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United States v. Reese

United States District Court, D. Nebraska

May 25, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
JENNIE L. REESE, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          Richard G. Kopf, Senior United States District Judge

         This matter is before the court on Defendant Jennie L. Reese's Motion for Bill of Particulars and Motion to Dismiss (Filing No. 20). For the reasons discussed below, the Motion for a Bill of Particulars will be denied, and the Motion to Dismiss will be granted in part and denied in part.

         BACKGROUND

         Reese was a tenant at a public housing program in Gordon, Nebraska from February 1, 2010 through May 31, 2012. The housing program was administered by the Gordon Housing Authority (GHA), with the amount of rent based on each tenant's income and adjusted if that income changed. Reese also worked for the GHA and “was responsible to review, calculate, and re-certify the tenants' rents . . . annually.” (Filing No. 22 at CM/ECF p. 3).

         A one count indictment was filed against Defendant on January 19, 2017. The indictment in its entirety states:

Between on or about February 2011 and on or about January 2013, in the District of Nebraska, Defendant, JENNIE L. REESE, willfully and knowingly did embezzle, steal, purloin, and convert to her own use funds of the Gordon Housing Authority that originated with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, a department or agency of the United States, of a value exceeding $1000. In violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 641.

(Filing No. 1).

         Defendant initially appeared on March 1, 2017, and the parties were ordered to conduct reciprocal discovery, as set forth in Fed. R. Crim. P. 16. Defendant has now moved for a Bill of Particulars and to have the indictment dismissed, alleging the charges within the indictment are barred by the statute of limitations.

         ANALYSIS

         A. Motion for Bill of Particulars.

         Defendant has moved for a Bill of Particulars, asserting the government should be required to list the specific date on which each alleged theft or embezzlement of money occurred “in order to determine whether or not the statute of limitations has expired with regards to each offense.” (Filing No. 21 at CM/ECF p. 8).

If a defendant believes that an indictment does not provide enough information to prepare a defense, then he or she may move for a bill of particulars. See Fed.R.Crim.P. 7(f). The purpose of a bill of particulars is to inform the defendant of the nature of a charge with “sufficient precision to enable him to prepare for trial” and “to avoid or minimize the danger of surprise at trial.”

U.S. v. Livingstone, 576 F.3d 881 (8th Cir. 2009).

         The government opposes the motion for bill of particulars, stating it has already provided extensive discovery and afforded defendant Reese with adequate notice of the charges and a full and fair opportunity to prepare a defense. The government further asserts the discovery materials it provided to Reese “set forth in detail dates, amounts, types of Defendant Reese's actions, and also included spreadsheets and tables that specifically identified the dollar amount of loss, together with summaries of interviews of GHA ...


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