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United States v. Flynn

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

March 7, 2019

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.

          Ian M. Comisky, Esq., and Patrick J. Egan, Esq., Fox Rothschild LLP, Philadelphia, PA, on behalf of Defendant.

          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”) Motion for Bail Pending Appeal [Docket No. 143]. Flynn requests release from prison pending his appeal from this Court's January 24, 2019 Judgment of Conviction and Sentence. Plaintiff United States of America (the “Government”) has filed a Response [Docket No. 148] opposing the Motion.

         II. BACKGROUND

         On December 21, 2016, a grand jury indicted Flynn with conspiracy to defraud the United States in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371, tax evasion in violation of 26 U.S.C.§ 7201, and filing false tax returns in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7206(1). See generally Indictment [Docket No. 1]. After several continuances of the trial date, trial was set for June 11, 2018. On June 4, 2018, just one week before trial was scheduled to begin, Flynn reached a Plea Agreement with the Government and entered a plea of guilty to Count 1 (conspiracy to defraud the United States) and Count 3 (false tax return - 2007) of the Second Superseding Indictment (“SSI”) [Docket No. 83]. See Plea Agreement [Docket No. 90]; Min. Entry [Docket No. 89]; Plea Tr. [Docket No. 93].

         On December 11, 2018, more than half a year after his guilty plea and just nine days before he was scheduled to be sentenced, Flynn reversed course and, through new counsel, moved to continue his sentencing and withdraw his guilty plea. The Court denied Flynn's motion to withdraw the guilty plea, and sentenced him to 60 months imprisonment on Count 1 and 27 months on Count 3, for a total prison term of 87 months. Sentencing J. [Docket No. 139] at 2. The Court also ordered Flynn to pay restitution of $5, 392, 442.87. Id. at 6. At the sentencing hearing, the Court granted the Government's motion to have Flynn taken into custody. See Hr'g Tr. [Docket No. 151] at 147-152.

         On February 5, 2019, Flynn appealed his conviction and sentence. Also on February 5, Flynn filed the instant Motion for Bail Pending Appeal.

         III. DISCUSSION

         A. Legal Standard

         A defendant's release pending appeal is governed by 18 U.S.C. § 3143(b)(1). The statute falls within the Bail Reform Act of 1984, which “made it much more difficult for a convicted criminal defendant to obtain his release pending appeal, ” and has led to the intended result of “fewer convicted persons remain[ing] at large while pursuing their appeals.” United States v. Marshall, 78 F.3d 365, 366 (8th Cir. 1996) (per curiam). “[R]elease pending appeal now requires that the district court . . . find (A) by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant is unlikely to flee or pose a danger to others, and (B) that his appeal ‘raises a substantial question of law or fact' that is likely to result in reversal, new trial, or reduction to a sentence that would be served before disposition of the appeal.” Id. (quoting 18 U.S.C. § 3143(b)(1)).

         1. Likely to Flee

         Flynn has not met his burden of showing by clear and convincing evidence that he is unlikely to flee. As the Court noted at the sentencing hearing, Flynn has demonstrated a pattern of using last-ditch efforts to delay the day of reckoning for his crimes. He entered a guilty plea on the eve of trial and then attempted to withdraw that plea on the eve of sentencing. Flynn also has the knowledge and means to flee. He travels ...


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