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United States v. McIntyre

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Monroe Division

June 22, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
BRAD A. MCINTYRE

          HAYES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          MEMORANDUM ORDER

          S. MAURICE HICKS JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is a Motion to Exclude/Strike Charges & Evidence of New Entities (Record Document 75) filed by Defendant Brad McIntyre (“McIntyre”). McIntyre argues that the charges, evidence, and claims for forfeiture related to the new farming entities set forth in the Bill of Particulars should be stricken, excluded, and dismissed with prejudice because:

1. The grand jury never considered the New Entities in returning the Indictment.
2. The Indictment did not put McIntyre on “fair notice” that the New Entities were part of the charges against him.

Id. at 1. McIntyre contends that the Government has attempted to constructively amend and broaden the Indictment. See id. at 2. The defense further contends that the Indictment is fatally vague, broad, and lacks the specificity to provide McIntyre with constitutional notice. See id. at 7.

         The Indictment in this case was returned on October 28, 2015. See Record Document 1. Count One of the Indictment charges McIntyre with conspiracy to commit mail fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1349. See id. The Government alleges that the conspiracy began on or about August 1, 2009 and continued until on or about February 1, 2013. See id. at 2. Count One of the Indictment reads, in pertinent part:

         III. THE OBJECT OF THE CONSPIRACY

The object of the conspiracy and the scheme and artifice to defraud was to obtain agricultural subsidy payments to which the conspirators were not entitled.

         IV. MANNER AND MEANS OF THE CONSPIRACY

A. It was part of the conspiracy and the scheme and artifice to defraud that BRAD A. MCINTYRE recruited and used family members, farm employees, and friends to create fictitious farming operations, including but not limited to, Boeuf Bayou Farms, Sandy Bayou Farms, and others.

Id. (emphasis added). Counts Two through Six of the Indictment charge McIntyre with five substantive counts of mail fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1341. See id. at 4. The substantive mail fraud counts relate to events occurring in 2010 specific to Boeuf Bayou Farms and Sandy Bayou Farms. See id. Counts Seven through Ten of the Indictment charge McIntyre with engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1957. See id. at 5. The events relevant to Counts Seven through Ten likewise occurred in 2010. See id. These four money laundering counts involve criminally derived property from four different farming entities, two of which fall into the “New Entities” identified by McIntyre in the instant motion. See Record Document 80 at 4. The Government filed a Bill of Particulars (Record Document 62) on May 1, 2017, specifically referencing five additional farming entities which were not specifically identified in the Indictment.

         McIntyre's motion appears to be both a motion to dismiss charges and a motion in limine to exclude certain evidence. Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 12(b)(3)(B) requires that motions alleging a defect in the indictment, including lack of specificity and failure to state an offense, be brought before trial. See F.R.Cr.P. 12(b)(3)(B). The propriety of granting such a motion “is by-and-large contingent upon whether the infirmity in the prosecution is essentially one of law or involves determinations of fact.” U.S. v. Fontenot, 665 F.3d 640, 644 (5th Cir. 2011). If a question of law is involved, then the trial court's consideration of the motion is generally proper. See id. The trial court is required to take the allegations of the indictment as true. See id.

         Generally, trial courts enjoy broad discretion in ruling on evidentiary issues before trial. Motions in limine serve “a gatekeeping function” and allow “the trial judge to eliminate from further consideration evidentiary submissions that clearly ought not be presented to the jury because they clearly would be inadmissible for any purpose.” U.S. v. Mandell, No. 12 CR 842, 2014 WL 287520, at *1 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 27, 2014). Motions in limine “are well-established devices that streamline trials and settle evidentiary disputes in advance, so that trials are not interrupted mid-course for the consideration of lengthy and complex evidentiary issues.” U.S. v. Cox, No. 4:13-CR-45, 2014 ...


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