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UNITED STATES v. AHMAD

February 9, 1998

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, against IFTEKHAR AHMAD, Defendant.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: KAPLAN

 LEWIS A. KAPLAN, District Judge.

 The defendant, who is charged with one count of bank fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. ยง 1344, moves for a bill of particulars, additional discovery pursuant to Rule 16, to suppress any custodial statements he made on the ground that the statements were obtained in violation of Miranda v. Arizona1 and were coerced, to suppress the fruits of a search incident to an allegedly unlawful arrest, and for the production of Brady material.

 The motion is entirely without merit. The Court writes briefly to point out certain of its fundamental deficiencies because they occur all too frequently in motion practice in criminal cases.

 The Motion for a Bill of Particulars

 Counsel's papers in support of the motion for a bill of particulars starts from the premise that the defendant is charged with conspiracy and proceeds to seek particulars concerning the manner and means in which the conspiracy was carried out, the overt acts allegedly committed, the substantive offenses allegedly committed in furtherance of the conspiracy, the identities of unnamed co-conspirators, and so on. There is no suggestion in the moving papers that defense counsel has made any effort to resolve this issue without the Court's intervention.

 Local Criminal Rule 16.1 provides:

 
"No motion addressed to a bill of particulars or answers or to discovery and inspection shall be heard unless counsel for the moving party files with the court simultaneously with the filing of the moving papers an affidavit certifying that said counsel has conferred with counsel for the opposing party in an effort in good faith to resolve by agreement the issues raised by the motion without the intervention of the court and has been unable to reach such an agreement. If some of the issues raised by the motion have been resolved by agreement, the affidavit shall specify the issues remaining unresolved."

 The filing of the motion for a bill of particulars without the requisite affidavit contravenes Rule 16.1. Accordingly, the motion is denied.

 Even if the motion were not denied for failure to comply with Rule 16.1, it would be denied on the merits. The indictment -- which is only one paragraph in length -- does not charge a conspiracy. In consequence, the demand for particulars is entirely unrelated to the charge against the defendant. The government, moreover, has made the theory of its case entirely clear. Defendant is charged with having met on March 14, 1997 with a confidential informant ("CI") and agreed on that occasion to sell Discover Card checks to the CI for $ 2,000 to $ 3,000 on delivery against 45 percent of the face value once the checks were deposited in a bank account and cleared. The government alleges also that the defendant, in the period March 16 to 21, 1997, sold the CI six forged checks totaling $ 110,000.

 The purpose of a bill of particulars is to inform the accused of the charge against him or her with sufficient precision to enable preparation of a defense, minimize the danger of surprise at trial, and enable the accused to plead an acquittal or conviction in bar of further prosecution for the same offense. *fn2" Where the defendant has the necessary information from other sources, including discovery materials, the government will not be compelled to provide particulars. *fn3" Given the information supplied by the government, defendant would not be entitled to a bill of particulars even if the particulars requested bore some rational relationship to the case.

 Discovery

 Defendant seeks discovery described in a 31 paragraph laundry list contained in counsel's affidavit. The demands include such items as a list of the government's witnesses and the identities of any informants but range far afield into such matters as polygraph examinations of any prospective witnesses.


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