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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit decides one Indiana case today

In USA v. Bruce Jones (SD Ind., Pratt), a 23-page opinion, Judge Hamilton writes:

This appeal in a criminal case presents an unusual combination of offenses: health care fraud and unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition. Defendant Bruce Jones was both a family counselor and a firearms enthusiast who collected dozens of guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition. Jones had a prior felony conviction, so it was a federal crime for him to possess firearms and ammunition. The FBI discovered these weapons while investigating Jones for allegedly fraudulent health care billing. A federal grand jury charged Jones with three counts of possessing firearms and ammunition in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1) and one count of health care fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1347. The district court bifurcated the case for separate trials on the firearms charges and the health care fraud charge. The juries convicted Jones on all counts. The district court sentenced Jones to 90 months in prison on his fraud conviction and 100 months on each felon-in-possession conviction, with all terms to be served concurrently.

Jones appeals and raises four distinct issues. First, he contends that the ex parte pretrial restraint of certain life insurance policies violated his Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights. Second, he argues that the district court erroneously denied his request for new counsel during his fraud trial. Third, he contends that he was denied the opportunity to testify at his fraud trial. Fourth, he challenges the court’s sentencing guideline computation. We affirm in all respects.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on December 21, 2016 11:06 AM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions