Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Adejumo v. United States

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

November 7, 2018

Adetokunbo Olubunmi Adejumo Petitioner - Appellant
United States of America Respondent - Appellee

          Submitted: May 16, 2018

          Appeal from United States District Court for the District of Minnesota - Minneapolis

          Before BENTON, KELLY, and STRAS, Circuit Judges.

          STRAS, Circuit Judge.

         Adetokunbo Olubunmi Adejumo moved under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to vacate his sentence for bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. His theory was that his counsel was ineffective by failing to do two things that a reasonable attorney would have done: advise him of the consequences of testifying at a pretrial-release revocation hearing and object to the amount of loss suffered by the victims of the fraud. The district court[1] denied both claims without holding an evidentiary hearing. We affirm.


         Adejumo, as well as several accomplices, devised a scheme to use stolen identity information to defraud several major banks out of millions of dollars. Rather than proceed to trial, Adejumo pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. 18 U.S.C. §§ 1028A, 1344. In the plea agreement, he admitted "that [he and his accomplices] obtained or attempted to obtain in excess of $1, 000, 000 in fraudulent proceeds" and that he "believe[d]" his offense level under the Sentencing Guidelines should be increased by sixteen levels "because the loss amount was more than $1, 000, 000 but less than $2, 500, 000." The plea agreement also recommended a reduction for acceptance of responsibility.

         The district court initially allowed Adejumo to remain free pending sentencing. After Adejumo was arrested for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend, however, the government asked the court to reconsider its decision and place him in prison. At the hearing to consider the government's request, Adejumo denied the assault. The magistrate judge who presided over the hearing specifically stated that he did not believe Adejumo and revoked his release.

         The consequences of Adejumo's decision to testify did not end there. At sentencing, the district court concluded that Adejumo had committed perjury at the revocation hearing. The court then cited the perjury finding as reason to increase Adejumo's offense level for obstruction of justice, U.S.S.G. § 3C1.1, and deny the recommended reduction for acceptance of responsibility, id. § 3E1.1. The court also increased Adejumo's offense level based on the loss amount specified in the plea agreement, which the court concluded was binding on the parties. Id. § 2B1.1(b)(1). The court sentenced Adejumo to 124 months in prison, the approximate midway point of his advisory Guidelines range. We affirmed Adejumo's sentence on direct appeal. See United States v. Adejumo, 772 F.3d 513, 534-38 (8th Cir. 2014).

         After his conviction became final, Adejumo moved to vacate his sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255(a). In the motion, he presented five theories in an effort to persuade the district court that he had received ineffective assistance of counsel. The district court denied the motion without holding an evidentiary hearing. We granted him a certificate of appealability on two issues: whether defense counsel "was ineffective by failing to advise . . . Adejumo [about] the risks of testifying at the" hearing and whether defense counsel "provided ineffective assistance . . . in failing to challenge or object to the loss amount attributable to . . . Adejumo." Those are the only two issues before us.[2]


         Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, prisoners can challenge their sentences by filing a motion alleging ineffective assistance of counsel. See, e.g., Calkins v. United States, 795 F.3d 896, 897 (8th Cir. 2015). Ordinarily, the district court must hold an evidentiary hearing and make factual findings before ruling on the merits of the motion. 28 U.S.C. § 2255(b). A hearing is unnecessary, however, if "the motion and the files and records of the case conclusively show that the prisoner is entitled to no relief . . . ." Id.

         To prevail on his ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claims, Adejumo must show that counsel's performance "fell below an objective standard of reasonableness" and that "there is a reasonable probability that, but for counsel's unprofessional errors, the result of the proceeding would have been different." Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 688, 694 (1984). When evaluating ineffective-assistance claims, a court "must indulge a strong presumption that counsel's conduct [fell] within the wide range of reasonable professional ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.