United States District Court, D. Minnesota
J. MacLaughlin and Tracy L. Perzel, Assistant United States
Attorneys, Counsel for Respondent.
Petitioner, pro se.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Michael J. Davis Judge
matter is before the Court upon Petitioner Jason Bo- Alan
Beckman's Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct his
Sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 and motion to
an eight week trial, Petitioner was found guilty of multiple
counts of wire fraud, mail fraud, money laundering,
conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, filing false tax
returns and tax evasion. These convictions arose from a Ponzi
scheme that operated between July 2006 and July 2009, in
which Petitioner and others received over $193 million from
hundreds of investors.
evidence presented at trial overwhelmingly demonstrated that
Petitioner and his co-conspirators defrauded victims by
convincing them to invest their money in a sham currency
program that they falsely claimed would earn a 10 to 12
percent return. They also told investors their investments
were held in segregated accounts and that the investment was
risk-free and completely safe. Petitioner, through his firm
Oxford Private Client Group (“OPCG”), solicited
investors to invest in the fraudulent currency scheme.
Petitioner also falsely inflated his own credentials to
potential investors by claiming he was a top-ranked portfolio
manager pursuant to a Morningstar comparative study; a study
and ranking that did not exist.
claims that Trevor Cook was the master-mind of the fraudulent
scheme and that he was not aware of the true nature of the
scheme until the Phillips lawsuit was filed in July
2009. Substantial evidence was presented at
trial, however, to contradict this claim. For example,
evidence was presented to show that beginning in May 2008,
Petitioner was repeatedly told by legal counsel hired to
assist his attempt to purchase an interest in an NHL team,
that the currency program was illegal, and that he should
return the investment funds to the currency program victims
and to cease doing business with Trevor Cook. Petitioner did
not heed counsel's advice. Not only did Petitioner
continue to do business with Cook, he continued to accept
investor funds and place them in the fraudulent currency
scheme or use them for his own purposes.
evidence was also presented at trial regarding
Petitioner's scheme to defraud the NHL in order to obtain
an ownership interest in an NHL team. To become an owner of
an NHL team, Petitioner had to demonstrate that he had a
substantial net worth. To demonstrate his net worth,
Petitioner hired the law firm of Briggs and Morgan, and
through this firm, Petitioner made a number of fraudulent
financial disclosures related to the fraudulent currency
scheme. The individual hired to evaluate the financial
information provided by Petitioner, Joel Barth, eventually
determined that virtually all of the information Petitioner
provided regarding his net worth was fraudulent and not
supported by proper documentation.
evidence was also presented at trial to show that Petitioner
stole millions from the Quiggle family trust and from elderly
clients Raymond and Charlotte Olson. Charlotte Olson's
father had established the Arthur W. Quiggle Family Trust for
the benefit of his children and grandchildren (“Quiggle
Trust”) and Charlotte Olson established her own trust
for the benefit of her children (“Olson Trust”).
1998, Charlotte Olson suffered a stroke and thereafter became
dependent on others for investment advice. In 2002,
Petitioner became her financial advisor. In 2007, without
authorization from the trustees, Petitioner caused the
Quiggle Trust to sell more than $3 million in old, blue-chip
stocks, and invested the money with Cook. Then in 2008,
Petitioner caused $3.7 million of stocks in the Quiggle Trust
to be pledged to the Union Bank of Switzerland to secure a
loan, the proceeds of which were diverted to the currency
program. At the time this transfer took place, Petitioner had
already been advised by legal counsel the currency program
also stole money from Charlotte Olson and the Olson Trust -
$5 million - and directed it to Cook. Most of the money was
obtained when Petitioner coordinated the viatical sale of two
life insurance policies that were owned by the Olson Trust
and which insured Raymond Olson's life, and then diverted
the proceeds from the sale of those policies to pay margin
calls in Petitioner's PFG currency trading account.
to his sentencing, the United States Probation Office
prepared a Presentence Investigation Report
(“PSR”) advising that the total offense level for
the crimes of conviction was 43 and that his criminal history
category was I. The Court calculated the applicable guideline
range based on the statutory maximum for each count of
conviction as follows: Counts 1 to 17 - 20 years; Counts 20
and 21 - 10 years; Counts 27 and 31 - 3 years; and Count 29 -
5 years. But for the statutory maximum sentences for the
crimes of conviction, the advisory guideline range would have
been life in prison.
January 3, 2013, the Petitioner was sentenced to a total term
of imprisonment of 360 months: 240 months on Counts 1 through
17, 120 months on Counts 20 and 21, 36 months on Counts 27
and 31 and 60 months on Count 29; the sentences for Count 1
through 17 were ordered to be served consecutive to the terms
on Counts 20 and 21, but concurrent with the terms on Counts
27, 29 and 31.
conviction and sentence were affirmed on appeal. United
States v. Beckman et al., 787 F.3d 466 (8th Cir. 2015)
reh'g denied (Jun. 17, 2015).
October 3, 2016, Petitioner filed the instant habeas petition
in which he asserts a variety of claims, including numerous
ineffective assistance of counsel claims. Petitioner has also
moved for appointment of counsel to assist with this habeas
petition. For the reasons stated below, Petitioner's
motions will be denied.
Standard of Review
28 U.S.C. § 2255, “[a] prisoner in custody under
sentence . . . claiming the right to be released upon the
ground that the sentence was imposed in violation of the
Constitution or laws of the United States, or that the court
was without jurisdiction to impose such sentence . . . or is
otherwise subject to collateral attack, may move the court
which imposed the sentence to vacate, set aside or correct
the sentence.” 28 U.S.C. § 2255(a). Section 2255
is intended to provide federal prisoners a remedy for
jurisdictional or constitutional errors. Sun Bear v.
United States, 644 F.3d 700, 704 (8th Cir. 2011). It is
not intended to be a substitute for appeal or to relitigate
matters decided on appeal. See Bousley v. United
States, 523 U.S. 614, 621 (1998); Davis v. United
States, 417 U.S. 333, 346-47 (1974)).
Relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 is reserved for
transgressions of constitutional rights and for a narrow
range of injuries that could not have been raised on direct
appeal and, if uncorrected, would result in a complete
miscarriage of justice. A movant may not raise constitutional
issues for the first time on collateral review without
establishing both cause for the procedural default and actual
prejudice resulting from the error.
United States v. Apfel, 97 F.3d 1074, 1076 (8th Cir.
1996) (citations omitted).
Petitioner is entitled to an evidentiary hearing on his
petition “unless the motion and the files and records
of the case conclusively show that the prisoner is entitled
to no relief.” 28 U.S.C.A. § 2255(b). “[A]
petition can be dismissed without a hearing if (1) the
petitioner's allegations, accepted as true, would not
entitle the petitioner to relief, or (2) the allegations
cannot be accepted as true because they are contradicted by
the record, inherently incredible, or conclusions rather than
statements of fact.” Engelen v. United States,
68 F.3d 238, 240 (8th Cir. 1995) (internal citations
Court finds that Petitioner has not demonstrated that he is
entitled to an evidentiary hearing. Many of the allegations
asserted in the petition are contradicted by the record, and
for the remaining allegations, even if accepted as true,
Petitioner has not demonstrated that he is entitled to
Ineffective Assistance of Counsel
of ineffective assistance of counsel may constitute both
cause and prejudice to excuse a procedural default.
Boysiewick v. Schriro, 179 F.3d 616, 619 (8th Cir.
1999) (citation omitted). Such claims must be scrutinized
under the two- part test of Strickland v.
Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (1984). Under the
Strickland test, Petitioner must prove that: 1)
counsel's representation was deficient; and 2)
counsel's deficient performance prejudiced
Petitioner's case. Kingsberry v. United States,
202 F.3d 1030, 1032 (8th Cir. 2000) reh'g and
reh'g en banc denied, (March 28, 2000).
satisfy the first prong of the Strickland test,
Petitioner must show that counsel's representation fell
below an objective standard of reasonableness under
professional norms. Strickland, 466 U.S. at 688. The
inquiry should be whether counsel's assistance was
reasonable considering all of the circumstances surrounding
the case. Id. Judicial scrutiny of counsel's
performance should be highly deferential and the general
presumption is that counsel's conduct “falls within
the wide range of reasonable professional assistance.”
Id. at 689.
satisfy the second prong under the Strickland test,
Petitioner must show that but for counsel's errors, the
outcome of the proceedings would have been different.
Id. at 691. The analysis may begin with the second
prong and if Petitioner fails to show actual prejudice, ...