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USA v Minkow - Memorandum of USA in Support of Sentencing

USA v Minkow - Memorandum of USA in Support of Sentencing

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Published by Sam E. Antar
USA v Minkow - Memorandum of USA in Support of Sentencing. US Attorney calls Barry Minkow a "predator from the pulpit."
USA v Minkow - Memorandum of USA in Support of Sentencing. US Attorney calls Barry Minkow a "predator from the pulpit."

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Published by: Sam E. Antar on May 06, 2014
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05/16/2014

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LAURA E. DUFFY United States Attorney MARK W. PLETCHER State of Colorado Bar No. 34615 Assistant U.S. Attorney Federal Office Building 880 Front Street, Room 6293 San Diego, California 92101-8893 Telephone: 619.546.9714 Email: mark.pletcher@usdoj.gov Attorneys for the United States of America
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ) ) ) ) v.
 
) ) BARRY MINKOW, ) ) ) Defendant. ) ) ) ) Case No.: 14-CR-0153-MMA
MEMORANDUM OF THE UNITED STATES IN SUPPORT OF SENTENCING
Date: April 28, 2014 Time: 10:30 a.m. The United States of America, by and through its counsel, Laura E. Duffy, United States Attorney, and Mark W. Pletcher, Assistant United States Attorney, hereby files its Memorandum In Support of Sentencing.
INTRODUCTION
 The United States respectfully recommends that the Court impose upon Barry Minkow ("defendant") a sentence within the applicable United States Sentencing Guideline ("U.S.S.G." or "Guidelines"), including a period of incarceration of 60 months, a three-year period of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment. Finally, as set forth in Paragraph X.H.3 of the plea agreement between the parties, the United States respectfully requests that defendant be ordered to pay restitution to the
Case 3:14-cr-00153-MMA Document 17 Filed 04/22/14 Page 1 of 12
 
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12-CR-0153-MMA
 
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San Diego Community Bible Church (“SDCBC”) in the sum of $3,515,000 million and to pay back taxes and penalties as assessed by the IRS. As described below, after application of the United States Sentencing Guidelines, including appropriate specific offense enhancements in Section 2, and applicable departures in Section 3, defendant's properly calculated Adjusted Offense Level is 24. According to the United States Probation Office, defendant has earned three criminal history points, resulting in Criminal History Category II. Plotting these coordinates results in an advisory Guideline range of 57-71 months, bounded by the statutory maximum of 60 months incarceration for a violation of 18 U.S.C. §
 
371.
FACTUAL BACKGROUND OF THE OFFENSE OF CONVICTION
 The "relevant period" is just short of a decade -- from in or about May 2001 until at least March 14, 2011. During this time, defendant was the pastor at San Diego Community Bible Church (“SDCBC”), a position that he held until March 2011. By 2001, defendant had also founded the Fraud Discovery Institute (“FDI”), a for-profit investigative firm that aimed to detect and expose fraudulent business activities. During the relevant period, in the Southern District of California and elsewhere, defendant Barry Minkow and others knowingly and unlawfully conspired, confederated and agreed: (1) to commit offenses against the United States, to wit (a) mail fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1341; (b) wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343; and (c) bank fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1344; and (2) to defraud the United States of and concerning its governmental functions and rights by impeding, impairing, obstructing and defeating the lawful functions of the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) in the ascertainment, assessment and collection of federal income taxes.
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The objects of the conspiracy were for defendant and his conspirators to fraudulently obtain the unauthorized use and benefit of over $3 million from SDCBC, its parishioners, and its lenders and to conceal such diversion from the IRS in an attempt to reduce the conspirators’ tax obligations to the United States. Much has been written about the life and times of Barry Minkow. A summary from Fortune Magazine and Wikipedia are attached for reference as Exhibit A and B. Yet even for the defendant’s gloriously disastrous previous illegal schemes and the accompanying compendium of lies and deceit, the facts of this case are aggravated. They show a professional con man expertly plying his craft in an effort to line his  pockets with millions of dollar in order to fund his own Hollywood movie. The movie trailer from YouTube is attached as Exhibit C. Really though the facts show a predator from the pulpit ravaging those widowers and elderly, among others, that he convinced to trust him most intimately. Exhibits D-I exemplify that this crime went far beyond money and greed, ultimately consuming the congregants of SDCBC physically and emotionally. Defendant used every mechanism available to him to steal money. At its most simple, defendant flatly stole money from the Sunday collection plate. Over the course of nearly a decade, defendant also used any number of additional mechanisms to  bleed every dollar possible from SDCBC and its congregants. As set forth in the plea agreement, defendant and his conspirators (a) fraudulently convinced several financial institutions in the San Diego area to open a dozen unauthorized bank accounts in the name of SDCBC, and to give defendant control over such accounts and the funds they contained; (b) forged signatures on checks and drew unauthorized checks on legitimate SDCBC financial accounts for the benefit of the conspirators, totaling more than $300,000; (c) diverted and deposited checks drawn on
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