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.

U.S. v. KANCHANALAK

February 3, 1999

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
PORNPIMOL KANCHANALAK AND DUANGNET KRONENBERG, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Paul L. Friedman, District Judge.

OPINION

This case is before the Court on the supplemental briefs of the parties on defendants' Motion No. 1, to dismiss Counts 5 and 6 (false statements), and the government's motion for reconsideration of the Court's dismissal of Counts 4 and 9 (false statements), as well as on defendants' Motion No. 2, to dismiss Count 1 (conspiracy), or, in the alternative, to strike prejudicial surplusage, and defendants' Motion No. 3, to dismiss Counts 1-14 as preempted by FECA. The Court heard argument on January 20 and January 25, 1999.

The Court concludes that the reasoning in its opinions in United States v. Hsia, 24 F. Supp.2d 33 (D.D.C. 1998), and United States v. Trie, 23 F. Supp.2d 55 (D.D.C. 1998), compels dismissal of all of the false statements counts against defendant Pornpimol "Pauline" Kanchanalak and Count 4 against defendant Duangnet "Georgie" Kronenberg. The Court further concludes that Counts 5 and 9 against Ms. Kronenberg also must be dismissed. The government's motion for reconsideration therefore will be denied, and defendants' Motion No. 1 will be granted, except insofar as it seeks dismissal of Count 6 against Ms. Kronenberg. For essentially the reasons stated in the Court's opinions in Hsia and Trie, defendants' Motion No. 2 and Motion No. 3 also will be denied.

I. FALSE STATEMENTS COUNTS

    provide a supplemental opposition setting forth any
    reasons within the framework set forth in Hsia and
    Trie that Counts 5 and 6 should not be dismissed.
    The supplemental opposition may provide further
    legal argument, particularly with respect to the
    impact on each defendant of the factual allegations
    described above in light of footnote 30 of Hsia
    and/or it may provide additional factual
    information in the nature of a limited bill of
    particulars.

Id. at 6.

The government has filed a supplemental opposition and a limited bill of particulars in response to the Court's Order. It concedes that in view of the evidence that it has available, Ms. Kanchanalak "cannot be charged with causing the false statement alleged in Count Six" under the Hsia framework. Govt's Supp. Opp. at 3 n. 2. It maintains, however, that under Hsia, Count Five "can constitutionally be applied to both defendants, and Count Six can constitutionally be applied to defendant Kronenberg." Id. at 5. In its motion for partial reconsideration, the government also argues that Section 1001 and 2(b) can constitutionally be applied to the conduct alleged in Counts 4 and 9 of the Superseding Indictment.

A. Counts 4, 5 and 9; The Democratic National Committee

Counts 4, 5 and 9 of the Superseding Indictment all relate to a series of donations or contributions allegedly made to the Democratic National Committee ("DNC") between March 17, 1994 and October 14, 1994 to fulfill Ms Pauline Kanchanalak's monetary obligations to become first a trustee and later a managing trustee of the Democratic Party. See Superseding Indictment at 6, 12, 15; Bill of Particulars at ¶¶ 2, 3, 14, 15. In each instance, the Superseding Indictment alleges that a contribution or donation was made to the DNC "by way of checks drawn of Praitun Kanchanalak's account at First Virginia Bank . . . using BCI USA [corporate] funds that had been deposited into Praitun Kanchanalak's First Virginia account via Duangnet Kronenberg's personal account at First Union National Bank." Superseding Indictment at 12. Praitun Kanchanalak, an unindicted co-conspirator, is Ms. Kronenberg's mother and Ms. Pauline Kanchanalak's mother-in-law.*fn1 In each instance, the check was imprinted "P. Kanchanalak," and Praitun Kanchanalak signed it "P. Kanchanalak." Id. According to the Indictment, this was intended to cause the recipient political committee to believe that the funds were coming from an account held by Pauline Kanchanalak. Id. Count 4 relates to a $15,000 check dated March 21, 1994, Count 5 to a $15,000 check dated April 22, 1994, and Count 9 to a $32,500 check dated October 20, 1994.*fn2 All the checks were payable to the Democratic National Committee. Id. at 25. The "Person Identified in [the DNC's] Report [to the FEC] as Having Provided Funds" for each check was Pauline Kanchanalak. Id.

With respect to Counts 4 and 5, the government alleges that Ms. Lauren Supina, a DNC fundraiser, sent a letter to Ms. Kanchanalak on April 11, 1994 regarding the status of her position as a DNC Trustee. See Bill of Particulars at ¶¶ 1, 12. In the letter, Ms. Supina stated that she had "been under the impression that you would become a full DNC Trustee through the Women's Leadership Forum by contributing $15,000 in both March and April. . . . This agreement was set up through Georgie [Kronenberg] and I assumed you authorized it." Id.*fn3 Approximately one week later, Ms. Kronenberg allegedly conveyed a $15,000 check to the DNC drawn on Praitun Kanchanalak's account and signed "P. Kanchanalak," with an accompanying memorandum in which Ms. Kronenberg stated:

    Enclosed please find a check for $15,000.00 payable
    to DNC (non-federal) as part of Ms. Kanchanalak's
    contribution to the DNC Trustee Program. As earlier
    discussed with you, the remaining $20,000 will be
    payable at the end of May 1994 which will conclude
    the total contribution of $50,000.
    Please also mail me the Federal Election Commission
    Report Form.

Bill of Particulars at ¶ 2. Ms. Supina testified in the grand jury pursuant to a subpoena that when she received the April check, she understood "P. Kanchanalak" to be Pauline Kanchanalak. Id. at ¶ 5.

The government contends that "it can be inferred from Lauren Supina's letter . . . that defendant Kronenberg earlier had told Ms. Supina that Pauline Kanchanalak would be donating $15,000 to the DNC in April 1994" and that by sending the check and the accompanying memorandum, Ms. Kronenberg affirmatively misled Ms. Supina to believe that the source of the funds was Pauline Kanchanalak and the money was from her account. Govt's Supp. Opp. at 6. The government further contends that a jury "could reasonably infer that defendant Kronenberg made this affirmative misrepresentation to Ms. Supina at the behest of defendant Kanchanalak, given the fact that Ms. Supina's April 11 letter was addressed to defendant Kanchanalak and given other evidence alleged in the Superseding Indictment and the Limited Bill of Particulars that defendant Kanchanalak was the organizer of Defendants' alleged unlawful scheme." Id.

With respect to Count 4, the government alleges in its limited bill of particulars (although not in the Superseding Indictment itself) that a check numbered 127 was drawn on Ms. Praitun Kanchanalak's account and made payable to the "Democratic National Committee-WLF." Bill of Particulars at ¶ 13. The check was imprinted "P. Kanchanalak," but Praitun Kanchanalak allegedly signed the check "Praitun Kanchanalak" rather than "P. Kanchanalak," and the check was never sent. Id. Instead, check number 128 imprinted "P. Kanchanalak" allegedly was drawn on Ms. Praitun Kanchanalak's account, again made payable to the Democratic National Committee-WLF, signed "P. Kanchanalak" by Praitun Kanchanalak and mailed to the DNC. Id. at ¶ 14. The government maintains that the circumstances under which check number 127 was not sent and check number 128 instead was sent support an inference that ...


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.