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United States v. Beltramea

United States District Court, N.D. Iowa, Cedar Rapids Division

January 26, 2015

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
RANDY BELTRAMEA, Defendant.

ORDER

LINDA R. READE, Chief District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

The matter before the court is Defendant Randy Beltramea's "Motion to Dismiss Superseding Indictment" ("Motion") (docket no. 24).

II. RELEVANT PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On November 19, 2013, the grand jury returned a Superseding Indictment (docket no. 15) against Defendant. The Superseding Indictment charges Defendant with four counts of obstruction of justice in violation of 18 U.S.C. ยง 1512(c)(2). On December 15, 2014, Defendant filed the Motion. On December 19, 2014, the government filed a Resistance (docket no. 26). The Motion is fully submitted and ready for decision.

III. RELEVANT FACTUAL BACKGROUND

On October 31, 2013, the court accepted Defendant's pleas of guilty to several tax and fraud-related charges in United States v. Randy Beltramea, 13-CR-20-LRR (N.D. Iowa). At the sentencing hearing, the government argued that Defendant should be sentenced at the top of the advisory guideline range because, among other reasons:

while this case was pending, after the defendant was indicted and was advised of the intent of the government to forfeit property and was provided with copies of lis pendens, telling him the government's intent to forfeit, the defendant took money from a person with the intent of trying to sell off property he knew was subject to forfeiture. Frankly, we could have charged that as an additional offense. That is conduct that is not really reflected in the guidelines, not reflected in the upward departure, additional criminal conduct by the defendant that the [c]ourt should take into account in determining where within the range to sentence the defendant.

Sentencing Transcript Vol. II, United States v. Randy Beltramea, 13-CR-20-LRR (N.D. Iowa) (docket no. 137) at 14. The court sentenced Defendant at the top of the advisory guideline range, stating in part that "[w]hile this case was pending, as mentioned by the government, he tried to sell property, knowing the property was subject to forfeiture." Id. at 32.

IV. ANALYSIS

In the Motion, Defendant argues that the court should dismiss the Superseding Indictment because: (1) "The [S]uperseding [I]ndictment violates the Double Jeopardy Clause of the United States Constitution"; (2) "Castlerock was not subject to forfeiture at the time of the above actions" and therefore the forfeiture was not an official proceeding; and (3) "[a] corporation, not... Defendant personally, owned Castlerock and did the above actions." Motion at 1-2.

A. Double Jeopardy

Defendant argues that the Superseding Indictment violates the Double Jeopardy Clause. In support, Defendant states that the government argued for a higher sentence at Defendant's initial sentencing hearing based on obstructive conduct. Defendant argues that such conduct has now been charged by the Superseding Indictment as an additional crime. Defendant contends that by arguing that Defendant's obstructive conduct warrants a higher sentence and then later charging Defendant with a crime based on such obstructive conduct, the government violates the Double Jeopardy Clause. See Brief in Support of the Motion (docket no. 25) at 6. Defendant also argues that "the Castlerock transactions involving lots 4, 7, and 9... were not related to the charged offense" in United States v. Randy Beltramea, 13-CR-20-LRR (N.D. Iowa) such that they constitute relevant conduct to be considered at a sentencing hearing.

The court is not persuaded by these arguments. The government argued at the sentencing hearing that Defendant "attempted to sell one of the Castlerock lots which constituted the proceeds of his fraud." Resistance at 5. Defendant's attempt to sell the proceeds of the fraud to which he pled guilty clearly falls within ...


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