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United States v. Livingston

United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Alexandria Division

February 23, 2016

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
EDWARD STUART LIVINGSTON, III, RONALD JOSEPH TIP A, THOMAS EDWARD TAYLOR, and ROSS BERNARD DEBLOIS, SR., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION ON MOTION FOR A BILL OF PARTICULARS (DKT. NO. 61)

LIAM O'GRADY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

This matter is before the Court on the Defendants' Motion for a Bill of Particulars. (Dkt. No. 61). The Government opposes the motion (Dkt. No. 83), and Defendants have filed a reply (Dkt. No. 89). The Court will dispense with an oral hearing and rule on the briefs submitted. For the reasons stated herein, the court will deny the motion.

I. Legal Framework

Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 7(f) provides that "[t]he court may direct the government to file a bill of particulars." Fed. R. Crim. P. 7(f). The function of a bill of particulars is "to enable a defendant to obtain sufficient information on the nature of the charge against him so that he may prepare for trial, minimize the danger of surprise at trial, and enable him to plead his acquittal or conviction in bar of another prosecution for the same offense." United States v. Schembari, 484 F.2d 931, 934-35 (4th Cir. 1973). It is not a mechanism to obtain "detailed disclosure of the government's evidence in advance of trial." United States v. Fletcher, 74 F.3d 49, 53 (4th Cir. 1996) (quoting United States v. Automated Med. Labs., Inc., 770 F.2d 399, 405 (4th Cir. 1985)). Rather, "[i]t merely amplifies the indictment by providing missing or additional information so that the defendant can effectively prepare for trial." Id.

II. Discussion

The government's eight-count indictment charges Defendants with conspiracy to bribe a public official and defraud the United States, in violation 18 U.S.C. § 371 (Count 1); bribery of a public official, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 201(b) (Count 2); conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1349 (Count 3); and honest services wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1343, 1346 (Counts 4-8). These charges arise out of an alleged agreement between Defendants and Robert Porter pursuant to which Porter used his official position within the National Guard Bureau ("NGB") to direct contracts to Defendants' company, Military Personnel Services Corporation ("MPSC"), in return for a dollar-value percentage of the contracts.

Defendants have moved for the following particulars:

(1) The identities of unidentified co-conspirators referenced in Paragraphs 12, 13, 20, and 22 of the indictment;
(2) The year in which the alleged corrupt agreement, described in Paragraph 15(a) of the indictment, was made;
(3) The year in which the conspiracy charged in Counts 1 and 3, and the scheme charged in Counts 4-8, began;
(4) The meaning of "at least" in Paragraph 20;
(5) The meaning of "at least three NGB contracts for MPSC, worth a total of at least $5.5 million" in Paragraph 14(c);
(6) Additional information regarding when and how Porter was able to influence the award of NGB contracts and more generally, information on competitive bidding requirements for indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity ("IDIQ") contracts;
(7) Additional information regarding the "cash, lunches, employment of family members" given to Porter by Defendants ...

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