1401 61st Street South
Gulfport, FL 33707
United States
727 562 7348 (Phone)


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