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United States v. Lopez

United States District Court, C.D. California

March 21, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
JOSE LOPEZ, JR., ET AL. Defendants.

          ORDER DENYING JOINDER TO MOTION FOR BILL OF PARTICULARS (DOCS. 267 & 277)

          HON. JOSEPHINE L. STATON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter was heard on March 17, 2017, at which time the Court took the matter under submission. (See Doc. 316.) Presently before the Court is the Motion for Bill of Particulars filed by Defendant Quinones. (Doc. 267.) Because Defendant Quinones withdrew the Motion, it is before the Court only to the extent that Defendant Asefi joined in the Motion for Bill of Particulars. (See Docs. 277 (Notice of Joinder) & 312 (Defendant Asefi's request for hearing on withdrawn Motion).) As set forth herein, the Court DENIES the relief sought by Defendant Asefi.

         I. Background

         On August 31, 2016, the twelve Defendants in this case were indicted on various counts alleging they participated in a conspiracy that involved payment of a series of cash bribes in exchange for favorable resolution of traffic violations pending before the Orange County Superior Court. (Doc. 1.) On February 1, 2017, the Grand Jury returned the First Superseding Indictment ("FSI") with the same charges. (Doc. 209.)

         The Motion before the Court seeks a Bill of Particulars as authorized by Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 7(f) on five points. (Motion at 1-2.) The first two are related to federal bribery charges. These are:

A. The "benefits in excess of $ 10, 000" that the Orange County Superior Court received "under a Federal program involving a grant, contract, subsidy, loan, guarantee, insurance and other form of Federal assistance."
B. The manner by which Defendant Jose Lopez, Jr.'s, entry of fraudulent minutes into the Superior Court's online case management system is valued at $5, 000 or more.

         The other three points are related to the conspiracy charge brought pursuant to the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act ("RICO"), 18 U.S.C. § 1962(d):

C. The alleged contracts between "vendors outside the State of California" and the Orange County Superior Court. (FSI ¶ 1 (s).)
D. The manner in which the Orange County Superior Court "was engaged in, and its activities affected interstate commerce" and/or "foreign commerce." (FSI ¶¶ 3-4.)
E. The names of all known but unspecified co- conspirators. (FSI ¶ 4.)

         The Court addresses each of these points pursuant to the relevant legal standard.

         II. Legal Standard

         Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 7(f) authorizes the Court to compel the Government to file a ...


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