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UNITED STATES v. MILLER

May 18, 1984

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
VERNON L. MILLER



The opinion of the court was delivered by: SIMMONS

 This matter is presently before this Court on the defendant's, Vernon L. Miller, motion to suppress oral statements and tangible evidence given by the defendant to agents of the Internal Revenue Service. The defendant alleges that evidence in this case was obtained in violation of Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 16 L. Ed. 2d 694, 86 S. Ct. 1602 (1966), and the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution. The defendant also seeks to interview certain IRS agents. Both the suppression motion and the discovery motion are denied.

 I

 Background.

 In a four count indictment the defendant, Vernon L. Miller, and his spouse, Janice D. Miller, *fn1" were charged with attempted tax evasion. Vernon Miller is the owner and sole proprietor of Vernon L. Miller Drafting Company, a proprietorship which provides detailed designed drawings to steel fabricating companies. Janice Miller is the bookkeeper for the drafting business. The indictment charges that the Millers knowingly filed fraudulent joint federal income tax returns, understanding their actual federal income tax for the taxable years 1979 through 1980. An evidentiary hearing was held on the defendant's suppression motion.

 The evidence at the suppression hearing established that on March 2, 1982, two Special Agents from the Criminal Division of the Internal Revenue Service visited Vernon L. Miller at his home. The agents properly identified themselves, displayed their credentials and explained to Mr. Miller that they were investigating the Millers' federal income tax liability. At that time, one of the agents read Mr. Miller his rights from a printed card. *fn2" Mr. Miller acknowledged that he understood his rights. The defendant then showed the agents several business records and answered related questions. During the interview, several of the answers given by Mr. Miller indicated that Mrs. Miller was primarily involved in the bookkeeping aspects of the proprietorship. At the request of the agents, Mrs. Miller was summoned from a separate area of the house. Mrs. Miller's rights were also read from the printed card; she too acknowledged her understanding and answered the agents questions. The entire interview lasted approximately three hours. The agents described the interview as "relaxed" and noted that the "Millers were polite." At no time were the Millers placed under arrest.

 Prior to the conclusion of the interview, the agents requested that the Millers permit the agents to inspect and photocopy their business records. Mr. Miller supplied the agents with certain records and obtained a receipt for the same. On March 15, 1982, Mr. Miller telephoned the agents to inform the agents that they could obtain additional records if the Millers' records were returned that same day. The agents agreed; the Millers' records were obtained, photocopied and returned the same day. On May 12, 1982, Mr. Miller telephoned the agents requesting that they return the records he had given them at the March 2, 1982, interview. The records were returned and the defendant signed a receipt acknowledging their return.

 On July 29, 1982, two special IRS agents again interviewed the Millers at their home. The Millers were interviewed for approximately one hour. The Millers answered questions, but refused to review a check spread prepared by the agents, believing it unnecessary to do so because the Millers had previously supplied the agents with their cancelled checks and related background information.

 A few days later, the agents telephoned Mr. Miller to make another appointment for an interview and for the Millers to review the check spread. Mr. Miller again reiterated his unwillingness to review a check spread, but scheduled an interview for August 11, 1982. The Millers later cancelled this appointment because they were not prepared to meet with the agents. Another appointment was scheduled. Later that month, the agents called upon the Millers at their residence. At that time, the Millers refused to meet with the agents because the Millers were hosting a couple from Haiti and did not have the time to be interviewed.

 The following month, Mr. Miller telephoned the agents to reschedule the cancelled interview. Afterwards, the agents met with the Millers on September 20, 1982, and reviewed their business records. The agents final contact with the Millers occurred on November 5, 1982. On that day, the agents visited the Millers' home to obtain the Millers' consent to extend the statute of limitation for the taxable years 1977 and 1978. The Millers refused to give their consent and refused to sign the consent form. The final visit lasted approximately fifteen minutes.

 After the March 2, 1982, interview, the Millers were never advised of their constitutional rights. At no time during the IRS investigation were the Millers arrested or taken to the police station. In addition, all interviews with the Millers were conducted at the Millers' residence.

 The defendant's motion to suppress raises two issues: (1) whether the Millers should have been given full Miranda warnings before their interviews with IRS agents and (2) whether the statements and tangible evidence given the IRS agents by the Millers were involuntarily obtained so as to constitute an independent violation of the defendant's Fifth Amendment privilege against compulsory self-incrimination. The short answers are no to both questions.

 II.

 The Miranda ...


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