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United States of America v. Wayne C. Scott

January 12, 2011

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
WAYNE C. SCOTT, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. No. 1:09-cr-00548-1-Blanche M. Manning, Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Bauer, Circuit Judge.

ARGUED SEPTEMBER 29, 2010

Before BAUER, WOOD and WILLIAMS, Circuit Judges.

Wayne C. Scott pleaded guilty to two counts of mail fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1341. He appeals his sentence to this court and argues that he is entitled to resentencing because (1) the district court ignored the fact that the defendant's coconspirator was never convicted or sentenced, and (2) the defendant's sentence is unreasonable. We have reviewed the district court's sentencing procedures de novo and the reasonableness of the defendant's sentence for abuse of discretion. For the following reasons, we affirm.

I. BACKGROUND

The defendant engaged in two fraudulent schemes, both of which were carried out in almost the exact same manner. First, in 2007, the defendant represented himself to be Chris Harper, the advertising manager of a registered Illinois corporation, Media Concepts. Then, in 2009, the defendant represented himself to be Chris Jenkins, the advertising manager of a Delaware corporation, Moyer Direct. Acting through these companies, the defendant contacted random individuals through mail, e-mail, and the telephone, ultimately convincing over 250 people to invest in Media Concepts' and Moyer Direct's monthly advertising campaigns. The defendant described these monthly advertising campaigns as "tested and proven," "absolutely safe," and "absolutely guaranteed" to at least double an investment within sixty days. In reality, neither Media Concepts nor Moyer Direct engaged in advertising campaigns, and the investors received only a rude awakening. The defendant, however, pocketed at least $804,709, which he used to buy gifts and luxury items.

In June 2009, a federal grand jury charged the defendant and his coconspirator, Gabriel A. Brown, in a six-count indictment for engaging in a scheme to defraud investors through the use of the United States mail. The defendant ultimately pleaded guilty to two counts of mail fraud, and the district court sentenced him to 63 months in prison, the lowest possible sentence within the advisory United States Sentencing Guideline range. For unknown reasons, however, prosecutors dismissed all charges against the coconspirator. The defendant now appeals his sentence to this court, asking that we vacate and remand for resentencing.

II. DISCUSSION

The bulk of the defendant's arguments concern the sentencing statute codified at 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a). In relevant part, this statute states,

(a) Factors to be considered in imposing a sentence.-The court shall impose a sentence sufficient, but not greater than necessary, to comply with the purposes set forth in paragraph (2) of this subsection. The court, in determining the particular sentence to be imposed, shall consider-

(1) the nature and circumstances of the offense and the history and characteristics of the defendant;

(2) the need for the sentence imposed-

(A) to reflect the seriousness of the offense, to promote respect for the law, and to provide just punishment for the offense;

(B) to afford adequate deterrence to criminal conduct;

(C) to protect the public from further crimes of the defendant; and

(D) to provide the defendant with needed educational or vocational training, medical care, or other correctional ...


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