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. Aiyaswamy

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

April 14, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
SRIDEVI AIYASWAMY, Defendant.

          ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART GOVERNMENT'S MOTIONS IN LIMINE Re: DKT. NOS. 37, 38, 43

          LUCY H. KOH United States District Judge.

         On December 9, 2015, a federal grand jury returned an indictment against Defendant Sridevi Aiyaswamy (“Defendant”) for thirty-four counts of visa fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1546(a). ECF No. 1 (“Indictment”). Defendant is accused of knowingly making false statements of material facts in applications for H-1B worker visas and in documents supporting such applications. Indictment at 1. Specifically, Defendant allegedly represented that a number of H-1B visa applicants “had job offers and statements of work documents from the technology company Cisco, when the defendant . . . knew that these representations were false.” Id.

         A final pretrial conference will take place on April 17, 2017. Trial will begin on May 1, 2017. Defendant has not filed any motions in limine. On March 24, 2017, the Government filed motions in limine. ECF Nos. 37, 38, 43. Before the Court are the Government's Motion in Limine Regarding the Admissibility of USCIS Records and Other Documentary Evidence, ECF No. 37 (“Document Mot.”), the Government's Motion in Limine Regarding Expert Testimony, ECF No. 38 (“Expert Mot.”), and the Government's General Motions In Limine Regarding Trial Evidence and Trial Management, ECF No. 43 (“General Mot.”). On April 10, 2017, Defendant filed a combined response to the Government's motions in limine. ECF No. 47 (“Resp.”). Having considered the parties' briefing, the relevant law, and the record in this case, the Court GRANTS in part and DENIES in part the Government's motions in limine.

         I. Government's Motion in Limine On Expert Testimony

         The Government's motion in limine regarding expert testimony requests that the Court “allow expert testimony regarding the H-1B visa application process from” Monica Verma, a Senior Immigration Services Officer in the Employment Branch of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. Expert Mot. at 1. The Government intends for Verma to testify at trial about the paperwork required for submitting an H-1B visa application, the meaning of various terms and acronyms surrounding the H-1B visa process, the criteria and proof used to evaluate H-1B visa eligibility, and “the ways in which a commercial applicant for an H-1B visa might gain a competitive advantage through submitting H-1B visa requests prior to making the necessary employment arrangements.”

         Federal Rule of Evidence 702 allows an expert to testify “in the form of an opinion or otherwise if: (a) the expert's scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will help the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue; (b) the testimony is based on sufficient facts or data; (c) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods; and (d) the expert has reliably applied the principles and methods to the facts of the case.” Before admitting expert testimony, “[t]he trial court, acting as gatekeeper, is required to assess, ‘pursuant to Rule 104(a), whether the expert is proposing to testify to' scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge that will help the factfinder understand or decide a fact in issue.” United States v. Alatorre, 222 F.3d 1098, 1102 (9th Cir. 2000) (citing Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993)). Moreover, this gatekeeping duty requires the trial court to “‘screen[ ]' the proffered evidence to ‘ensure that any and all [technical] testimony or evidence admitted is not only relevant, but reliable.'” Id. (citing Daubert, 509 U.S. at 597). As the Government notes in its motion, this gatekeeping function may be discharged by conducting a hearing before trial, or by performing voir dire within the presence or outside the presence of the jury at trial. See Alatorre, 222 F.3d at 1105 (holding that voir dire may satisfy the requirements of Daubert).

         Defendant argues that the Court should exclude Verma's testimony because the Government has provided insufficient information about Verma's testimony under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 16(a)(1)(G). Opp'n at 2. Specifically, Defendant argues that Rule 16(a)(1)(G) requires the Government to provide a summary of the expert witnesses' testimony that “describe[s] the witness's opinions, the bases and reasons for those opinions, and the witness's qualifications.” Fed. R. Crim. P. 16(a)(1)(G).

         The Court agrees with Defendant that the notice provided by the Government does not sufficiently “describe the witness's opinions” or “the bases and reasons for those opinions.” However, Rule 16(a)(1)(G) only requires such a summary “at the defendant's request, ” and as the commentary to the 1993 amendments to Rule 16 provide, “no specific timing requirements are included.” Fed. R. Crim. P. 16 cmt. 1993 amendments. Defendant provides no indication that Defendant has requested a summary of Verma's testimony. The Court construes Defendant's opposition to the Government's motion in limine as such a request. Accordingly, the Court DENIES without prejudice the Government's motion in limine to introduce the expert testimony of Monica Verma and ORDERS the Government to produce a summary to Defendant that complies with Rule 16(a)(1)(G) by April 20, 2017.

         II. Government's Motion in Limine on USCIS Records and Other Documentary Evidence

         The Government's USCIS Records and Other Documentary Evidence Motion in Limine indicates that the Government intends to introduce (1) the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) files for each of the H-1B visa applications that contain allegedly false statements, (2) the DMV Driver's License Records of Defendant, and (3) Defendant's bank records. The Government seeks a “pretrial ruling authorizing the admission of these exhibits.” Document Mot. at 9.

         With respect to the USCIS files, the Government argues that the files are admissible because they fall in the public record exception to the rule against hearsay, which is codified as Federal Rule of Evidence 803(8). In response, Defendant argues that she has not yet been provided copies of the exhibits that the Government intends to introduce. Moreover, Defendant argues that some information in the USCIS files must be redacted before admission under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 49.1, which specifies that certain personal and financial information should be redacted from court filings. Defendant indicates, however, that Defendant “will not object to the admission of properly certified records.” The Court finds that because Defendant has not yet been provided the exhibits, and the court does not yet know whether the exhibits will be “properly certified, ” the Court DENIES without prejudice the Government's motion in limine to find the USCIS files admissible.

         With respect to Defendant's DMV records, the Government argues that it intends to introduce Defendant's DMV records under the Rule 803(8) public record exception to the rule against hearsay. Defendant states that she has “no objection to properly certified DMV Records.” The Court cannot conclude at this stage whether the DMV records will be properly certified. Accordingly, the Court DENIES without prejudice the Government's motion in limine to find Defendant's DMV records admissible.

         Finally, with respect to Defendant's bank records, the Government argues that these records are admissible under the business records exception to the hearsay rule, which is codified as Federal Rule of Evidence 803(6). Under this exception to the hearsay rule, records of “regularly conducted activity of a business” may be introduced despite the rule against hearsay so long as the records are properly authenticated through a testifying witness or through certification. Fed.R.Evid. 803(6). As with the USCIS files, Defendant indicates that she has not been provided the actual exhibits that will be presented at trial, and Defendant will not object to the introduction of “properly certified bank records.” As with the USCIS files, the Court finds that it is premature to rule that such records are admissible because the records have not yet been produced, and the Court does not definitively know whether the records will be properly certified. Accordingly, the Court DENIES without prejudice the Government's motion in limine to find Defendant's bank records admissible.

         III Government's ...


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.