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United States v. Trudeau

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

February 16, 2016

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
WILLIAM A. TRUDEAU, JR., Defendant.

RULING RE: DEFENDANT’S MOTION FOR NEW TRIAL (DOC. NO. 242)

JANET C. HALL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

I. INTRODUCTION

Pending before the court is a Motion filed by the defendant, William A. Trudeau, Jr. (“Trudeau”) for a new trial. See Mot. for New Trial (Doc. No. 242). In that Motion, filed pro se, Trudeau asserts that he is entitled to a new trial on the basis of newly discovered evidence that proves he is actually innocent of Count Nine of his criminal Indictment, see Mot. for New Trial at 1 (Doc. No. 242), which charged Trudeau with wire fraud in violation of section 1343 of title 18 of the United States Code, see Indictment at 16 (Doc. No. 1). Trudeau further asserts that, because he is actually innocent of Count Nine of the Indictment, he is also necessarily innocent of Count One of the Indictment, see Mot. for New Trial at 1 (Doc. No. 242), which charged Trudeau with conspiracy to commit bank fraud, mail fraud, and wire fraud in violation of section 1349 of title 18 of the United States Code, see Indictment at 1 (Doc. No. 1). Trudeau was convicted of Counts One and Nine of the Indictment at the conclusion of a jury trial on October 9, 2012. See Jury Verdict at 1, 2 (Doc. No. 171). The jury acquitted Trudeau of Counts Two through Eight of the Indictment. See id.

Trudeau's actual innocence argument derives from his contention that Count Nine of the Indictment was related to a single, $50, 000 loan Trudeau obtained from James Agah (“Agah”). See Mot. for New Trial at 1 (Doc. No. 242). Trudeau claims that Agah loaned this money to Trudeau without a lending license, and also charged Trudeau an interest rate on the loan that was usurious. See id. at 5. Trudeau argues, without citation to authority, that the fact that Agah charged him a criminally usurious interest rate on the $50, 000 loan means that Trudeau is actually innocent of wire fraud, because “[a]s a matter of law, a crime cannot occur if the victim of the alleged fraud committed loan sharking.” Id. at 5. Trudeau further contends that, once his conviction on Count Nine is vacated, “Count One must fall as Count Nine was the object of the conspiracy” alleged in Count One. Id. at 1. Trudeau claims that he only recently learned that Agah committed a crime when he loaned the money to Trudeau, and that this fact constitutes newly discovered evidence that warrants a new trial. See id. at 6-7.

For the reasons that follow, Trudeau's Motion for New Trial (Doc. No. 242) is DENIED.

II. BACKGROUND

In November 2010, a federal grand jury returned a nine count Indictment against Trudeau that charged him with bank fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit the aforementioned crimes. See Indictment (Doc. No. 1). On October 9, 2012, a jury convicted Trudeau of one count of wire fraud and the count of conspiracy. See Jury Verdict (Doc. No. 171). The court sentenced Trudeau to 188 months imprisonment, five years of supervised release, and restitution of $4, 260, 008.40. See Judgment at 1-2 (Doc. No. 200).

Trudeau appealed his sentence, making arguments that appear again in the present Motion: namely, that the jury convicted him of a single, $50, 000 wire fraud (Count Nine), and that the fraud set forth in Count Nine was necessarily the object of the conspiracy for which he was convicted (Count One). Br. for Def.-Appellant William Trudeau at 16, United States v. Trudeau, 562 Fed.Appx. 30 (2d Cir. 2014). The Second Circuit rejected these arguments, finding that the court acted properly when it found, by a preponderance of the evidence and for purposes of sentencing, that the conspiracy for which Trudeau was convicted was a multi-object conspiracy that went beyond the single wire fraud charged in Count Nine. See Trudeau, 562 Fed.Appx. at 33-34.

The Second Circuit held, however, that the court improperly concluded that the statutory maximum sentence for Trudeau's crimes was thirty years, and therefore remanded for the court to assess whether it would have sentenced Trudeau differently if the court had used the correct statutory maximum in its deliberations. Id. at 35. After due consideration, the court found that it would have imposed the same sentence on Trudeau had it understood that the statutory maximum was twenty years imprisonment, and therefore declined to resentence him. See Decision after Consideration of Question on Remand from the U.S.Ct. of Appeals for the Second Circuit at 3 (Doc. No. 237).

Trudeau appealed again, and again contended that the court erred in determining for purposes of sentencing that the conspiracy for which Trudeau was convicted was multi-object. See Br. for Def.-Appellant William Trudeau at 8-9, United States v. Trudeau, No. 14-2449 (2d Cir. Nov. 5, 2014). The Second Circuit summarily affirmed the court's decision not to resentence Trudeau. See Trudeau, No. 14-2449 (2d Cir. Nov. 5, 2014) (Doc. No. 241).

A year after the conclusion of his last direct appeal-and three years after the jury returned a verdict of guilty on the counts of conspiracy and wire fraud in his criminal trial-Trudeau, acting pro se, filed a Motion seeking a new trial on the basis of newly discovered evidence. See Mot. for New Trial (Doc. No. 242). On October 21, 2015, the court ordered the government to show cause why Trudeau's Motion should not be granted. See Order to Show Cause (Doc. No. 243). The government filed an Opposition to Trudeau's Motion for New Trial on November 2, 2015. See Government's Mem. in Response to Order to Show Cause (Doc. No. 244). Trudeau filed a timely Reply to the government's Opposition. See Def.'s Reply to Government Response to Order to Show Cause (“Def.'s Reply”) (Doc. No. 248).

On November 17, 2015, the court entered a Ruling on Trudeau's Motion for New Trial. See Ruling (Doc. No. 246). Three days later, after realizing that this Ruling was entered prior to the expiration of time for Trudeau to file a Reply to the government's Opposition to his Motion for New Trial, the court vacated the Ruling. See Order (Doc. No. 249) (vacating the court's Ruling on Trudeau's Motion for New Trial).

Trudeau subsequently filed several Motions that sought to cause the court to recuse itself. See Def.'s Response to this Court's Notice and Ruling on Counsel's Mot. for Clarification of Status (Doc. No. 245), Mot. in Opp. to Appointment of Counsel and Def.'s Supplemental Mot. for Recusal of the Hon. Janet C. Hall and Prohibition Demand from the Interfering of Judge Hall and Roberta [sic] D. Tabora, Clerk of the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut (“Mot. to Recuse”) (Doc. No. 257); Def.'s Second Supplemental Mot. for Recusal (Doc. No. 258). The court denied Trudeau's Motions to Recuse and terminated as moot several other Motions filed in conjunction with his recusal Motions in a Ruling dated ...


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