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United States v. Flynn

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

November 14, 2017

United States of America, Plaintiff,
v.
Scott Phillip Flynn, Defendant.

          David J. MacLaughlin and Benjamin F. Langner, Assistant United States Attorneys, United States Attorney's Office, Minneapolis, MN, on behalf of Plaintiff.

          Earl P. Gray, Esq., Earl Gray Defense, St. Paul, MN, and Paul C. Engh, Esq., Minneapolis, MN, on behalf of Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          ANN D. MONTGOMERY U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This matter is before the undersigned United States District Judge for a ruling on Defendant Scott Phillip Flynn's (“Flynn”) Objections [Docket No. 74] to Magistrate Judge Katherine Menendez's August 11, 2017 Report and Recommendation [Docket No. 62] (“R&R”). In the R&R, Judge Menendez recommends denying Flynn's Motion to Dismiss [Docket No. 22] and Motion to Suppress Statements [Docket No. 31]. For the reasons set forth below, the Objections are overruled.

         II. BACKGROUND

         On December 21, 2016, Flynn was charged in a multi-count Indictment with conspiracy to defraud the United States, tax evasion, and filing false tax returns. See generally Indictment [Docket No. 1]. On April 14, 2017, Flynn filed a Motion to Dismiss, arguing that several counts in the Indictment are barred by the statute of limitations. Also on April 14, Flynn filed a Motion to Suppress Statements made to IRS agents while the agents were conducting a search of his residence. Flynn has filed Objections to the R&R which recommended that his Motions be denied.

         III. DISCUSSION

         A. Standard of Review

         A district judge may refer a defendant's motion to dismiss an indictment or motion to suppress evidence to a magistrate judge for recommendation. Fed. R. Crim. P. 59(b)(1). The district judge must make an independent, de novo determination of those portions of the report and recommendation to which a party objects. Fed. R. Crim. P. 59(b)(3); 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C); D. Minn. L.R. 72.2(b). A district judge “may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C).

         B. Objections

         1. Motion to Dismiss Flynn argues that Counts 3 through 5 of the First Superseding Indictment [Docket No. 64], which charge filing false tax returns for the years 2007, 2008, and 2009, must be dismissed as time-barred. The Court disagrees.

         Ordinarily, the statute of limitations for filing false tax returns is six years. 26 U.S.C. § 6531. However, under 18 U.S.C. § 3292, the statute of limitations may be suspended for up to three years in cases where there is an international investigation in progress. Section 3292 provides in relevant part:

(a)(1) Upon application of the United States, filed before return of an indictment, indicating that evidence of an offense is in a foreign country, the district court before which a grand jury is impaneled to investigate the offense shall suspend the running of the statute of limitations for the offense if the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that an official request has been made for such evidence and that it reasonably appears, or reasonably appeared at the time the request was made, that such evidence is, or was, in such foreign country. . . .
(b) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, a period of suspension under this section shall begin on the date on which the official request is made and end on the date on which the foreign court ...

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