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U.S. v. Danielczyk

U.S. v. Danielczyk

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Published by Paul Prados
Eastern District of Virginia Judge Cacheris' analysis of Citizens United
Eastern District of Virginia Judge Cacheris' analysis of Citizens United

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Published by: Paul Prados on May 30, 2011
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1IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THEEASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIAAlexandria DivisionUNITED STATES, ))v. ))WILLIAM DANIELCZYK, Jr., &EUGENE BIAGI,))1:11cr85 (JCC))Defendants. )
 M E M O R A N D U M O P I NI O N
This case involves an alleged scheme of recruitingdonors and reimbursing their contributions to Hillary Clinton’s2006 and 2008 Senate and Presidential Campaigns. Defendants’motions to dismiss raise significant questions of statutoryconstruction,
mens rea
, and Congress’s ability to ban directcorporate contributions in the wake of the Supreme Court’sdecision in
Citizens United v. FEC 
, 130 U.S. 876 (2010). Forthe following reasons, the Court will grant in part and deny inpartDefendantsmotions.
I. Background 
On February 16, 2011, a grand jury sitting in theEastern District of Virginia returned a seven-count indictmentagainst William P. Danielczyk, Jr. and Eugene R. Biagi(together, “Defendants”), charging them with illegally
Case 1:11-cr-00085-JCC Document 60 Filed 05/26/11 Page 1 of 52
 
2soliciting and reimbursing contributions to Hillary Clinton’s2006 Senate Campaign (“Senate Campaign”) and 2008 PresidentialCampaign (“Presidential Campaign”). (Indictment [Dkt. 1](“Indict.”).) The Government alleges that Mr. Danielczyk, asChairman of Galen Capital Group, LLC, and Galen CapitalCorporation (together, “Galen”) and Mr. Biagi, as an executiveat Galen, subverted federal campaign contribution limits byreimbursing their employees’ costs of attending two fundraisersMr. Danielczyk co-hosted for the two campaigns.Count One charges conspiracy in violation of 18 U.S.C.§ 371, Counts Two and Three charge making campaign contributionsin the name of another in violation of 2 U.S.C. § 441f and 18U.S.C. § 2, Count Four charges corporate contributions inviolation of 2 U.S.C. § 441b and 18 U.S.C. § 2, Count Fivecharges obstruction of justice in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1519and Two, and Counts Six and Seven charge causing falsestatements in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1001(a)(2) and 2 and aredirected solely towards Mr. Danielczyk. Joint trial is set forJuly 6, 2011.Defendants filed motions to dismiss a number of thesecounts on April 6, 2011. [Dkt. 23 (“Biagi MTD”); Dkt. 28(“Danielczyk MTD”).] The Government filed a brief in oppositionon April 19, 2011 [Dkt. 37 (“Opp.”)], and Defendants filedbriefs in reply on April 25, 2011 [Dkt. 46 (“Danielczyk Reply”);
Case 1:11-cr-00085-JCC Document 60 Filed 05/26/11 Page 2 of 52
 
3Dkt. 49 (“Biagi Reply”)]. Defendants’ motions are before theCourt.
II. Standard of Review
Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 12(b)(3)(B) permitsa defendant to move for dismissal pre-trial (or at any timewhile the case is pending) if an indictment fails to state anoffense. “[A]n indictment need merely contain a ‘plain,concise, and definite written statement of the essential factsconstituting the offense charged.’”
United States v. Rendelman
,--- F.3d ----, No. 08–4486, 2011 WL 1335781, at *5 (4th Cir.Apr. 8, 2011) (quoting Fed. R. Crim. P. 7(c)(1)).An indictment is legally sufficient if (i) it containsthe elements of the offense charged and informs the defendant ofthe charges he must meet, and (ii) it identifies the offenseconduct with sufficient specificity to allow the defendant toplead double jeopardy should there be a later prosecution basedon the same facts.
United States v. Jefferson
, 562 F. Supp. 2d687, 690 (E.D. Va. 2008) (citing
Russell v. United States
, 369U.S. 749, 763-64 (1962)). The first prong of this standardtests the “legal sufficiency” of a charged offense, “namelywhether the facts alleged satisfy each of the requisitestatutory elements of a[n] . . . offense.”
Jefferson
, 562 F.Supp. 2d at 690.
Case 1:11-cr-00085-JCC Document 60 Filed 05/26/11 Page 3 of 52

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