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United States v. 0Jokhoo

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

December 1, 2015

United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee
v.
Khemall Jokhoo, also known as Kenny Jokhoo, also known as Kevin Smith, also known as Kevin Day, also known as Mike Lee, Defendant - Appellant

Submitted October 19, 2015

Page 1138

Appeal from United States District Court for the District of Minnesota - St. Paul.

For United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee: LeeAnn K. Bell, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Michael L. Cheever, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Lolita A. Velazquez-Aguilu, Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.

Khemall Jokhoo, also known as: Kenny Jokhoo, also known as: Kevin Smith, also known as: Kevin Day, also known as: Mike Lee, Defendant - Appellant, Pro se, Minneapolis, MN.

Before LOKEN, MURPHY, and COLLOTON, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 1139

MURPHY, Circuit Judge

A jury convicted Khemall Jokhoo of eleven counts of bank fraud, nine counts of mail fraud, two counts of wire fraud, ten counts of aggravated identity theft, and one count of impersonating a federal officer or employee. The district court[1] sentenced him to 175 months, and he appeals his sentence. We affirm.

I.

Jokhoo was a registered debt collector in Minnesota. He owned and operated First Financial Services, Inc. (FFSI), a licensed debt collection business. As a debt collector, Jokhoo had access to debtors' personal information, including their Social Security numbers, telephone numbers, and addresses. Jokhoo would call debtors at their homes and workplaces and demand that they send money to FFSI for alleged overdue debts, often using threats and obscenities to intimidate them. He would also contact their banks and credit card companies and, using their personal information to impersonate them, convince those companies to mail checks or electronically transfer funds to FFSI. When Jokhoo received checks payable to the debtors, he would forge their endorsements to FFSI. He would then deposit the checks in FFSI's accounts and withdraw the funds.

The Minnesota Department of Commerce (DOC) revoked FFSI's license in November 2009 after receiving reports of Jokhoo's fraud. In April 2011 the DOC also revoked Jokhoo's debt collector registration and imposed civil penalties after a hearing at which an administrative law judge found that Jokhoo had caused several financial institutions to send him money without the account holders' authorization. The DOC also concluded that Jokhoo had violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and Minnesota law by making false representations and threats in attempting to collect alleged debts.

Following a criminal investigation Jokhoo was indicted on thirty three counts relating to his fraud scheme.[2] Counts 1-22 alleged bank fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1344, mail fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1341, and wire fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343. Counts 22-32 alleged aggravated identity theft in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1028A. Count 33 alleged impersonation of a federal officer or employee in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 912. The jury convicted Jokhoo of all counts.

The presentence investigation report (PSR) calculated an offense level of 33 for Counts 1-22 and 33. It started with a baseline level of 7 and applied a 14 level enhancement for the total loss amount, a 4 level enhancement for the number of victims, and 2 level enhancements for each of the following: the victims' vulnerability, Jokhoo's use of sophisticated means, his violation of the DOC's administrative order, and his abuse of a position of trust. Jokhoo objected to those enhancements, arguing among other things that the total loss included ...


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