Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States. v. Knight

United States District Court, Third Circuit

July 3, 2013

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
COURTENEY L. KNIGHT, MICHAEL A. SLADE, JR., JOAN WOODS CHALKER

MEMORANDUM

R. BARCLAY SURRICK, J.

Presently before the Court is Defendant Courteney L. Knight’s Motion for a Bill of Particulars (ECF No. 65), Defendant Michael A. Slade, Jr.’s Motion for a Bill of Particulars (ECF No. 68), and Defendant Joan Woods Chalker’s Motion for a Bill of Particulars (ECF No. 72). For the following reason, Defendants’ Motions will be denied.

I. BACKGROUND

A. Procedural History

On January 22, 2013, a federal grand jury returned a sixty-seven count Superseding Indictment against Dorothy June Brown, Joan Woods Chalker, Michael A. Slade, Jr., Courteney L. Knight, and Anthony Smoot. (Superseding Indictment (“Indictment”), ECF No. 47.)[1] These charges arise out of an alleged scheme perpetrated by Brown to defraud three separate charter schools out of over $6.7 million.

Chalker is charged with twenty-five counts of wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343 (Counts 15-37; 51-52) and seven counts of obstruction of justice, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1519 (Counts 55-57, 65-66) and § 1512(c)(2) (Counts 61-62). All of the Defendants are charged in Count 53 with conspiracy to obstruct justice, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371. In addition to the conspiracy charges, Slade and Knight are each charged with two substantive counts of obstruction of justice, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1519 and 2. (Slade-Counts 59, 64; Knight-Counts 60, 64.)

On March 18, 2013, Defendants, Knight, Slade, and Chalker each filed a Motion for a Bill of Particulars. (Knight’s Mot., ECF No. 65; Slade’s Mot., ECF No. 68; Chalker’s Mot. ECF No. 72.) The Government filed a response to these Motions on April 22, 2013. (Gov’t’s Resp., ECF No. 93.) Chalker filed a reply in further support of her Motion on May 8, 2013. (Chalker’s Reply, ECF No. 97.) Oral argument was held on June 20, 2012. (Min. Entry, ECF No. 107.)

B. Factual Background

The Indictment alleges that Brown intentionally devised a scheme to defraud three separate charter schools: Agora (Counts 1-14, 38-41); Planet Abacus (Counts 15-37); and Laboratory Charter School (Counts 42-50, 51-52).[2] Brown was the founder of the schools (Counts 1-14 ¶ 1; Counts 15-37 ¶¶ 4, 18) and also the founder of two private educational management organizations: The Cynwyd Group, LLC (“Cynwyd”); and AcademicQuest, LLC (“AcademicQuest”) (Counts 1-14 ¶ 2; Counts 15-37 ¶ 26). As part of the scheme to defraud, Brown purportedly fabricated management contracts between the charter schools and the private educational management organizations in order to divert funds from the schools to her own private companies. (Counts 1-14 ¶ 18; Counts 15-37 ¶¶ 26, 28.) To make it appear as though the schools had entered into board-approved contracts, Brown and Chalker allegedly falsified various board meeting minutes and resolutions to reflect that the board had voted and approved the contracts. (Counts 1-14 ¶ 20; Counts 15-37 ¶¶ 30, 32, 34, 38-39.)

In addition, Brown and Chalker are charged with misappropriating funds intended for use by the charter schools and directing those funds to be paid to themselves or others. (Counts 38-41 ¶ 8; Counts 42-50 ¶ 5; Counts 51-52 ¶ 4.)[3] All told, the scheme defrauded the schools and their sources of public funding out of over $6.7 million.

In Count 53 it is alleged that Defendants conspired to obstruct justice by “altering, destroying and falsifying records, and engag[ing] in various overt acts in furtherance of the conspiracy” in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1512(b)(3), 1512(c)(2) and 1519. (Count 53 ¶ 3.) As part of the conspiracy, Defendants allegedly fabricated various contracts, board meeting minutes, and other documents in an effort to conceal the scheme to defraud perpetrated by Brown and others. (Id. at ¶¶ 4-31.) The Indictment further alleges ten substantive counts of obstruction of justice.

II. DISCUSSION

A. Legal Standard

Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 7(f) governs a defendant’s request for a bill of ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.