United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Simpson, Reg. No. 02297-028, FPC-Duluth, pro se petitioner.
Voss and Ann M. Bildtsen, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S
OFFICE, for respondent.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND
R. TUNHEIM CHIEF JUDGE
Simpson, a federal prisoner incarcerated at the Federal
Prison Camp in Duluth, brings a Petition for a Writ of Habeas
Corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Simpson challenges his
conviction in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of Texas on two counts of aggravated identity theft
and seven counts of wire fraud. U.S. Magistrate Judge Steven
E. Rau issued a Report and Recommendation
(“R&R”), recommending that the Court dismiss
the petition without prejudice for lack of jurisdiction.
Because Simpson has not shown that 28 U.S.C. § 2255
provides an inadequate or ineffective remedy, the Court will
find that it lacks jurisdiction to hear Simpson's case,
adopt the R&R, and dismiss Simpson's petition without
October 2009, a jury in the U.S. District Court for the
Eastern District of Texas found Simpson guilty of two counts
of aggravated identity theft under 18 U.S.C. § 1028A and
seven counts of wire fraud under 18 U.S.C. § 1343.
Simpson v. United States, 08-123, 2015 WL 1384900,
at *1 (E.D. Tex. 2015). At trial, the Government presented
evidence that Simpson had created and executed a scheme to
defraud U.S. Benefits (“USB”) by soliciting
investments for a nonexistent program with the Department of
Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”).
Id. at *1-3. As part of this scheme, Simpson
falsified documents and forged signatures of HUD employees.
Id. The court sentenced Simpson to 183 months'
imprisonment. Id. at *1.
appealed his conviction on the grounds that the trial court
abused its discretion by (1) failing to provide a
“puffery” instruction and (2) by ordering a
restitution payment of more than $1 million. United
States v. Simpson, 440 Fed.Appx. 393, 393
(5thCir. 2011). The Fifth Circuit affirmed
Simpson's conviction, finding that the trial court did
not abuse its discretion with regard to either ground and
that the closing arguments and jury instructions sufficiently
placed the puffery issue before the jury. Id. at
393-94. The Fifth Circuit also denied various pro se motions
advanced by Simpson since they were “either barred by
the proscription against hybrid representation . . . or
[were] untimely.” Id. at 394 (citations
SECTION 2255 PETITION
the Fifth Circuit denied his appeal, Simpson filed a motion
under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 in the Eastern District of Texas.
Simpson, 2015 WL 1384900, at *1. Section 2255 allows
federal prisoners to petition their sentencing court to
vacate, set aside, or correct a sentence. 28 U.S.C. §
2255(a). The court noted that, under Section 2255, Simpson
could not relitigate issues raised and decided on direct
appeal or litigate issues that he could have raised on direct
appeal but did not. Id.
asserted that the Government committed
Brady/Giglio violations by allowing
Government witnesses to testify as representatives of U.S.
Benefits Plus, LP, when the indictment had charged him with
defrauding “U.S. Benefits Plus Corporation or
company” and U.S. Benefits Plus, LP did not exist until
after his allegedly criminal actions occurred. Id.
at *3-4. The magistrate judge recommended denying this claim
as procedurally barred because Simpson could have raised it
on appeal. Id. at *4. The magistrate judge also
noted that this claim lacked merit. The indictment referred
to “U.S. Benefits Plus, ” and testimony
demonstrated that U.S. Benefits Plus was comprised of three
entities (USB, U.S. Benefits Plus LP, and U.S. Benefits Plus,
Inc.); thus, Government references to those entities referred
to the same organization. Id.
magistrate judge also noted that most of Simpson's other
claims lacked merit and recommended dismissing them as
procedurally barred because Simpson could have raised them on
appeal. Id. at *4-6. He considered the merits of
Simpson's ineffective assistance of trial and appellate
counsel claims but recommended denying them because Simpson
did not show that he was prejudiced by his counsel's
performance. Id. at *6-9.
that no objections had been filed, the district court adopted
the magistrate judge's recommendations and dismissed
Simpson's § 2255 Petition. Id. at *1.
Simpson then filed a Motion for Reconsideration, arguing that
he had filed objections to the magistrate judge's
recommendations, which were timely under the prison-mailbox
rule, and urged the district judge to conduct a de novo
review. Simpson v. United States, 4:08CR123(1), 2015
WL 3899368, at *1 (E.D. Tex. June 23, 2015). The district
court reviewed his objections de novo. Id. at *1-2.
It also found that Simpson failed to show “manifest
errors of law or newly discovered evidence that entitle[d]
him to any further relief” and denied the motion.
Id. at *2. Simpson sought a certificate of
appealability from the Fifth Circuit but was denied. (Order
Denying Certificate of Appealability, Jan. 19, 2016, No.
4:12-cv-31 (E.D. Tex.), Docket No. 36.)
DOJ OFFICE OF ...