Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States v. Snyder

United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division

May 25, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
CHARLES DAVID SNYDER, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OF OPINION AND ORDER [RESOLVING ECF NOS. 58, 60, 67, & 84 ]

          Benita Y. Pearson, United States District Judge

         Pending before the Court are the following motions in limine: (1) Defendant's Motion in Limine and/or Motion for Determination of the Admissibility of Expert Testimony Offered by Christopher O'Hagan (ECF No. 58); (2) Defendant's Motion in Limine to Exclude Evidence (ECF No. 60); (3) the Government's Motion in Limine to Exclude Certain Testimony of Defendant's Expert Gary Gruver (ECF No. 67); and (4) Defendant's Motion in Limine to Exclude Testimony from Charles Frazier (ECF No. 84). The motions are fully briefed.

         For the reasons that follow, Defendant's Motion in Limine and/or Determination (ECF No. 58)is granted in part, Defendant's Motion to Exclude Evidence (ECF No. 60)[1] is denied in part, and the Government's Motion in Limine to Exclude Certain Testimony of Defendant's Expert Gary Gruver (ECF No. 67) is granted.

         I. Motion in Limine to Exclude Evidence of Expert Testimony Offered by Christopher O'Hagan

         Defendant's argument in support of his motion in limine is two-fold. First, he argues that O'Hagan is not qualified to testify as an expert under Federal Rule of Evidence 702. ECF No. 58 at PageID #: 517-18. Second, he argues that the testimony O'Hagan would offer is irrelevant. Id. at PageID #: 518. Specifically, he contends that testimony on the reasons behind the IRS moving Attevo's tax payments to quarters other than the ones Attevo specified when making the payments would prove inconsequential, because it only matters that the IRS moved the payments and the Government has conceded that fact. Id.

         In response, the Government argues that IRS agents frequently testify as expert witnesses in tax cases. ECF No. 68 at PageID #: 667-68. The Government also argues that the parties dispute “the timing, application and importantly Attevo's ratification of the 2010 payments in question.” Id. at PageID #: 669. Because of this dispute, the Government reasons, O'Hagan's testimony is relevant, especially as he will offer testimony as to why the IRS applied Attevo's payments in the manner that it did. Id.

         In reply, Defendant reiterates his argument as to O'Hagan's qualifications. ECF No. 70 at PageID #: 676-77. He also argues that, even if there is a factual dispute about Attevo's payments, an expert is unnecessary to testify on the timing and application of the payments and that O'Hagan had no involvement in the meetings related to the alleged ratification, so he is not well-suited to testify as an expert on that matter. Id. at PageID #: 677-78.

         Rule 401 of the Federal Rules of Evidence defines relevant evidence as that “having any tendency to make a fact more or less probable than it would be without the evidence” and “of consequence in determining the action.” Generally, relevant evidence is admissible, unless it is not. See Fed.R.Evid. 402. O'Hagan's testimony about the application of tax payments is relevant. To be delivered in a way helpful to the trier of fact, such testimony is typically delivered by an expert witness. See Fed.R.Evid. 702. The Government has indicated that O'Hagan will testify as to the tax consequences of Attevo's employment taxes. The Sixth Circuit has permitted IRS agents to testify about an action's tax consequences. See, e.g. United States v. Monus, 128 F.3d 376, 386 (6th Cir. 1997) (holding that IRS agent's expert testimony on tax consequences from a company diverting funds was proper testimony to help jury determine issue of fact, because jury still had to determine whether defendant stole funds); see also United States v. Frantz, No. CR 02-1267(A), 2004 WL 5642909, at *19 (C.D.Cal. Apr. 23, 2004) (holding that testimony on tax treatment of payments to another corporate entity “would not usurp” fact-finder's role, because the finder of fact still had to determine whether defendant “committed an affirmative act to evade taxes and that he did so willfully.”).

         The Court finds the subject of O'Hagan's proposed testimony is relevant and proper expert testimony. Before O'Hagan may testify, however, the Court will conduct a voir dire on his qualifications.

         II. Motion in Limine to Exclude Evidence

         Defendant seeks to exclude: (1) evidence that Defendant failed to account for and/or pay employment taxes for any quarters prior to the first quarter of 2010; (2) evidence that Defendant paid other creditors while failing to account for and/or pay employment taxes; (3) evidence of Defendant's income and personal expenditures prior to and during the time period in the indictment; and “salacious allegations that the [Defendant] engaged in affairs and hired escorts.” ECF No. 60 at PageID #: 549; see also ECF No. 84.

         In support of his first argument, Defendant contends that non-payments prior to the first quarter of 2010 are irrelevant and not related to his alleged non-payments in 2010, because of the IRS's reclassification of payments designated for the first and third quarters of 2010. Id. at PageID #: 551-53. In support of the second and third arguments, Defendant avers that the IRS's actions make money spent on things other than tax payments a non-issue, because Defendant made proper payments for seven of eight quarters between first quarter of 2010 and the first quarter of 2012, if the IRS had applied the payments as Attevo had designated. Id. at PageID #: 553-54. Defendant seeks exclusions of all three categories of evidence under Federal Rules of Evidence 402, 403, and 404. ECF No. 60 at PageID #: 549. (Defendant's final argument is more fully addressed in Section IV, below.)

         In opposition, the Government retorts that Defendant's prior non-payment of taxes is admissible circumstantial evidence of willfulness. ECF No. 69 at PageID #: 674. The Government also incorporates analysis it included in its trial brief on these arguments. Id. at PageID #: 673. In its trial brief, the Government provides authority to support the admissibility of a defendant's personal expenditures in tax cases, as well as authority on using a defendant's past tax payment history to prove willfulness. ECF No. 59 at PageID #: 538-43.

         In reply, Defendant claims that evidence of an extramarital affair is unfairly prejudicial, and therefore, evidence of spending related to extramarital affairs should not be admitted. ECF No. 71 at PageID #: 682-83. He also argues that evidence of discretionary spending is irrelevant, because that spending took ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.