United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
ORDER ON SPEEDY TRIAL DESIGNATION AS A COMPLEX
SHIRLEY PADMORE MENSAH UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
before the undersigned is the Government's unopposed
motion requesting that this case be designated as a complex
case pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h). (Doc. 64). The
motion will be granted for the reasons set out below.
Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1361 et seq.,
provides that "the trial of a defendant charged in an
indictment . . . with the commission of an offense shall
commence within seventy days from the filing date (and making
public) of the . . . indictment, or from the date the
defendant has appeared before a judicial officer of the court
in which such charge is pending, whichever date last
occurs." 18 U.S.C. § 3161(c)(1).
Certain periods of delay are excluded in computing the time
within which the trial of an offense must commence.
See 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h). Among these periods is
that of a delay resulting from a continuance granted on the
grounds that "the ends of justice served by taking such
action outweigh the best interest of the public and the
defendant in a speedy trial." 18 U.S.C. Â§ 3161(h)(7)(A).
This continuance may be granted at the request of a party or
by the court on its own motion. Id. Section
3161(h)(7)(A) further provides that:
No such period of delay resulting from a continuance granted
by the court in accordance with this paragraph shall be
excludable under this subsection unless the court sets forth,
in the record of the case, either orally or in writing, its
reasons for finding that the ends of justice served by the
granting of such continuance outweigh the best interests of
the public and the defendant in a speedy trial.
of the factors the court can consider in determining whether
to grant a continuance under 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)(7)(A)
is whether the case is “so unusual or complex, due to
the number of defendants, the nature of the prosecution, or
the existence of novel questions of fact or law, that it is
unreasonable to expect adequate preparation for pretrial
proceedings or for the trial itself within the time limits
established by [the Speedy Trial Act].” 18 U.S.C.
Under 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)(7)(B)(i), a judge may also
consider whether the failure to grant a continuance would
“result in a miscarriage of justice.”
Here, the government contends this case should be designated
as "complex" and continued beyond the time allowed
under the Speedy Trial Act because of the volume of evidence
defense counsel will need to examine to have an understanding
of the issues involved in the case, the number of defendants,
and the nature of the charges. The discovery consists of
large amounts of documentation in multiple formats from
financial institutions and documents related to financial
transactions. Documentation includes records pertaining to at
least three hundred individual and business bank accounts
opened and maintained at multiple financial institutions;
records relating to at least nineteen merchant accounts and
thousands of credit card transactions processed through those
accounts; records, including handwritten notes from multiple
individuals from across the United States and Canada; and
records including forms, invoices and notation relating to
financial transactions, obtained from call rooms and other
sources including computers and phones connected to
defendants and others.
case and the related financial records relate to extensive
transactions from 2012 through 2015 and currently involves
nine defendants and issues and considerations specific to
telemarketing that are not usually present in cases involving
mail and wire fraud cases. The relevant transactions involve
individuals located in multiple states. As such, defense
counsel may need to consider information relating to
potential witnesses and documentary evidence located in
multiple locations in determining whether they need to file
pretrial motions. In addition, the United States has
indicated that it intends to file a superseding indictment
that may result in the addition of more defendants.
Based on the volume of discovery and the nature and
complexity of the evidence involved as well as the length and
complexity of the investigation, I find that this case meets
the factors set out in subsections (B)(i) and (B)(ii).
all of the foregoing reasons, and for the reasons set out in
the Government's Motion, the Court finds this matter to
be complex as directed in 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)(7)(B)(ii).
Specifically, the Court finds that the instant case is so
unusual and so complex, due to the volume of discovery, the
nature of the charges, the complex and extensive nature of
the investigation, and the nature of the prosecution, that
the ends of justice served by the granting of the instant
motion outweigh the best interests of the public and the
Defendant in a speedy trial.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Government's Motion to
Designate the Case as Complex and To Continue Trial Beyond
the Limits Set By The Speedy Trial ...