United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Benjamin F. Langner, Melinda A. Williams, United States
Attorney for Plaintiff.
M. Meadows, Federal Correctional Institution Elkton, Pro Se.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
RICHARD NELSON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Defendant Sean M. Meadows'
Pro Se Motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to Vacate, Set
Aside, or Correct Sentence by a Person in Federal Custody
[Doc. No. 200] (“§ 2255
Mot.”). The Government opposes Defendant's
motion. (Govt.'s Response [Doc. No. 205].) For the
reasons set forth below, Defendant's motion is denied.
Charges and Initial Sentence
Government filed an indictment against Defendant dated
October 5, 2014 [Doc. No. 1] alleging mail fraud, wire fraud,
money laundering, and participation in a transaction
involving the proceeds of fraud. The indictment alleges that
from 2007 until April 2014, Defendant Meadows participated in
a scheme to defraud more than 50 investors of over $10
million in assets, which Defendant used for his own personal
expenses or to pay off other investors in Ponzi-type
payments. [Id. at 2-3.] Many of his victims were
retirees-some of whom were terminally ill. [Doc. No. 193 at
20.] Defendant pleaded guilty in a change of plea hearing
held before this Court on December 10, 2014. [Doc. No. 69.]
hearing, Defendant was asked a number of questions to ensure
that he understood the consequences of his guilty plea.
Relevant to Defendant's § 2255 Motion, he engaged in
a colloquy with counsel for the Government, Benjamin Langner,
MR. LANGNER: And you understand that at this point in time,
the Government is not taking any position as to whether or
not you've accepted responsibility?
DEFENDANT: I do.
MR. LANGNER: . . . [T]he advisory guidelines range would be
188 to 235 months if you receive the reduction for acceptance
of responsibility and 262 to 327 months if you do not receive
that reduction. Do you understand that?
DEFENDANT: I do.
[Doc. No. 71 at 21.]
colloquy between Defendant and his counsel Mark Larsen,
Defendant further demonstrated his understanding of the
nature of his potential sentencing range:
MR. LARSEN: . . . [I]f you get three levels off for
acceptance of responsibility, even under our own view of how
the guidelines work, you'd be looking at probably, we
think, 63 to 78 months just under the guidelines. Is that
DEFENDANT: Yes, it is.
MR. LARSEN: So even under our own view of the guidelines,
you're looking at more than five years in this case.
MR. LARSEN: And you realize that the Judge could go along
with everything that [the Government] just said and, even if
you do get credit for acceptance of responsibility,
you're looking at 15 to 20 years on this case?
MR. LARSEN: And [if] she doesn't give you credit for
acceptance of responsibility, you're looking at 22 to 27,
28 years. Is that right?
MR. LARSEN: You're still prepared to proceed here today,
even with those numbers in mind?
DEFENDANT: I am.
[Id. at 26-27.]
also demonstrated his understanding that by pleading guilty
he had no special agreement or cooperation arrangement with
the Government such that it would be recommending a downward
departure in this case:
MR. LANGNER: Mr. Meadows, you understand that there is no
agreement between you and the government as to your ...