United States District Court, D. Nevada
Gloria-M. Navarro, Chief Judge United States District Court
before the Court is the Report and Recommendation, (ECF No.
81), entered by the Honorable Magistrate Judge Nancy J. Koppe
on December 27, 2016, denying the Motion to Dismiss, (ECF No.
32), filed by Defendant Edwin Fujinaga
(“Fujinaga”). Fujinaga timely filed his
Objection, (ECF No. 71), and the Government filed a Response,
(ECF No. 72).
8, 2015, a grand jury returned an Indictment for Fujinaga,
Junzo Suzuki (“J. Suzuki”), and Paul Suzuki
(“P. Suzuki”) (collectively
“Defendants”). (Indictment (“Ind.”)
at 1-2, ECF No. 1). Defendants were indicted for owning and
operating MRI International Inc. (“MRI”), a
Nevada Limited Liability Corporation in Las Vegas, Nevada.
(Ind. ¶ 4). Fujinaga was the president, chief executive
officer, and sole owner of MRI. (Id.). J. Suzuki was
the executive vice president and P. Suzuki was the general
manager of MRI's Japanese operations. (Id.).
2009 to 2013, Defendants advertised that MRI was engaged in
the business of purchasing medical accounts receivable
(“MARS”). (Id. ¶ 6). MARS are
accounts with debts that medical patients owe to doctors or
hospitals that provided the patients services. (See
id.). MRI advertised itself as a company that bought
MARS at a discounted rate and then was able to collect fully
on the account in order to make a profit. (Id.). The
profit was allegedly derived from the difference of how much
was owed on the account and the amount that the MARS was
purchased for. (Id.). MRI advertised that it was
able to make this profit through its “purportedly
superior collections capability.” (Id.).
MRI made its profit by soliciting investments through
offering Certificates of Investment
(“Certificates”). (Id. ¶ 7). These
Certificates claimed to provide investors with a consistent
and predictable return through the profit from the MARS.
(Id.). The Certificates were marketed
“primarily, if not exclusively” to Japanese
citizens through MRI's center in Tokyo. (Id.
¶ 7). The Certificates were advertised seemingly as a
bond with payments, a principal, and a maturity date.
(Id.). Once the Certificates reached their maturity
date, investors were allowed to either reinvest into a new
Certificate, or receive cash payment of the amount they were
due. (Id.). However, because Defendants never
actually invested in MARS, they used the money solicited from
the new investors' Certificates to pay the prior
investors' maturing investments. (Id. ¶ 9).
acquired these investors by “knowingly publishing,
mailing, distributing, and transmitting promotional materials
that falsely represented that MRI would use any money
invested in the Certificates exclusively to purchase
MARS.” (Id. ¶ 8). Defendants also
advertised to investors that nobody from MRI, or anyone else,
was able to expend investment money for any purpose other
than the purchase of MARS. (Id.). However,
Defendants “regularly expended investor money for
things other than purchasing MARS, ” such as
“paying themselves sales commissions, subsidizing
gambling habits, paying for personal travel by private jet,
and other personal expenses.” (Id. ¶ 10).
Fujinaga was charged in the Indictment with: counts one
through eight in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1341 Mail
Fraud; counts nine through seventeen in violation of 18
U.S.C. § 1343 Wire Fraud; and counts eighteen through
twenty in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1957 Monetary
Transactions in property derived from specified unlawful
activity. (See generally id.).
Motion to Dismiss, Fujinaga seeks to dismiss counts one
through twenty of his Indictment and the forfeiture
allegations one through three because “such counts are
impermissibly vague and deprives [sic] [ ] Fujinaga of a
critical constitutional protection.” (Mot. to Dismiss
(“MTD”) 2:7-11, ECF No. 32). Alternatively, if
the Court finds that the counts are sufficient, Fujinaga asks
the Court for a bill of particulars identifying, inter
alia, “[t]he basis for the allegation that the
scheme or artifice to defraud began [ ] from at least 2009
and continuing until at least in or about April 2013.”
(Id. 7:6- 10).
Report and Recommendation, Judge Koppe found that
“[a]pplying well-established law, the Court examined
counts one through twenty of the [I]ndictment in their
entirety, and found that each count is sufficient.” (R.
& R. 6:20-21, ECF No. 70). Moreover, Judge Koppe found
that “the forfeiture allegations properly seek
forfeiture of the amount of money alleged in the entire
alleged scheme rather than the amount alleged in the
substantive counts.” (Id. 8:16-18). Regarding
the bill of particulars, Judge Koppe found that “the
categories of information requested by [Fujinaga] far exceed
the purpose of a bill of particulars” and “the
language of the [I]ndictment is clear, and when read as a
whole sufficiently informs [Fujinaga] of the charges against
him.” (Id. 11:1-4). As such, Judge Koppe
recommended denying Fujinaga's Motion to Dismiss the
Indictment. (Id. 11:8-10).
may file specific written objections to the findings and
recommendations of a United States Magistrate Judge made
pursuant to Local Rule IB 1-4. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B);
D. Nev. R. IB 3-2. Upon the filing of such objections, the
Court must make a de novo determination of those portions of
the Report to which objections are made. Id. The
Court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the
findings or recommendations made by the Magistrate Judge. 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); D. Nev. IB 3-2(b).
asserts two objections to Judge Koppe's Report and
Recommendation denying the Motion to Dismiss. (See
Obj., ECF No. 71). First, Fujinaga asserts that none of the
counts in the indictment are sufficiently pled. (Id.
3:9-5:26). Second, Fujinaga asserts that even if the counts
are sufficiently pled, he is still ...