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Usa v. Michael Choi

May 13, 2011

USA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MICHAEL CHOI,
DEFENDANT.



MEMORANDUM & ORDER

Tucker, J. May____, 2011

Presently before this Court is Defendant's Motion for Reconsideration (Doc. 103) and the Government's Response in Opposition thereto (Doc. 104). For the reasons set forth below, Defendant's Motion is denied.

I. Background

On September 30, 2010, Defendant Michael Choi ("Defendant" or "Choi") along with co-Defendants Sung Mahn Gang, Hee Chan Bang, and Keun S. Hwang were charged by Indictment (Doc. 1) for one count of conspiracy in violation 18 U.S.C. § 371, seven counts of making false statements in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001, three counts of filing false tax returns in violation of

26 U.S.C. § 7206(1), and one count of aiding and abetting in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2.*fn1 On October 1, 2010, Defendant Choi was arrested and arraigned.

On October 5, 2010, Defendant Choi was released on bail in the amount of $100,000 secured by his residence located at 74 Sunflower Way, Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania ("residential real estate"). The Court additionally ordered (Doc. 10) Choi (1) to report to Pretrial Services as directed and, (2) because Choi had submitted a urine specimen that was positive for both cocaine and marijuana, to undergo drug treatment and submit to random drug testing.

On March 17, 2011, the Government filed a Superseding Indictment (Doc. 77) against Defendant Choi and Jong Soon Park, in which Defendant Choi was charged with two counts of conspiracy in violation 18 U.S.C. § 371, three counts of false statements in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001, and two counts of filing false tax returns in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7206(1).*fn2 Trial in this matter is presently scheduled to commence on August 9, 2011.*fn3

On April 26, 2011, the Government filed a Motion to Revoke Bail (Doc. 93). In the Motion, the Government argued that Choi failed to meet the requirements of bail as evidenced by

(1) the test results obtained by Pretrial Services for urine samples submitted by Defendant Choi on January 3 and April 4, 2011 that both tested positive for cocaine; and (2) Defendant Choi's statements to Pretrial Services on April 25, 2011 admitting that he had submitted urine samples that tested positive for cocaine on those two dates. The Government also noted that Defendant Choi failed to report to Pretrial Services as directed on April 18, 2011.

On April 26, 2011, the Court held a hearing on the Government's Motion.*fn4 The Court found the testimony presented through the Government's witness, the Pretrial Services Officer, to be credible. The Court found that clear and convincing evidence existed to demonstrate Defendant violated the conditions of his release by using and possessing a controlled substance on January 3 and April 4, 2011. The Court found little credence in Choi's claim that he somehow unintentionally used cocaine on those occasions and that he was merely "pretending" to take cocaine while playing a board game with other persons who were purposely using the controlled substance. The Court also found that clear and convincing evidence existed to establish that Defendant Choi failed to report to Pretrial Services as directed. Moreover, the Court concluded that based on the totality of Defendant Choi's conduct including his repeated drug use, his failure to report to Pretrial Services, his dishonesty and his unsuitability for additional treatment, it had been established by a preponderance of the evidence that Defendant was unlikely to abide by any condition or combination of conditions of release. Accordingly, the Court granted the Government's Motion to Revoke bail in an Order dated April 26, 2011 (Doc.

98) and Defendant Choi was remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal on the same day.

On May 5, 2011, Defendant Choi filed a Motion for Reconsideration (Doc. 103). On May 6, 2011, the Government filed a Response in Opposition thereto (Doc. 104). The Court now addresses this pending motion.

II. Legal Standard

Motions for reconsideration are governed by Local Civil Rule 7.1(g), incorporated by Local Criminal Rule 1.2. The Third Circuit has held that a motion for reconsideration will be granted only if the moving party can demonstrate one of the following: (1) an intervening change in the controlling ...


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