United States District Court, S.D. New York
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
J. NATHAN United States District Judge.
defendants in this case are charged with conspiring to, and
committing, bank fraud. Before the Court are various pretrial
motions filed by Defendants Elijah Ellis and Justice Green.
These motions include a motion to suppress, a motion for a
Wade hearing, motions for various pretrial
disclosures, and motions for a bill of particulars.
was a nine-defendant conspiracy and bank fraud
case. Superseding Indictment (Dkt No. 70). As
explained below in the section addressing the defendants'
motions for a bill of particulars, the factual allegations in
the indictment are sparse. The Government, however, provides
some factual detail in its briefing in opposition to the
defense motions. See Gov't Opp. at 2-3 (Dkt No.
134). Therefore, for purposes of this Memorandum & Order,
the Court draws from the Government's opposition brief in
addition to the indictment when describing the basic facts of
Government alleges that the defendants in this case committed
bank fraud by cashing fake checks, valued at just under $1,
000, in rapid succession at various banks across four states.
Id. According to the Government, this fraud was
perpetrated by a conspiracy comprised of three groups of
people: the "Recruiters, " the "Account
Holders, " and the "Check Makers."
Id. at 3. The Government alleges that the Recruiters
would seek out Account Holders, either through existing
friendships, on social media, or through the recruitment of
randomly selected people on the street. Id. The
Recruiters would give the Account Holders approximately $ 1,
000 to deposit into either newly opened or previously
existing bank accounts. Id. The Check Makers would
give the Recruiters fake checks, usually in amounts just
under $1, 000. Id. At the instruction of the
Recruiters, the Account Holders would cash the same fake
check at multiple different bank branches so quickly that the
banks did not realize what was occurring, resulting in the
same fake check being cashed multiple times. Id. at
2-3. The check cashing occurred in various banks across
Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts.
Id. The money made from the fraudulent transactions
was split among the members of the conspiracy. Id.
February 22, 2016, a Grand Jury indicted eight individuals
with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud (in
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1349) and one count of bank
fraud (in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1344). Dkt No. 1. On
May 16, 2016, the Grand Jury returned a superseding
indictment adding another defendant (non-moving defendant
Melissa Mercado) and charging the defendants with the same
two offenses. Dkt No. 70; Gov't Opp. at 3.
the Court are various pretrial motions filed by two of the
defendants in this case.Defendant Justice Green has filed a
suppression motion, a motion for Rule 404(b) disclosures, and
a motion for a bill of particulars. Defendant Elijah Ellis
has filed a motion for a Wade hearing, a motion for
various pretrial disclosures, including
Brady/Giglio, Rule 404(b), and Bruton
disclosures, and a motion for a bill of particulars.
explained below, the Court concludes that factual disputes
necessitate an evidentiary hearing for the motion to suppress
filed by Green. However, the Court denies Elijah Ellis's
motion for a Wade hearing. The Court also denies the
requests for various pretrial disclosures. Additionally, in
light of the Government's representation that it will
provide more detailed information regarding the discovery,
the Court presently denies the requests for a bill of
Joinder of Motions
defendants requested that they be permitted to join their
co-defendants' pretrial motions. Elijah Ellis Mot. at 2
(Dkt No. 117); Green Mot. at 1 (Dkt No. 108). The Court
grants these requests, and to the extent applicable, all
decisions made by the Court will apply to both defendants.
Green's Motion to Suppress
seeks to suppress various physical evidence seized by the
police and statements made by him in the wake of a July 20,
2015 traffic stop. Green Memo, at 5-11 (Dkt No. 111).
Additionally, he seeks to suppress a cell phone seized from
his home after his February 22, 2016 arrest. Id. at
11-15. In the alternative, Green requests an evidentiary
hearing to address these issues. Id. at 11.
evidentiary hearing on a motion to suppress ordinarily is
required if the moving papers are sufficiently definite,
specific, detailed, and non conjectural to enable the court
to conclude that contested issues of fact going to the
validity of the search are in question." United
States v. Watson,404 F.3d 163, 167 (2d Cir. 2005)
(citations and quotation marks omitted). In other words,
"the defendant must show that contested issues of fact
exist necessitating an evidentiary hearing." United
States v. Shaw,260 F.Supp.2d 567, 570 (E.D.N.Y.2003)
(citing United States v. Jailall, No. 00 CR 069,
2000 WL 1368055, at *8 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 20, 2000)). A
defendant can satisfy this requirement by providing an
affidavit of ...