United States District Court, District of Columbia
G. SULLIVAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Eghbal Saffarinia (“Mr. Saffarinia”), a former
Assistant Inspector General for the United States Department
of Housing and Urban Development's Office of Inspector
General (“HUD-OIG”), faces criminal charges
arising from alleged falsifications and omissions in his
annual public financial disclosure reports pursuant to the
Ethics in Government Act of 1978, 5 U.S.C. App. 4
§§ 101-11. Mr. Saffarinia has been charged in a
seven-count indictment for engaging in a scheme to conceal
material facts, making false statements, and falsifying
records. Following the government's production of
approximately 3.5 million pages with detailed production
logs, Mr. Saffarinia moves for a bill of particulars. Upon
careful consideration of the motion, the response, the reply
thereto, the applicable law, and for the reasons explained
below, the Court DENIES Defendant's
Motion for Bill of Particulars.
following allegations, which Mr. Saffarinia accepts as true
for this motion and intends to disprove at trial, are drawn
from the indictment. See Def.'s Mem. of Law in
Supp. of Def.'s Mot. for Bill of Particulars
(“Def.'s Mem.”), ECF No. 14-1 at 3
Between 2012 and 2017, Mr. Saffarinia served as the Assistant
Inspector General for Information Technology in HUD-OIG, and
then as the Assistant Inspector General for Management and
Technology. Indictment, ECF No. 1 at 2 ¶ 3. Mr.
Saffarinia oversaw HUD-OIG's Office of Management and
Technology, which was reorganized as HUD-OIG's Office of
Information Technology (“IT”). Id. As a
member of the Senior Executive Service (“SES”),
Mr. Saffarinia had a “legal duty” to annually
submit public financial disclosure reports pursuant to the
Ethics in Government Act. Id. at 2 ¶ 4. Such
disclosures were filed using the Office of Government Ethics
Form 278 (“OGE Form 278”). Id.
Saffarinia also served as HUD-OIG's Head of Contracting
Activity, overseeing “procurement review and approval
processes, including IT contracts[.]” Id. at 2
¶ 5. He was given “access to contractor proposal
information and source selection information[.]”
Id. In that position, Mr. Saffarinia had a
“legal duty under governing regulations, ”
requiring him to take the following actions:
 to disclose actual and potential conflicts of interest
and  to not solicit and accept anything of monetary value,
including loans, from anyone who (a) has or is seeking to
obtain government business from HUD-OIG, (b) conducts
activities that are regulated by HUD-OIG, and (c) has
interests that may be substantially affected by the
performance or nonperformance of [his] official duties.
Id. at 2-3 ¶ 5.
Saffarinia, however, did not disclose the nature of his
relationship with Person A. Id. at 3-4 ¶ 11-12.
Neither did Mr. Saffarinia disclose his loans and payments in
excess of $10, 000 from Person A and his neighbor.
Id. 17 ¶ 75. Mr. Saffarinia, Person A, and
Person B were friends from college who emigrated to the
United States from the same country. Id. at 3 ¶
9. From 2012 to 2016, Mr. Saffarinia concealed his financial
relationship with Person A, who was the owner of an IT
company that contracted with HUD-OIG (“Company
A”). See id. at 3 ¶ 6; 3-4 ¶¶
11-12. Mr. Saffarinia “steer[ed] government business
and disclos[ed] confidential government information” to
Person A and Company A. Id. at 4 ¶ 12. Mr.
Saffarinia omitted an $80, 000 promissory note that he owed
to Person A in his OGE Forms 278, failing to report all
liabilities in excess of $10, 000 in those forms. See
id. at 2 ¶ 4; 4 ¶ 12.
2012, Mr. Saffarinia caused Company B to enter into a
business partnership with Person A and Company A, and Company
A eventually served as one of Company B's subcontractors
on a multi-year, $30 million IT services contract for
HUD-OIG. Id. at 6 ¶ 18. HUD-OIG approved
additional funding in the amount of $78, 000 for Company
A's subcontract with Company B in 2013. Id. at
10 ¶ 42. Between 2012 to 2015, Company A received more
than one million dollars as Company B's subcontractor.
Id. at 9 ¶ 36. Mr. Saffarinia gave competitive
advantages to Person A and Company A for a certain government
contract between 2013 and 2014. Id. at 14 ¶ 61.
Saffarinia hired his friend and former business partner,
Person B, as the head of HUD-OIG's new predictive
analytics department. Id. at 3 ¶¶ 7, 9. At
Mr. Saffarinia's direction, Person B became the sole
member of a technical evaluation panel for a government
contract. Id. at 16 ¶ 72. For that contract,
Person B rejected thirteen bid proposals, and HUD-OIG awarded
it to Person A and Company A. Id.
2013 to 2014, Mr. Saffarinia caused HUD-OIG to recompete
Company B's IT service contract, and he caused Company C
to enter into a business partnership with Company A in order
for both companies to submit a joint bid for the recompete
contract. Id. at 11 ¶ 47. Mr. Saffarinia
directed his subordinate to meet with Person A and the owner
of Company C for the formation of the partnership and the
submission of the joint bid. Id. at 12 ¶ 50.
HUD-OIG awarded the recompete contract, which was worth more
than $17 million, to Company C. Id. at 11 ¶ 47.
Company A became a subcontractor for Company C, and Company A
was expected to receive roughly nine million dollars.
25, 2019, a federal grand jury returned a 19-page,
78-paragraph, seven-count indictment charging Mr. Saffarinia
with concealing material facts, in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§§ 1001(a)(1) and 2 (“Count I”); making
false statements, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§
1001(a)(2) and 2 (“Counts II-IV”); and falsifying
records, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1519 and 2
(“Counts V-VII”). Id. 3-18 ¶¶
10-78. Count I asserts that Mr. Saffarinia “did
knowingly and willfully falsify, conceal, and cover up by
trick, scheme, and device material facts . . . by violating
his legal duty to disclose a financial relationship with
Person A, including on his annual OGE Forms 278.”
Id. at 4 ¶ 11. Listing Mr. Saffarinia's
2014, 2015, and 2016 publicly-filed OGE Forms 278, Counts II
through IV assert that Mr. Saffarinia “did willfully
and knowingly make and caused to be made material false,
fictitious, and fraudulent statements and representations in
a matter within the jurisdiction of the executive branch of
the Government of the United States, namely, HUD and
OGE[.]” Id. at 17 ¶ 76. Finally, Counts V
through VII list the same three separate OGE forms, alleging
that Mr. Saffarinia “knowingly concealed, covered up,
falsified, and made false entries in a record, document, and
tangible object” when he caused those forms to be filed
“with HUD and OGE.” Id. at 18 ¶ 78.
28, 2019, this Court issued a Standing Order requiring the
government to produce any evidence in its possession that is
favorable to Mr. Saffarinia and material to either his guilt
or punishment. See generally Standing Order, ECF No.
11 at 1 (citing Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 87
(1963); Giglio v. United States, 405 U.S. 150,
153-55 (1972)). On the same day, the Court granted the
parties' consent motion for a Protective Order governing
discovery. See Min. Order of June 28, 2019. As early
as June 2019, the government produced more than one million
records to Mr. Saffarinia's counsel. Gov't Opp'n,
ECF No. 15 at 2. That production included, among other
things, virtually all of the investigative case file from the
Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”),
interview reports, agent notes, and witnesses' statements
pursuant to the Jencks Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3500.
Id. at 2-3. The government's production, while
voluminous, was sent to defense counsel in an
“organized and navigable digital format (specifically,
in an electronic, ‘load ready' format), with
bates-stamping and detailed discovery production logs that
include[d] all of the metadata for the records.”
Id. at 3. The government gave Mr. Saffarinia an
“explicit roadmap” during two reverse proffer
sessions in February 2018 and June 2019,  and the parties
engaged in further discussions and telephone conversations
about the charges. Id. at 11. Given its continuing
discovery obligations, the government has provided Mr.
Saffarinia with nearly 3.5 million pages of discovery.
Def.'s Mem., ECF No. 14-1 at 10.
Mr. Saffarinia filed a motion for bill of particulars on July
5, 2019. See Def.'s Mot. for Bill of Particulars
(“Def.'s Mot.”), ECF No. 14 at 1. Mr.
Saffarinia seeks an order compelling the government to
produce a bill of particulars addressing three points: (1)
the legal duties that form the basis of the concealment of
material facts charged under 18 U.S.C. § 1001 with
respect to Count I; (2) the “governing
regulations” that required Mr. Saffarinia to disclose
his conflicts of interest as to Count I; and (3) the
investigation or matter Mr. Saffarinia allegedly impeded,
impaired, or obstructed under 18 U.S.C. § 1519 with
respect to Counts V through VII. Id. The government
filed its opposition brief on July 7, 2019, see
Gov't Opp'n, ECF No. 15 at 1-13, and Mr. Saffarinia
filed his reply brief on July 11, 2019, see
Def.'s Reply, ECF No. 16 at 1-10. The motion is ripe and
ready for the Court's adjudication.
Rule of Criminal Procedure 7(c) requires an indictment to
“be a plain, concise and definite written statement of
the essential facts constituting the offense
charged[.]” Fed. R. Crim. P. 7(c)(1); see also
United States v. Edmond, 924 F.2d 261, 269 (D.C. Cir.
1991) (“[T]he function of a federal indictment is . . .
not how the government plans to go about proving [those
essential facts].”). Under Rule 7(f), a “court
may direct the government to file a bill of
particulars.” Fed. R. Crim. P. 7(f). “A bill of
particulars can be used to ensure that the charges brought
against a defendant are stated with enough precision to allow
the defendant to understand the charges, to prepare a
defense, and perhaps also to be protected against retrial on
the same charges.” United States v. ...