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United States v. Khoshabe

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

February 28, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Plaintiff,
v.
ANTHONY KHOSHABE, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          John Z. Lee, Judge

         Defendant Anthony Khoshabe (“Khoshabe”), along with Albert Rossini, Babajan Khoshabe, and Thomas Murphy (collectively, “Defendants”), have been indicted on multiple counts of mail and wire fraud. The charges against them arise out of a purported scheme whereby the Defendants are alleged to have fraudulently induced various individuals to invest in nonexistent real estate interests. Khoshabe has moved to suppress certain statements he made to FBI agents on July 14, 2015, arguing the statements were given involuntarily. Because the totality of the circumstances indicates that Khoshabe was induced to make these statements by a false promise not to prosecute, the motion to suppress [181] is granted.

         Background

         During the course of investigating the conduct charged in this case, government agents interviewed Khoshabe on two different occasions. Def.'s Mot. Suppress 2, ECF No. 181. First, FBI Special Agent Jody Blau and Special Agent Michael Gorman of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General (HUD-OIG), interviewed Khoshabe at his home on September 10, 2014. Id.; see Govt.'s Resp. Opp. Mot. Suppress, Ex. A, ECF No. 191. According to the report from this meeting, Khoshabe spoke with the agents about his prior work as a property manager for Rossini, investments he made through Rossini, and the recruitment of investors by Rossini and Babajan Khoshabe, Anthony's father. See generally Govt.'s Resp., Ex. A.

         Then, on July 15, 2015, Special Agent Blau, along with Special Agent Lyle Evans and Task Force Officer Paul Martinez, interviewed Khoshabe again. Id., Ex. B. Khoshabe states that he was “approached by agents . . . outside of the building in which he lived.” Def.'s Mot. Suppress at 2. According to the Government, the second interview “occurred in the lobby of defendant's condominium building.” Govt.'s Resp. at 3. The conversation lasted approximately one hour and forty-three minutes. Id.

         Central to Khoshabe's present motion are two questions he asked the agents at the onset of the interview. At approximately two minutes and forty seconds into the interview, after answering some initial questions, Khoshabe stops in midsentence and asks the agents, “Are you guys like, recording this or something?” Def.'s Reply, Anthony Khoshabe Ex.-Audio Recording, at 2:40-2:45.[1] One of the agents laughs and reassures Khoshabe, “No.” Id. Immediately thereafter, Khoshabe asks:

Khoshabe: [W]ait I'm not gonna get like in trouble or anything?
Evans: No, we're here again. I mean you know from earlier that a lot of folks have complained about investing with [Rossini].
Khoshabe: Yeah.
Evans: Yeah, so that's what we're investigating.
Khoshabe: Okay, cool.
Evans: We're just . . . on a fact[-]finding mission.
Khoshabe: Okay cool.

Govt.'s Resp., Ex. B, at 4:29-5:4. After receiving this assurance, Khoshabe proceeds to discuss a number of matters with the ...


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