Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
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.

United States v. Miles

United States District Court, N.D. California, San Jose Division

March 27, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Plaintiffs,
v.
LAURENCE MILES, et al. Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR JOINDER; DENYING MOTION TO SUPPRESS AND MOTION TO PRECLUDE EVIDENCE DKT. NO. 65

          LUCY H. KOH United States District Judge.

         Defendants Laurence Miles (“Miles”) and Munsif Shirazi (“Shirazi”) are charged with wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and money laundering. Before the Court are Miles's motion to suppress and motion to preclude evidence, ECF No. 65 (“Mot.”), and Shirazi's motion for joinder in Miles's motion to preclude evidence, ECF No. 66. The Court finds this matter suitable for decision without oral argument and hereby VACATES the motion hearing set for March 29, 2017, at 9:15 a.m. Having considered the parties' briefing, the relevant law, and the record in this case, the Court hereby GRANTS Shirazi's motion for joinder, DENIES Miles's motion to suppress, and DENIES Miles's and Shirazi's motion to preclude evidence.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On December 3, 2015, Miles was indicted, along with co-defendants Shirazi, Robert Stephens (“Stephens”), Rayan Lakshmanan (“Lakshmanan”), and Shirley Molina (“Shirley” or “Molina”) (collectively, “Defendants”), on charges of (1) conspiracy to commit wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1349; (2) wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343; and (3) money laundering, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1957(a). ECF No. 1 (“Indictment”). The Indictment charges Defendants with participating in a “scheme to defraud whereby [Defendants] solicited investors to provide money for medical care for ‘Shirley, ' who [Defendants] claimed was very ill and due to inherit a large estate.” Id. at ¶¶ 10-13. Defendants promised investors a share of Molina's estate once the assets were released from a secret probate proceeding. Id. at ¶¶ 10-14. However, Defendants knew “there was no estate to be settled, ” and “Molina was not extremely ill and was not the heiress to a large estate.” Id. ¶ 14. This scheme began “in at least 2009” and continued “through November 2015.” Id. at ¶ 10. According to the Indictment, Miles “held himself out as the executor and trustee of [Molina's] estate.” Id. at ¶ 2. Shirazi was Miles's “assistant.” Id. ¶ 3.

         On December 15, 2015, Shirazi entered a plea of not guilty. ECF No. 11. On December 18, 2015, Miles entered a plea of not guilty. ECF No. 14.

         Miles filed a motion to sever on February 22, 2017, which requested that the Court sever Miles's trial from Molina's trial. ECF No. 63. Shirazi and Lakshmanan joined in Miles's motion. ECF Nos. 60, 64. On February 22, 2017, Molina also filed a motion to sever, which requested that the Court sever Molina's trial from that of her co-defendants. ECF No. 62.

         However, on March 8, 2017, Molina pled guilty. ECF No. 69. On March 15, 2017, Lakshmanan pled guilty. ECF No. 75. Accordingly, Defendants' motions to sever are DENIED as moot.

         On February 22, 2017, Miles filed a motion to suppress and a motion to preclude evidence. See Mot. Shirazi filed a motion to join in Miles's motion to preclude. ECF No. 60. On March 15, 2017, the government filed an opposition to Miles's motions. ECF No. 77 (“Opp.”).

         II.DISCUSSION

         Miles moves to suppress the fruits of the government's search of Miles's email account, “milestrust@gmail.com” (the “milestrust email account”). See Mot. at 1. Miles and Shirazi also move to preclude the government from introducing any evidence of Miles's and Shirazi's arrests in 2007 by the Huntington Beach Police Department. Id. at 11. The Court first considers the motion to suppress, and then the Court considers the motion to preclude.

         A. Motion to Suppress

         Miles moves to suppress the fruits of the government's search of the milestrust email account. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) searched the milestrust email account pursuant to a search warrant that was issued by U.S. Magistrate Judge Nathanael Cousins. See Opp., Ex. A (“Aff.”). The government's application for the search warrant was supported by the affidavit of FBI Agent Janet Palmore (“Agent Palmore”). Id. Miles contends that suppression is warranted because Agent Palmore's affidavit does not establish probable cause to search the milestrust email account. Mot. at 2. Moreover, Miles argues that the government's search of the milestrust email account exceeded the scope of the search protocol established in the search warrant. Id. at 6.

         The Court first discusses Agent Palmore's affidavit and the legal standard applicable to the Court's review of a Magistrate Judge's issuance of a search warrant. The Court then considers the merits of Miles's motion to suppress.

         1. Agent Palmore's Affidavit

         Agent Palmore submitted an affidavit “in support of a request for a search warrant for” nine specific email accounts of Defendants. Aff. ¶ 1. Agent Palmore's investigation into Defendants, which began in August 2014, revealed “that Stephens and his co-conspirators [were] soliciting funding from investors” for a woman named “Shirley, ” who Defendants represented was “a terminally ill elderly woman.” Id. ¶ 7. Defendants represented that “Shirley” was the “heir to a one-billion dollar estate being held up in probate court by the Federal Reserve Bank.” Id. “In exchange for contributions towards Shirley's medical expenses, investors” were told that they would receive large returns “when Shirley's trust fund [wa]s disbursed.” Id.

         A source, David Montellato (“Montellato”), informed Agent Palmore “that from October 8, 2009 through February 5, 2013, ” Montellato transferred approximately $200, 000 to Stephens and Miles for Shirley's medical expenses. Id. ¶ 8. Montellato informed Agent Palmore that “Stephens was the primary person who solicited [Montellato] to invest, ” and Miles was “the Trustee over the probate matter.” Id. Stephens acted as the “conduit between all investors and Miles.” Id. Stephens represented to Montellato that “Miles deal[t] directly with Shirley” and other individuals involved in the “secret” probate matter, including a San Francisco probate judge and “officials from the Federal Reserve Bank.” Id. Agent ...


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.