United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Shreveport Division
L. Hornsby, U.S. Magistrate Judge
Koons (“Defendant”) and five co-defendants were
charged with 32 counts, including conspiracy, making false
statements, and wire fraud. The charges pertain to the
mishandling and/or storage of military munitions on the
premises of Explo Systems in Minden, Louisiana. Defendant
pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement
(Count 26). Judge Foote entered a judgment sentencing
Defendant to 41 months imprisonment and ordering him to pay
$92, 921.00 in restitution to the Government. Doc. 220.
sentencing, the Government filed two writs of garnishment
against Defendant and garnishees Barksdale Federal Credit
Union and Metropolitan Life Insurance. Barksdale answered the
writ, advising that Defendant had two checking accounts and
three savings accounts. As a result of the garnishment, a
hold was placed on funds in those accounts in the amount of
the court is Defendant's Motion to Quash
Writ of Garnishment and Motion for Protective Order to
Preclude Seizure of Assets (Doc. 264). Defendant's motion
seeks an order that those funds be released, and that the
Government be precluded from seizing additional monies
deposited into the Barksdale accounts.
argues that the judgment provides that he is to pay monthly
payments at a rate of not less than 20% of his monthly income
beginning within 30 days of commencement of his supervised
release. Defendant asserts that permitting the Government to
execute the full amount of the restitution would disrupt the
court's payment schedule. Alternatively, Defendant
alleges that the hold placed on his accounts creates a
substantial hardship to his wife, who suffers from serious
health conditions and is unable to have gainful employment.
With Defendant in custody, Defendant argues that the funds in
the Barksdale accounts are the only funds available to Mrs.
Koons for the costs of daily living.
motion is denied. The judgment entered by
Judge Foote did not merely set up a payment plan for
restitution following Defendant's release from prison, as
Defendant's motion implies. Rather, the judgment was
clear that the lump sum of the restitution is “due
immediately, ” with the monthly payments beginning
within 30 days of supervised release only if the
restitution is not paid prior to the commencement of
Defendant's supervised release. Doc. 220.
Judge's Foote's oral pronouncement at sentencing also
confirmed that she intended restitution to be due
immediately. Doc. 235, Tr. p. 117 of 173.
the arguments with regard to the medical condition of
Defendant's wife or her monthly income provide a legal
basis to change Defendant's restitution obligation.
See 18 U.S.C. § 3664(f)(1)(A). Indeed, Judge
Foote was aware of Defendant's financial condition, which
was accurately portrayed in the PSR. The financial resources
and assets of Defendant were taken into account at sentencing
as required by 18 U.S.C. § 3664 (f)(2). To that end,
Judge Foote exercised her discretion at sentencing not to
impose any fine on Defendant.
United States v. Diehl, 848 F.3d 629 (5th Cir.
2017), the Court addressed a similar situation in which a
defendant was ordered to pay a $1, 000 fine and a $1, 000
special assessment. The written judgement stated that the
payment of the special assessment “shall begin
immediately, ” and that, if the defendant was unable to
pay his fine immediately, he should “make payment in
full as soon as possible, including during any period of
incarceration.” The Government sought an order
requiring the Bureau of Prisons to turn over funds in the
defendant's inmate trust account. The defendant argued
that his participation in the Inmate Financial Responsibility
Program and adherence to its payment schedule precluded the
Government from using other available collection mechanisms
to seek payment of the monetary penalties. Upholding the
district court's decision to grant the application, the
Fifth Circuit stated that the Government may pursue immediate
payment or adjusted enforcement of restitution so long as the
judgment contains nothing to the contrary. Diehl,
848 F.3d at 634, citing United States v. Schwartz,
503 Fed.Appx. 443, 446 (6th Cir. 2012) (holding that when
judgment provided that restitution be paid immediately, but
also provided for a payment schedule, garnishment was
arguments simply do not provide justification for this court
to order the Government to cease collection efforts for
Defendant's outstanding restitution obligation
Accordingly, Defendant's Motion to Quash Writ of
Garnishment and ...