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. Waller

United States District Court, D. Nevada

May 10, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff(s),
v.
WILLIAM WALLER, et al., Defendant(s).

          ORDER

         Presently before the court is defendant William Waller’s (“defendant”) motion for acquittal. (ECF No. 113). The United States of America (“the government”) filed a response (ECF No. 117), to which defendant replied (ECF No. 119).

         I. Facts

         Defendant was charged by way of a criminal indictment filed on April 17, 2018. (ECF No. 1). The five-count indictment charged defendant with the following tax crimes: evasion of payment (count one), attempting to interfere with administration of internal revenue laws (count two), willful failure to file a return (counts three and four), and false statements on a loan application (count five). Id.

         The parties proceeded to trial on March 11, 2019. (ECF No. 91). Following the close of the government’s case, defendant made an oral motion for acquittal on the basis of improper venue. (ECF No. 119 at 2). At this time, defendant also made an oral motion for acquittal. Id. The court denied the motion for acquittal and declined to entertain defendant’s argument regarding venue, noting that any motion regarding venue was untimely.

         At the close of evidence for both sides, the parties were given the opportunity to make objections to the jury instructions and propose additional instructions. (ECF No. 100). Defendant neither submitted nor requested a jury instruction regarding proper venue at that time. Accordingly, the court did not submit to the jury the issue of venue.

         On March 18, 2019, the jury reached its verdict, finding defendant guilty on counts one, three, and four. (ECF No. 102). The jury failed to reach a verdict on counts two and five. Id. On April 1, 2019, defendant filed the instant motion for acquittal pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 29. (ECF No. 113).

         II. Legal Standard

         A defendant may move for a judgment of acquittal, or renew such a motion, within fourteen days after a guilty verdict. Fed. R. Crim. P. 29(c). Such a motion is reviewed for sufficiency of the evidence. United States v. Stoddard, 150 F.3d 1140, 1144 (9th Cir. 1988).

         “The standard of review for determining the sufficiency of the evidence is whether, after viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution, any rational trier of fact could have found the essential elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.” United States v. Inzunza, 638 F.3d 1006, 1013 (9th Cir. 2009) (emphasis in original) (internal quotation marks omitted) (citing Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307, 318 (1979) (explaining that “the critical inquiry” is “whether the record evidence could reasonably support a finding of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt”)).

         “[The] district court must bear in mind that it is the exclusive function of the jury to determine the credibility of witnesses, resolve evidentiary conflicts, and draw reasonable inferences from proven facts.” United States v. Alarcon-Simi, 300 F.3d 1172, 1176 (9th Cir. 2002). “Circumstantial evidence and inferences drawn from it may be sufficient to sustain a conviction.” United States v. Reyes-Alvarado, 963 F.2d 1184, 1188 (9th Cir. 1992).

         III. Discussion

         Defendant’s motion raises two distinct arguments in favor of acquittal. First, defendant argues that venue in this district was improper as to counts three and four. (ECF No. 113 at 2). Second, defendant argues that the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to support his conviction on count one. Id. at 5–14. The court will address each of these arguments in turn. . . .

         a. Venue

         As a preliminary matter, the court acknowledges that venue is typically “a question of fact that the government must prove by a preponderance of the evidence.” United States v. Lukashov, 694 F.3d 1107, 1120 (9th Cir. 2012). However, the court will instruct the jury on venue only when such an instruction is properly requested. See Id. ...


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.