II. Bill of Particulars
also demand a bill of particulars
pursuant to Rule 7(f) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.
(Losquadro Mem. at 18 n.3.)
The purpose of a bill of particulars is "'to provide defendant with information about the details of the charge against him if this is necessary to the preparation of his defense, and to avoid prejudicial surprise at trial,'" United States v. Torres, 901 F.2d 205, 234 (2d Cir.) (citation omitted), cert. denied, 498 U.S. 906, 111 S. Ct. 275, 112 L. Ed. 2d 230 (1990), as well as to enable a defendant to interpose a plea of double jeopardy if subsequently prosecuted for the same offense. United States v. Bortnovsky, 820 F.2d 572, 574 (2d Cir. 1987) (citations omitted). The Second Circuit has explained that "generally, if the information sought by defendant is provided in the indictment or in some acceptable alternate form, no bill of particulars is required." Bortnovsky, 820 F.2d at 574 (citations omitted). Thus, a bill of particulars "should be required only where the charges of the indictment are so general that they do not advise the defendant of the specific acts of which he is accused," Torres, 901 F.2d at 234 (citations omitted); and "it is not enough that the information would be useful to the defendant; if the defendant has been given adequate notice of the charges against him, the government is not required to disclose additional details about its case." United States v. Payden, 613 F. Supp. 800, 816 (S.D.N.Y. 1985). The decision to grant or deny a bill of particulars is within the sound discretion of the trial court. United States v. Panza, 750 F.2d 1141, 1148 (2d Cir. 1984).
A. Details of the Conspiracy
Defendants first request certain details with regard to the conspiracy with which they are charged. In this regard, they seek particularization regarding the following: (1) the dates that the conspiracy began and ended; (2) where, other than in the Eastern District of New York, the conspiracy allegedly occurred; and (3) the "others" with whom they allegedly conspired.
As a general rule, a defendant is not entitled to detailed evidence about a conspiracy to properly prepare for trial. United States v. Feola, 651 F. Supp. 1068, 1132 (S.D.N.Y. 1987), aff'd, 875 F.2d 857 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 493 U.S. 834, 110 S. Ct. 109, 107 L. Ed. 2d 72 (1989). More specifically, details regarding the date on which the conspiracy was formed, or when each participant entered into the conspiracy need not be revealed before trial. United States v. Persico, 621 F. Supp. 842, 868 (S.D.N.Y. 1985). Furthermore, "defendants are not entitled to discover through a bill of particulars the locations in addition to those listed in the indictment at which they are alleged to have violated the statute, where the information already made available to defendants is sufficient to enable proper preparation for trial and further discovery would amount to an unnecessary revelation of evidence." Feola, 651 F. Supp. at 1133 (citation omitted). Finally, the refusal of a district court to direct the filing of a bill of particulars as to the names of unindicted co-conspirators is not an abuse of discretion. United States v. Gotti, 784 F. Supp. 1017, 1018 (E.D.N.Y. 1992) (citing United States v. Torres, 901 F.2d 205, 233-34 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 498 U.S. 906, 111 S. Ct. 275, 112 L. Ed. 2d 230 (1990)).
Because Defendants have received adequate information regarding the time, place, and nature of the charged conspiracy, and in keeping with the reasoning of the cases cited above, Defendants' requests with regard to any such specific details are denied.
B. The Substantive Extortion Charges
Defendants also request certain particulars with regard to the substantive charges of extortion contained in Counts Two, Four, and Five. More specifically, Defendants contend that the Government should provide them with details regarding the quid pro quo that the Government will seek to provide at trial. (Losquadro Mem. at 18 n.3.) Although Defendants do not elaborate upon the information that would fulfill such a request, presumably Defendants are requesting information with respect to what specific official acts the Defendants allegedly agreed to perform, when and where these agreements occurred, and which property was allegedly received in return for such agreements. In response, the Government contends that, following Defendants' request for particulars, it provided Defendants with discovery materials that adequately inform Defendants of the requested information.
Because the Government will be required to prove at trial that Defendants obtained payments to which they were not entitled, knowing that the payments were made in return for official acts, Evans, 112 S. Ct. at 1889, the Court finds that Defendants are entitled to some particularization in this regard, in order to adequately prepare a defense and to avoid unfair surprise at trial. Although it appears that the Government has indeed provided voluminous discovery materials to Defendants, the Court is unable to determine on the submissions currently before the Court whether these discovery materials adequately inform Defendants of the particulars of any quid pro quo. Defendants are, therefore, directed to submit further briefing, on or before November 9, 1994, with regard to the specific materials that they contend the Government should provide in this regard;
and the Government must also provide detailed support, on or before that date, for its contention that the materials heretofore provided to the Defendants satisfy its obligations with respect to the issue of any quid pro quo.
For the reasons set forth above, Defendants' above-referenced motions to dismiss are denied, and Defendants' motion for a bill of particulars is denied in part and granted in part.
Dated: Hauppauge, New York
November 4, 1994
Denis R. Hurley
United States District Judge