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United States v. Toran

United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Springfield Division

February 27, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
GREGORY TORAN, Defendant.

          OPINION

          SUE E. MYERSCOUGH, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on Defendant Gregory Toran's Motion for Stay of Sentence (d/e 241). Defendant asserts that, when balancing Defendant's health and the potential consequences of his incarceration at the facility designated by the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) with the factors of 18 U.S.C. § 3143(b)(1), the Court should stay the execution of Defendant's sentence pending his appeal. The Government objects, stating Defendant has not supported his claim with medical or other evidence and has not demonstrated that the appeal raises substantial questions of law or fact.

         On February 27, 2017, the Court held a hearing on Defendant's Motion. For the reasons that follow, the Motion is DENIED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         In July 2016, following a bench trial, this Court found Defendant guilty of conspiracy to defraud the United States in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371 (Count 1) and seven counts of mail fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1341. In January 2017, the Court sentenced Defendant to 60 months' imprisonment on each of Counts 1 through 8, to run concurrently; three years of supervised release on each of Counts 1 through 8, to run concurrently; an $800 special assessment; forfeiture of property; and restitution of $4.7 million.

         In addition, the Court recommended to BOP that Defendant serve his sentence in the BOP medical facility located in Lexington, Kentucky; Springfield, Missouri; or Rochester, Minnesota. The Court allowed Defendant to self-report as directed by BOP. On January 26, 2017, Defendant filed a notice of appeal.

         On February 13, 2017, Defendant filed his Motion for Stay of Sentence pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3143 and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 38. Defendant indicates that, on or about February 2, 2017, the BOP directed Defendant to report to the minimum security federal satellite camp in Thomson, Illinois at 2:00 p.m. on February 28, 2017. The Court directed the Government to file an expedited response to the Motion and set the matter for a hearing on February 27, 2017.

         In the motion, Defendant notes that he suffers from numerous health conditions, including high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, ulcerative colitis, high cholesterol, hepatitis C, sciatica, degenerative disc disease, osteoarthritis, and sensorineural hearing loss. Defendant expresses concern that BOP is unwilling to assign Defendant to a proper facility to address his medical needs, arguing that his sentence of 60 months “is tantamount to a death sentence.” Mem. at 2 (d/e 242). Defendant asserts that he does not pose a threat to another person or the community, his appeal is not being pursued for the purpose of delay, and his appeal “will likely raise a substantial question of law or fact likely to result in reversal or an order for a new trial[.]” Mem. at 3.

         On February 21, 2017, the Government filed its expedited response (d/e 244) objecting to Defendant's request. The Government argues that Defendant is actually requesting that the Court place him on bond pending the completion of his appeal. The Government asserts that Defendant's claim is unsupported by medical or any other evidence. According to the Government, Defendant suffers from “typical medical conditions” and that Thomson provides a host of medical services to address Defendant's medical conditions. Resp. at 3 (d/e 244) (attaching the Admission and Orientation Handbook for Thomson which details the types of medical services available at the facility and local community). The Government further argues that Defendant has not shown that his appeal raises a substantial question of law or fact likely to result in reversal, a new trial, a sentence that does not include a term of imprisonment, or a reduced sentence to a term of imprisonment less than the total of the time already served.

         The Court held a hearing on February 27, 2017 and took the matter under advisement.

         II. ANALYSIS

         Release of a defendant pending appeal is governed by Section 3143(b) of Title 18, which provides that a person who has been found guilty of an offense, sentenced to a term of imprisonment, and who has filed an appeal shall be detained unless the judicial officer finds:

(A) by clear and convincing evidence that the person is not likely to flee or pose a danger to the safety of any other person or the community if released under section 3142(b)[1] or (c)[2] of this title; and
(B) that the appeal is not for the purpose of delay and raises a substantial question of law or fact ...

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