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. SEPULVEDA

April 9, 1991

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
ROBERT SEPULVEDA, Defendant


Charles R. Norgle, United States District Judge.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: NORGLE

CHARLES R. NORGLE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

 Defendant Robert Sepulveda has filed a motion to vacate his conviction pursuant to the All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. ยง 1651. On June 26, 1985, defendant pled guilty to Counts One and Two of an indictment charging him with mail fraud. Defendant now argues that his conviction should be vacated because the indictment charged that he deprived the City of Chicago and its citizens of intangible, and not property, rights. McNally v. United States, 483 U.S. 350, 97 L. Ed. 2d 292, 107 S. Ct. 2875 (1986). *fn1" Further, defendant argues that a writ of error coram nobis should issue because the judgment entered upon his plea of guilty was erroneous and has produced lingering civil disabilities. For the reasons discussed below, defendant's motion is denied.

 Defendant served as a Chicago Police Officer assigned to the Major Accident Investigations Section ("MAIS"), including "hit and run" cases in which one or more individuals left the scene of an accident without filing the police report required by Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 95-1/2, paras. 11-402, 404 and 406. Noncompliance with these statutes can result in a maximum fine not to exceed $ 1000 and a maximum period of imprisonment of up to one year (see Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 38, para. 1005-9-1). In addition, the violator's driver's license may be suspended.

 The MAIS mailed notices to individuals whose vehicles were reported as being involved in these accidents, informing them that they were wanted for questioning and also apprising them of the penalties for noncompliance with the statute. Defendant was responsible for drafting these letters, mailing them, and conducting the resulting interviews. When these individuals arrived at MAIS, defendant warned them that they were in serious trouble and subject to fines and the loss of their license. He then demanded that some of these individuals pay him money to avoid these consequences; other individuals offered him money to do so. Defendant either did not file charges against these people or he filed false reports concerning the accidents in question.

 The indictment charges a scheme:

 
(a) to defraud the City of Chicago and its citizens of the right to have the business of the Chicago Police Department Major Accident Investigation Section conducted in accordance with the laws of Illinois; honestly, fairly, impartially, and free from corruption, collusion, partiality, dishonesty, conflict of interest, bribery, and fraud; and
 
(b) to obtain money by means of false and fraudulent representations, pretenses and promises. [Emphasis added.]

 (January 15, 1985 Indictment, Count I, Paragraph 2.) The factual basis for the defendant's plea of guilty read as follows:

 
Defendant will plead guilty because he is in fact guilty of the charges contained in counts One and Two of the Indictment. In pleading guilty to these counts, defendant acknowledges that:
 
(1) As charged in Count One of the Indictment, beginning at an unknown time and continuing through at least June 3, 1983, the defendant, a Chicago Police Officer assigned to the "hit and run" division of the Chicago Police Department, participated in a mail fraud scheme at the offices of the Major Accident Investigation Section of the Chicago Police Department at 54 West Hubbard Street in Chicago. As part of the scheme, the defendant would receive information that a particular driver had left the scene of an accident without filing a police report. The defendant then would send a letter to that individual requesting that he come to 54 West Hubbard to explain why no report had been filed. When the person arrived at the defendant's office at 54 West Hubbard Street, the defendant told that person that he or she was in a lot of trouble and could lose his or her license and could be fined. After the defendant warned the individuals, he took money from them to keep them out of trouble and to make sure they didn't lose their licenses or get fined. After the defendant took the money, no charges were filed and the defendant filled out a false Supplemental Report on the accident. It was part of the above scheme that on or about January 22, 1983, the defendant caused a letter to be mailed to Ike Chae which letter was placed in the United States Mails to be delivered according to the direction thereon in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1341.
 
(2) As charged in Count Two of the Indictment, and as part of the scheme to defraud outlined in Count One, on or about March 27, 1983, the defendant caused a letter to be mailed to Kirk Davis which letter was placed in the United States Mails to be delivered according to the directions thereof, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1341.

 Plea Agreement, pp. 1-2.

 In his motion, defendant argues that he is entitled to a writ of error coram nobis vacating his conviction. *fn2" Because frequent use of such writs would discard the benefits of the finality of judgments, they are reserved for compelling circumstances. United States v. Keane, 852 F.2d 199, 202 (7th Cir. 1988), cert. denied 490 U.S. 1084, 104 L. Ed. 2d 670, 109 S. Ct. 2109 (1989); Kerner, 895 F.2d at 1162. Thus, the writ may be granted only if the alleged defects in the prior proceeding sapped that proceeding of any validity. Keane, 852 F.2d at 203; Kerner, 895 F.2d at 1162. The petitioner also must show that the judgment of conviction produces ...


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.