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United States v. Vaassen

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

March 3, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
SHAWN JEROME VAASSEN, Defendant.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION CONCERNING PLEA OF GUILTY

          C.J. WILLIAMS, CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         On March 2, 2017, the above-named Defendant Shawn Jerome Vaassen, by consent (Doc. 17), appeared before the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11, and entered pleas of guilty to Counts One and Two of the Information (Doc. 14). 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 he answered any questions falsely, he could be prosecuted for perjury or for making a false statement. He also was advised that in any such prosecution, the Government could use against him any statements he made under oath.

         The court asked a number of questions to ensure the Defendant's mental capacity to enter a plea. The Defendant stated his full name, his age, and the extent of his 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 his ability to make knowing, intelligent, and voluntary pleas of guilty to the charges.

         The Defendant acknowledged that he had received a copy of the Information, and he had fully discussed these charges with his attorney.

         The court determined that the Defendant was pleading guilty under a plea agreement with the Government.[1] After confirming that a copy of the written plea agreement was in front of the Defendant and his attorney, the court determined that the Defendant understood the terms of the plea agreement. The court 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 for a specific sentence if he 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 his pleas of guilty and change them to not guilty.

         The Defendant was advised also that after his pleas were accepted, he would have no right to withdraw the pleas at a later date, even if the sentence imposed was different from what the Defendant or his 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 his counsel had explained each and every element of the crimes fully to him, and the Defendant's counsel confirmed that the Defendant understood each and every element of the crimes charged.

         The court elicited a full and complete factual basis for all elements of the crimes charged in each Count of the Information to which the Defendant was pleading guilty.

         The court advised the Defendant of the consequences of his pleas, including, for each Count, the maximum fine, the maximum term of imprisonment, the possibility that restitution could be ordered[2] and term of supervised release. Because these charges involve fraud or other intentionally deceptive practices, the Defendant was advised that the court also could order him to provide notice of the conviction to victims of the offense.

         With respect to Count One, the Defendant was advised that the maximum fine is $250, 000; the maximum term of imprisonment is 20 years; and the maximum period of supervised release is 3 years. Defendant was also advised that he may be subject to tha alternative fine provisions of 18 U.S.C. § 3571. Under this section, the maximum fine that may be imposed on defendant is the greatest of the following amounts: (1) twice the gross gain to defendant resulting from the offense; (2) twice the gross loss resulting from the offense; (3) $250, 000; or (4) the amount specified in the section defining the offense.

         With respect to Count Two, the Defendant was advised that the maximum fine is $250, 000; the maximum term of imprisonment is 10 years; and the maximum period of supervised release is 3 years.

         The Defendant also was advised that the court is obligated to impose a special assessment of $100.00 on each Count, for a total of $200, which the Defendant must pay. The Defendant also was advised of the collateral consequences of a plea of guilty. ...


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