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United States v. Ibrahim

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

July 16, 2018

United States of America, Plaintiff
v.
Yahya Sayid Ibrahim, et al., Defendants

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          JEFFREY J. HELMICK UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before me on several pretrial matters. Defendant Yahya Ibrahim filed motions to determine the admissibility of his co-conspirator's statements prior to trial (Doc. No. 46), for disclosure of Brady material (Doc. No. 47), for disclosure of the government's trial witnesses (Doc. No. 48), requesting notice of the government's intent to introduce evidence under Federal Rule of Evidence 404(b) (Doc. No. 49), for relief from prejudicial joinder (Doc. No. 50), and to produce his co-defendants' statements (Doc. No. 51). Defendants Abdul Faqi and Hussein Ahmed adopted these motions. (Doc. Nos. 59 & 60). Defendant Ahmed Haaji moved to join these motions. (Doc. Nos. 53-58). The government filed an omnibus response (Doc. No. 68), and Ibrahim filed a reply (Doc. No. 71).

         BACKGROUND

         On June 1, 2016, Ibrahim, Ahmed, and Faqi were indicted on five counts of health care fraud and aiding and abetting health care fraud, as well as one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. (Doc. No. 1 at ¶¶ 18-30). On January 30, 2017, in a superseding indictment, Ibrahim, Ahmed, Faqi, and Haaji were indicted on nine counts of health care fraud and aiding and abetting health care fraud, as well as one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. (Doc. No. 27 at ¶¶ 22-34).

         DISCUSSION

         On August 23, 2017, Ibrahim filed six pretrial motions. (Doc. Nos. 46-51). I gave the remaining defendants until October 6, 2017, to join Ibrahim's motions. (Doc. No. 52). Faqi and Ahmed adopted Ibrahim's motions. (Doc. Nos. 59 & 60). Haaji moved to join all of Ibrahim's motions. (Doc. Nos. 53-58). I hereby grant Haaji's motions to join, so all Defendants are now joined in Ibrahim's motions.

         Defendants move for severance of their trials pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 14 (Doc. No. 50), for the production of their statements for my inspection (Doc. No. 51), for me to set an evidentiary hearing to determine the admissibility of their statements under Federal Rule of Evidence 801(d)(2)(E) (Doc. Nos. 46), for the disclosure of all potential Brady evidence (Doc. Nos. 47), for the disclosure of the government's trial witnesses (Doc. Nos. 48), and for notice of the government's intent to use Rule 404(b) evidence (Doc. Nos. 49). I address each motion below.

         Motion for Production of Defendants' Statements

         I turn first to Defendants' motion for the production of their co-defendants' statements for my inspection. (Doc. No. 51). As part of its response, the government submitted Faqi's, Ahmed's, and Ibrahim's statements, along with proposed redactions. (Doc. Nos. 68-1, 68-2, & 68-3). The government intends to use these statements, in whole or in part, at trial. (Doc. No. 68 at 8). Haaji, according to the government, was not present during the execution of any search warrants and so was not interviewed. Because the government has now disclosed Defendants' statements, I deny as moot Defendants' motion to produce their statements. (Doc. No. 51).

         Motion for Disclosure of Brady Material

         Next, Defendants ask that I issue an order requiring the government to disclose all potential Brady evidence. (Doc. No. 47); see Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963); see also Giglio v. United States, 405 U.S. 150 (1972). Defendants note that in the indictment and discovery provided by the government there are references to government witnesses with potential credibility issues. (Id. at 2). Defendants appear to then speculate that there may be “concessions, implicit deals, translucent promises, and other fertile potential impeachment evidence applicable to these” witnesses as relates to their cooperation in this case. (Id.). Defendants claim they should have all discoverable evidence in order to decide how to proceed with the case. (Id. at 3).

         The government does not oppose Defendants' motion, but responds by recognizing its obligations under Brady and Giglio. (Doc. No. 68 at 20). The government further states it has made disclosures pursuant to these obligations during discovery and that it will continue to do so as that material becomes available. (Id.). I have no reason to doubt the government's assertions, but in recognition of its ongoing obligations under Brady and Giglio, I grant Defendants' motion to the extent any such evidence has yet to be disclosed. (Doc. No. 47).

         Motion to Disclose the Government's Trial Witnesses

         Defendants next seek an order requiring the government to disclose the names of the witnesses it intends to call at trial. (Doc. No. 48). Defendants acknowledge it is early to seek such a disclosure, but they justify their request by explaining that this case is premised on an alleged six-year conspiracy involving numerous potential witnesses. (Id. at 2). Thus, Defendants claim they require disclosure of the government's trial witnesses in order to prepare an efficient and focused defense. (Id. at 2-3). Defendants further argue this disclosure is necessary for deciding whether to go to trial. (Id. at 3; Doc. No. 71 at 7). Defendants state “it is impossible for a defendant to knowingly ...


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