United States District Court, C.D. California
Present: The Honorable CHRISTINA A. SNYDER
CRIMINAL MINUTES - GENERAL
(IN CHAMBERS) - MOTION FOR BOND PENDING APPEAL (Dkt. 150,
filed July 28, 2017)
April 14, 2015, the Government filed a First Superseding
Indictment charging Howard Quoc Trinh
(“defendant”) with two counts of bribery of a
public official, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 201(b)(1)(C).
Dkt. 24. Following a four-day trial, a jury found defendant
guilty of both counts on April 26, 2016. Dkt. 86.
16, 2016, defendant filed two motions, a motion for judgment
of acquittal, pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure
29(b), dkt. 94, and a motion for a new trial, pursuant to
Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 33, dkt. 95. Dkt. 98. On
July 18, 2016, the Government filed oppositions to both of
defendant's motions. Dkt. 99-100. On August 1, 2016,
defendant filed a combined reply. Dkt. 101. On September 12,
2016, the Court denied defendant's motion for judgment of
acquittal pursuant to Rule 29 and defendant's motion for
a new trial pursuant to Rule 33. Dkt. 104.
17, 2017 the Court held a sentencing hearing and committed
defendant to the Bureau of Prisons for 18 months on each of
Counts 1 and 2, to be served concurrently, and ordered that
defendant be placed on supervised release for two years. Dkt.
23, 2017 defendant appealed his conviction to the Ninth
Circuit Court of Appeals. Dkt. 145.
28, 2017, defendant filed a motion for bond pending appeal.
Dkt. 150. The Government filed its opposition to
defendant's motion on August 7, 2017, dkt. 151, and
defendant filed his reply on August 21, 2017, dkt. 152.
Defendant filed a supplement to the motion for bond pending
appeal, without leave, on August 29, 2017. Dkt. 154.
March 2015, defendant worked at Seven Brothers Enterprises, a
sewing contractor in La Puente, California (“the
Company”). The Department of Labor received a complaint
that the Company had violated the Fair Labor Standards Act
(“FLSA”), and initiated an investigation of the
Company. The Department of Labor assigned an investigator,
Van Rijsbergen, to lead the investigation of the Company and
to determine whether or not the Company had violated the
March 10, 2015, the Department of Labor sent investigators to
the Company's warehouse to conduct an unannounced
inspection. Investigators met with defendant and conducted
interviews with other employees. At trial, Rijsbergen
testified that, as of March 10, 2015, the employee interviews
had uncovered overtime-pay violations and that there were
also record-keeping violations at the Company. On March 10,
2015, Rijsbergen presented defendant with written notice that
the Department of Labor believed the Company had violated the
FLSA (a/k/a the “hot goods objection”). The
written notice explained that shipping goods produced in
violation of the FLSA was unlawful and stated that
“[a]ny unauthorized movement or shipment of these goods
may be subject to legal action by the United States
Department of Labor.” Defendant signed the notice,
which stated that the signatory “fully underst[ood] the
ramification[s] . . . and agreed to not move, ship, or allow
any movement or shipment of the affected goods.” The
Department of Labor's Assistant District Director,
Skarleth Kozlo, and Regional Director of Enforcement, Richard
Longo, testified that they agreed with Rijsbergen's
decision to issue the so called “hot goods
objection” to the Company. Longo testified that he
approved of the notice based on investigators' interviews
with Company employees.
first count charging bribery is based on the events of March
18, 2015. On March 18, 2015, Rijsbergen visited the Company
to obtain additional records and met with defendant. Based on
his initial March 18, 2015, meeting Rijsbergen believed that
defendant had offered him a bribe. Rijsbergen testified that
defendant told him, “I don't want to pay the
department, ” and “I want to pay you.”
Rijsbergen reported the potential bribe offer to supervisors
at the Department of Labor, which initiated an undercover
operation to record any potential attempted bribes from
defendant. On March 18, 2015, Rijsbergen returned to the
Company and met defendant while wearing concealed audio and
video recording devices. At trial, the jury watched and
listened to portions of the recordings Rijsbergen had made.
Rijsbergen recorded defendant discussing the Company's
employees, saying “they a little bit crazy because a
lot of containers arrive at the same time, so they work a
little bit more than regular hour. I have to admit
that.” Defendant also said, “I want this clean.
No violation. . . . I would say to you $10, 000 . . . in your
pocket.” Rijsbergen asked defendant if he wanted the
“hot goods objection lifted” and a report saying
there were “no violations at all.” Defendant
answered, “No violations. No violations.”
second count charging bribery is based on the events of March
19, 2015. On March 19, 2015, Rijsbergen met with defendant
again and recorded the meeting on concealed audio and video
recording devices. The March 19, 2015, recordings showed
defendant handing Rijsbergen an envelope containing $3, 000.
Defendant touched the envelope and said, “we never met
. . . we never sat at this table . . . we never had any of
this.” Rijsbergen told defendant “it is easier to
say that we just revisited it, looked at our evidence and
there wasn't a violation, ” to which defendant
replied, “[t]hat's what I want to
now seeks bond bending appeal. For a defendant to obtain
release on bond ...