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 of America v. John Tomkins

February 28, 2011

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
JOHN TOMKINS,



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Robert M. Dow, Jr.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Before the Court is Defendant John Tomkins's motion for an evidentiary or Franks hearing [175]. For the reasons set forth below, the motion [175] is respectfully denied.

I. Factual Background

The superseding indictment alleges that between approximately May 2005 and January 2007, Defendant John Tomkins mailed a series of threatening letters and packages, including pipe bombs, to various investment firms and their employees. Through those letters and packages, Defendant allegedly attempted to induce the investment firms and their employees, by threats of kidnapping, bodily injury, and death, to manipulate and cause the common stock of 3COM and Navarre Corporation to trade at artificially high prices, thereby fraudulently increasing the market value of Defendant's investment positions in those stocks.

As to 3COM, the superseding indictment specifically alleges the following: From about January 2005 and continuing through September 2005, Defendant acquired shares of 3COM stock and call option contracts. Beginning in May 2005, and continuing through October 25, 2005, Defendant sent a series of three threatening letters to investment company executives in which he attempted to induce the executives to manipulate the price of 3COM stock by making purchases sufficient to drive the price of the stock to $6.66 by October 31, 2005. In a letter to an investment company executive dated May 23, 2005, Defendant wrote: "I need for you to start buying stock in 3Com Corporation (COMS). You have until October 31 to get the price to 6.66. If you can accomplish it sooner all the better that way you will not have to worry about hearing from us again but it MUST be done by then NO EXCUSES." The indictment further alleges that Defendant warned that, if his demands were not met, the executive could suffer grave consequences: "You will help, after all it is so easy to kill somebody it is almost scary. Just think it could be as simple as mailing a package just like The Unibomber used to do, or maybe like Salvo did in the D.C. sniper case just a small hole in the trunk of the car and BANG!!" The letter also warned: "[P]ossibly the worst thing that can happen to someone is to have a child or grandchild go missing. Kids are snatched all the time." Finally, the letter cautioned the executive not to go to the authorities: "And don't even think about going to the authorities because as I said there are so many choices for me to be able to reach out and touch your life that it is not worth the risk."

The indictment further alleges that Defendant attempted to similarly manipulate the price of Navarre Corporation stock for his own financial benefit. According to the indictment, Defendant purchased shares of Navarre stock beginning in January 2006 and continuing through December 2006, and also purchased shares of Navarre call option contracts beginning in February 2006 and continuing through March 2007. Then, in approximately March 2006, after making his initial Navarre stock and option purchases, and continuing through February 2007, Defendant sent a series of threatening letters to investment companies and investment company executives, in which he demanded that sufficient purchases of Navarre stock and options be made to drive up the price of the stock to certain target prices, by certain deadlines. For example, on approximately March 13, 2006, Defendant mailed four letters, including one to a senior officer of Navarre. In that letter, Defendant complained of the officer's compensation and the decline in the price of the company's stock, and made threats against the executive and his family:

The way I see it you owe it to us to make things right or I will make your life as miserable as mine. The one thing that you need to remember is that no one is out of reach * * * * You will help, after all when you stop and think about how easy to kill somebody it is almost scary. Just think it could be as simple as mailing a package just like The Unibomber use to do it is so easy it can be done from anywhere and if it wasn't for the fact that he was turned in by his own brother he may have never Salvo did in the D.C. sniper case just a small hole in the trunk of the car with high powered riffle and BANG!!

The letter then set forth the following demands:

By now you are wondering what I am expecting from you, well it is rather simple actually, within the next 60 days you are going to find a way to reverse the downward spiral of the stock price and get it over $6.66 or the devil will be paying you a visit. I do not care if you have to buy all the shares yourself. It would do wonders for the stock price if there was to be a rumor that you were thinking of taking the company private it sure would fuck with all those asshole short sellers or if you have to you could suck off a couple of mutual fund mangers in order to get them to buy this stock * * * I really don't care but whatever you do the price had better reverse in a hurry.

The three other March 13 letters were addressed to investment company executives, contained similar threatening language, and demanded that the corporation stock price move to $6.66 by May 1, 2006.

In addition, according to the superseding indictment, on or about June 9, 2006, Defendant mailed approximately four more letters from Palatine, Illinois. Three of those letters were addressed to investment management executives and stated:

TIMES UP

LET'S MAKE THIS INTERESTING SHALL WE. I HAVE ACQUIRED 3 TARGETS. ONE IS A RELATIVE, ONE IS A CO-WORKER'S RELATIVE AND ONE IS A FRIEND OR NEIGHBOR. IF FROM JUNE 13 THROUGH JUNE 17 NAVR'S CLOSING STOCK PRICE IS GREEN ON ONE OF THE FOUR DAYS I WILL SHIP ALL THREE PACKAGES. IF IT ENDS GREEN ON TWO OF THE DAYS I WILL SHIP TWO PACKAGES, IF IT ENDS GREEN ON THREE OF THE DAYS I WILL SHIP JUST ONE. IF ALL FOUR DAYS END GREEN THEN YOU WILL HAVE BOUGHT YOURSELF ANOTHER MONTH.

IT IS BETTER TO REIGN IN HELL, THAN TO SERVE IN HEAVEN The indictment further alleges that on January 26, 2007, Defendant deposited for mailing at the Rolling Meadows Post Office in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, two parcels addressed to individuals at investment firms. One parcel was addressed to an individual at Janus Small Cap ("Janus") in Denver, Colorado. A second parcel was addressed to an individual at American Century in Kansas City, Missouri. ...


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.