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Friday, October 07, 2016

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit decided one Indiana case yesterday

In USA v. Justin Wykoff (SD Ind., Pratt), a 3-page opinion, Judge Posner writes:

. Justin Wykoff pleaded guilty to wire‐fraud charges growing out of his having solicited bribes and kickbacks while a Bloomington, Indiana, official. The district judge sentenced him to 55 months in prison and to pay restitution of $446,335 to Bloomington and a $1,100 assessment, with both payments “to begin immediately.” The judge added what she called a “special instruction”: “Any unpaid restitution balance during the term of supervi sion [i.e., the period following release from prison when the defendant would be subject to the conditions of supervised release imposed by the judge at sentencing] shall be paid at a rate of not less than 10% of the defendant’s gross monthly income.” * * *

[ILB: Wycoff subsequently opposed garnishment of the total amount by the government] He based the argument on the judge’s “special instruction,” which he interpreted as limit ing his restitution payments to 10 percent of his monthly in come. But the instruction doesn’t say that; it says that 10 per cent is the minimum amount he must pay to complete restitu‐ tion. United States v. Fariduddin, 469 F.3d 1111, 1113 (7th Cir. 2006).

In fact he has no legal leg to stand on. The federal crimi nal code requires that restitution be paid immediately unless the district court provides otherwise, 18 U.S.C. § 3572(d)(1), which it did not. In United States v. Sawyer, 521 F.3d 792, tion “any existing assets should be seized promptly. If the restitution debt exceeds a felon’s wealth, then the Mandato ry Victim Restitution Act of 1996, 18 U.S.C. §§ 3663A, 3664, demands that this wealth be handed over immediately.” This is an important rule—for who knows what might hap pen to Wykoff’s assets during his years of imprisonment. He or members of his family or for that matter the Indiana state pension fund might decide that there are better things to do with those not inconsiderable assets than give them to Bloomington.

In short, his claim is groundless, and so the district court’s judgment is AFFIRMED.

(7th Cir. 2008), we pointed out that at the start of incarcera‐

Posted by Marcia Oddi on October 7, 2016 09:03 AM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions