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 v. Jackson

United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit

February 14, 2017

United States of America, Appellee
v.
Jeffrey Norman Jackson, Appellant

          Argued November 8, 2016

          Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Columbia (No. 1:14-cr-00222-1)

          Sandra G. Roland, Assistant Federal Public Defender, argued the cause for appellant. With her on the brief was A.J. Kramer, Federal Public Defender. Tony Axam, Jr., Assistant Federal Public Defender, entered an appearance.

          Elissa Hart-Mahan, Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice, argued the cause for appellee. With her on the brief was Gregory Victor Davis, Attorney. Frank P. Cihlar, Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice, entered an appearance.

          Before: Kavanaugh and Pillard, Circuit Judges, and Randolph, Senior Circuit Judge.

          OPINION

          Randolph, Senior Circuit Judge

         Jeffrey Norman Jackson appeals his above-Guidelines sentence of imprisonment on the grounds that the district court failed to give valid reasons for his sentence and that the reasons the court did mention were invalid.

         Jackson began committing his crime in this case while he was pleading guilty and being sentenced for a nearly identical crime. After being sentenced for his first offense, Jackson continued his criminal activity, despite the district court's leniency in giving him probation rather than imprisonment.

         Jackson's earlier crime involved Unlimited Security, Inc., a company he founded and co-owned. The company provided security services to the local and federal government. At one time, Unlimited Security employed as many as 500 people. In 2002, his company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Unlimited Security had collected federal tax withholdings from the wages of its employees. Jackson's company was obligated to pay these tax withholdings to the U.S. Treasury. Instead, while his company was in bankruptcy, Jackson - as the company's chief executive officer - diverted $373, 000 to another one of his businesses. In 2006, Judge Urbina of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia sentenced him to five years' probation.

         While on probation for that crime, and before his sentencing in October 2006, Jackson began committing the offense for which he was sentenced in this case. In 2005 he formed Innovative Security Services, LLC. For the next four years, he failed to pay a total of nearly $600, 000 in federal payroll taxes that his company had withheld from the wages of its employees. Jackson used these funds for personal items such as jewelry, clothing, furniture, and rent. After entering into an agreement with the government, Jackson again pleaded guilty, this time to a violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7202 - willful failure to pay over federal employment taxes. A violation of § 7202 carries a five-year maximum sentence of imprisonment. Jackson's plea agreement placed his Sentencing Guidelines range at 27-33 months; his plea agreement stated that this sentencing range was not binding on the district court. The district court sentenced Jackson to 42 months' imprisonment - 9 months more than the top of the Guidelines range. The sentence included an order for Jackson to make restitution and to serve a term of supervised release.

         I.

         Jackson wants his sentence set aside because, at the hearing, the district court did not sufficiently explain the reasons for it. At sentencing, a district court must provide "the specific reason" for a sentence outside the Guidelines range. 18 U.S.C. § 3553(c)(2); see Gall v. United States, 552 U.S. 38, 50 (2007). When the court announced Jackson's sentence of 42 months, his attorney did not object. To prevail in his appeal, Jackson must therefore convince us that the district court (1) "committed error"; (2) that the error was "plain or obvious"; (3) that it affected "his substantial rights"; and (4) that it "seriously" affected "the fairness, integrity, or public reputation of judicial proceedings." United States v. Hunt, 843 F.3d 1022, 1029 (D.C. Cir. 2016) (alterations and quotation marks omitted). An error affects "substantial rights" only if the defendant establishes with "a reasonably probability that, but for the error, the outcome of the proceeding would have been different." United States v. Mack, 841 F.3d 514, 522 (D.C. Cir. 2016) (quoting Molina-Martinez v. United States, 136 S.Ct. 1338, 1343 (2016)).

          It is little wonder that Jackson's attorney did not interpose the objection now raised on appeal. Jackson, and anyone else present at his sentencing hearing, must have understood why the district court imposed an above-Guidelines sentence of 42 months. A central, uncontested consideration at the hearing was Jackson's commission of this crime while he was being sentenced and placed on probation for committing a crime with a common element - namely, stealing his employees' withholding taxes to use for his personal benefit.

         The prosecutor stated that this was "the second time that this defendant has appeared in this courthouse to be sentenced for stealing employment taxes." Sentencing Transcript 3. The prosecutor added that Jackson obviously knew about his "duty to truthfully account for and pay over payroll taxes." Id. at 4. Jackson's past offense not only demonstrated willfulness, but also proved that despite a lenient sentence, he continued to commit a nearly identical offense. Id. at 6. Jackson's attorney acknowledged that Jackson ...


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.