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United States of America v. Carey L. Breshers

July 5, 2012


Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. No. 10-CR-30212-MJR--Michael J. Reagan, Judge.

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

ARGUED MAY 29, 2012--

Before WOOD, SYKES, and TINDER, Circuit Judges.

Following his convictions for kidnapping and interference with commerce by robbery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1201(a)(1) and 1951, Carey Breshers received a sentence that included a restitution order of $44,618.50 pursuant to the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act (MVRA), 18 U.S.C. § 3663A. On appeal, Breshers argues that the restitution was unauthorized because his victims did not suffer physical injury.

Breshers failed to object to the order before the district court, however, and this omission leaves us with a record that was never properly developed on the ques- tion of the nature of the victims' injuries and associated expenses. Finding no plain error in the district court's order, we affirm.


On October 26, 2010, armed with a firearm, Breshers walked into World Finance, Inc., a consumer installment loan business in O'Fallon, Illinois. He instructed two World Finance employees, M.L. and T.A., to enter a back room in the building and asked them about their personal finances. The two employees told him they had no money. Breshers then asked them where the bank for World Finance is located, and they said South Carolina. He directed M.L. and T.A. to leave their cell phones, lock up the office, and get into T.A.'s Pontiac Grand Prix. T.A. was instructed to drive while he and M.L. sat in the backseat. Breshers told M.L. and T.A. that he needed money. T.A. suggested that they could get money from World Finance. He told her to drive back to the company's office and, once there, she wrote a check for $3,000 at his direction. They made two attempts to cash the check at a nearby bank, both unsuc- cessful.

At that point, M.L. and T.A. told Breshers that they had about $1,000 available at World Finance. Appar- ently willing to settle for this lower amount, Breshers ordered them to return to the office, where they gave him $1,104. After that, Breshers instructed them to get back into T.A.'s car and directed T.A. to drive to St. Louis, Missouri (a little less than 20 miles away). During the ride, he commented that he had committed a similar offense in Oklahoma and that his hostage had been freed unharmed. He did the same with T.A. and M.L., releasing them behind an abandoned building off the highway. He was arrested on October 31, 2010, for a separate offense and later admitted to the World Finance crimes.

A grand jury returned a four-count indictment against Breshers on November 17, 2010: two counts of kidnapping, one count of interference with interstate commerce by robbery, and one count of use or carrying a firearm during a crime of violence. He entered a plea of guilty on all four counts without a plea agreement. Breshers later filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea on Count 3 because he had not been informed that it carried a 25-year minimum sentence. He then filed an amended motion to withdraw his guilty pleas on all counts because there was significant evidentiary over- lap on the four counts. The district court dismissed Count 3, but it denied his motion with respect to the other counts.

The district court then proceeded to sentencing. T.A. provided a victim statement in which she requested the maximum sentence for Breshers. She testified that the crime had caused her marital problems, loss of employ- ment, strain on friends and family, and the destruction of her sense of security. She further testified that she now suffers from anxiety, insomnia, panic attacks, and memory problems. She is under psychiatric care and takes antidepressant medication. Since the offense, T.A. has been on temporary disability, which pays 66% of her normal salary. She requested restitution for $105 in gas from October 29, 2010, through June 15, 2011, for transportation to and from the facility where she receives medical treatment. She estimated additional transportation costs for the following year at about $200.

T.A. stated that she had lost eight months of wages and that worker's compensation pays only $1,600; she repre- sented that she would be compensated $2,400 if she was unable to return to work in the following year.

Marilyn Messer, World Acceptance Corporation Senior Vice President of Human Resources, submitted a statement describing the impact of the offense on the business. She reported that World Acceptance, which does business as World Finance, has paid $11,947.40 for M.L. and $14,695.34 for T.A. through insurance and its worker's compensation carrier, The Hartford. It has reserved $55,654 and $65,908 for the care and support of M.L. and T.A., respectively. World Acceptance was not sure whether M.L. or T.A. would return to work. It also lost the $1,104 that was taken during the course of the robbery.

The district court sentenced Breshers to 293 months each for Counts 1 and 2, and 240 months for Count 4, running concurrently. It added three years' supervised release for each count, also to run concur- rently. The district court also ordered a $300 special assessment, no fine, and restitution of $40,289.50 to The Hartford, $1,104 to World Acceptance, and $3,225 to T.A. Breshers appeals only the restitution orders for The Hartford ...

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