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United States v. Berg

United States District Court, N.D. Iowa, Western Division

May 5, 2014

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
SARAH BERG, Defendant.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION CONCERNING PLEA OF GUILTY

LEONARD T. STRAND, Magistrate Judge.

On May 5, 2014, the above-named defendant, by consent, appeared before the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11, and entered pleas of guilty to Counts One, Two, Four and Ten of the Third Superseding Indictment. After cautioning and examining the defendant under oath concerning each of the subjects mentioned in Rule 11, the court determined that the guilty pleas were knowledgeable and voluntary, and the offenses charged were supported by an independent basis in fact containing each of the essential elements of the offenses. The court therefore RECOMMENDS that the pleas of guilty be accepted and the defendant be adjudged guilty.

At the commencement of the Rule 11 proceeding, the defendant was placed under oath and advised that if she answered any questions falsely, she could be prosecuted for perjury or for making a false statement. She also was advised that in any such prosecution, the Government could use against her any statements she made under oath.

The court then asked a number of questions to ensure the defendant's mental capacity to enter a plea. The defendant stated her full name, her age, and the extent of her schooling. The court inquired into the defendant's history of mental illness and addiction to narcotic drugs. The court further inquired into whether the defendant was under the influence of any drug, medication, or alcoholic beverage at the time of the plea hearing. From this inquiry, the court determined that the defendant was not suffering from any mental disability that would impair her ability to make knowing, intelligent, and voluntary pleas of guilty to the charges.

The defendant acknowledged that she had received a copy of the Third Superseding Indictment, and she had fully discussed these charges with her attorney.

The court determined that the defendant was pleading guilty under a plea agreement with the Government. After confirming that a copy of the written plea agreement was in front of the defendant and her attorney, the court determined that the defendant understood the terms of the plea agreement. The court then summarized the plea agreement, and made certain the defendant understood its terms.

The court explained to the defendant that because the plea agreement provided for dismissal of charges if she pleaded guilty, a presentence report would be prepared and a district judge would consider whether or not to accept the plea agreement. If the district judge decided to reject the plea agreement, then the defendant would have an opportunity to withdraw her pleas of guilty and change them to not guilty.

The defendant was advised also that after her pleas were accepted, she would have no right to withdraw the pleas at a later date, even if the sentence imposed was different from what the defendant or her counsel anticipated.

The court summarized the charges against the defendant, and listed the elements of the crimes. The court determined that the defendant understood each and every element of the crimes, ascertained that her counsel had explained each and every element of the crimes fully to her, and the defendant's counsel confirmed that the defendant understood each and every element of the crimes charged.

The court then elicited a full and complete factual basis for all elements of the crimes charged in each Count of the Third Superseding Indictment to which the defendant was pleading guilty.

The court advised the defendant of the consequences of her pleas, including, for each Count, the maximum fine and the maximum term of.

With respect to Counts One and Two, the defendant was advised that as to each count the maximum fine is $250, 000; the maximum term of imprisonment is 20 years; and the maximum period of supervised release is three years.

With respect to Count Four, the defendant was advised that the maximum fine is $250, 000; the maximum term of imprisonment is 15 years; and the maximum period of supervised release is three years.

With respect to Count Ten, the defendant was advised that the maximum fine is $250, 000; the maximum term of imprisonment is ten years; and the maximum ...


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