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United States of America v. William Joseph Little

November 9, 2011


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Saundra Brown Armstrong United States District Judge


Defendants William Joseph Little, Jr. ("Little") and Keith Aaron Vann ("Vann") are 15 charged in an eleven count Indictment with: Conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, 18 16 U.S.C. § 1349; mail fraud, id. § 1341; wire fraud, id. § 1343; money laundering-promotion, 17 id. § 1956(a)(1)(A)(i); and money laundering-expenditure, id. § 1957(a). 18

The parties are presently before the Court on Vann's pro se motion to dismiss, Dkt. 156, and Vann and Little's motions to sever, Dkt. 156, 173. Having read and considered 20 the papers submitted and being fully informed, the Court DENIES all motions. 21



Defendants Vann, Little and Joseph Lawrence Williams ("Williams")*fn1 allegedly 24 engaged in a fraudulent scheme involving the creation of Global Missions Incorporated 25 ("Global Missions"). Specifically, Defendants falsely represented that Global Missions 26 was a non-profit organization and that donations to such organization would be recognized 27

by the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") as tax-deductible. In 2003, Defendants allegedly 2 made a series of false statements to two siblings ("Victims") in order to convince them to 3 donate a commercial building in Alaska left to them by their father's estate. The Victims 4 transferred title of the building to Global Missions on June 2, 2003. 5

6 of Alaska to wire proceeds from the sale in the amount of $3,377,089.64 to Williams' bank 7 account at Wells Fargo Bank in Dublin, California. Approximately one week later on June 8 10, 2003, Williams deposited $2,700,000 into a Wells Fargo account held in the name of 9

Thereafter, Global Missions sold the building and directed the First National Bank

Bishop of the Faith Vision Noble House ("Bishop of the Faith") for which Vann had sole 10 signature authority. On June 17, 2003, Vann opened another Wells Fargo account in the 11 name of Bishop of the Sovereign Knights of the Noble House ("Bishop of the Sovereign 12 Knights") and transferred $2,000,000 from Bishop of the Faith account to the Bishop of the 13 Sovereign Knights account. 14

15 the IRS did not recognize Global Missions as a non-profit organization and were unable to 16 obtain a charitable tax deduction for their donation. When the Victims requested the return 17 of their donation from Defendants, they were contacted by mail, e-mail, and telephone by 18

"James Preston," who was nothing more than fictitious persona created by Defendants to 19 defend the retention of the Victims' donation. 20

23 the conspiracy to commit wire fraud, among other charges.*fn2 The conspiracy count contains 24 overt acts committed by the Defendants in furtherance of the conspiracy. Vann's 25 participation in the conspiracy includes the following charged acts: Accepting a check 26

Following the transfer of the building to Global Missions, the Victims learned that


1.The Indictment

On April 16, 2008, the Grand Jury returned an Indictment charging Defendants with

written on the Global Missions Wells Fargo Bank account on June 10, 2003 in the amount 2 of $2,700,000 from Williams, Indictment ¶ 4r; withdrawing $300,000 from the bank 3 account the following day, id. ¶4s); thereafter withdrawing funds regularly from the 4 account, id. ¶ 4t; opening a bank account on June 17, 2003 and transferring $2,000,000 into 5 the new account, id. ¶ 4u, v; and, in November 2003, falsely representing himself to be 6

James Preston when speaking to one of the Victims over the telephone, id. ¶4aa. 7

8 incorporating Global Missions on July 19, 2002, and naming Williams as the "Ambassador 9 of Global" and himself as Williams' successor, id. ¶ 4a; on July 1, 2003, sending a letter 10 bearing the signature block of "James Preston" through e-mail to Williams with a copy sent 11 to Vann, id. ¶ 4w; in August 2003, speaking over the telephone to a victim about the return 12 of the donated funds, id. ¶ 4z; and speaking to a victim in January 2004 again about the 13 return of the donated funds, id. ¶ 4cc. 14

Little's role in the conspiracy as detailed in the Indictment includes the following:

2.Prior Proceedings and Pending Motions

After the Indictment was filed in April 2008, the action was assigned to the Honorable D. Lowell Jensen. While Judge Jensen was presiding over the action, Vann's 17 then counsel, Hugh Levine, filed a Motion for Severance and Separate Trial. Dkt. 100. 18

Dkt. 142, 156.*fn3 Vann later filed two identical pro se motions ...

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