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Goyal v. United States

July 5, 2000

HARI GOYAL,
PETITIONER,
V.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
RESPONDENT



The opinion of the court was delivered by: William H. Walls, U.S.D.J.

FOR PUBLICATION

OPINION

Walls, District Judge

Hari Goyal ("Goyal") petitions to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. Goyal alleges (1) his conviction was obtained in violation of the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment; and (2) his sentence is excessive and violates the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses. For the reasons set forth below, the petition is denied.

Facts and Procedural History

IBM Credit Corporation ("IBMCC") finances computers, computer-related equipment, and information technology. Simplex Computer Centers, Inc. ("Simplex") sold and serviced computer related equipment. Goyal was Simplex's president. In 1990, IBMCC and Simplex entered into an Agreement for Wholesale Financing, in which IBMCC agreed to provide Simplex with financing for purchasing inventory. In September 1992, IBMCC further agreed to finance the accounts receivable of Simplex. (Presentence Investigation Report. ("P.I.R.") at 5.)

Beginning in January 1994, Goyal included 457 false invoices totaling $6,417,614.25, in the monthly Accounts Receivable Reports sent to IBMCC. (P.I.R. at 6.) IBMCC relied upon the reported value of the accounts receivable in extending financing credit to Simplex, and was therefore induced to continue financing Simplex based upon these misrepresentations. (Pet'r Br. at 5.) In August 1995, Goyal sent a sales journal via interstate carrier from New Jersey to IBMCC in Stamford, Connecticut and faxed an Accounts Receivable Detailed Aging Report to IBMCC in Atlanta, Georgia which stated that accounts receivable totaled $9,518,033.17. (P.I.R. at 6.) IBMCC initiated an audit of Simplex on August 23, 1995, and discovered that less than $1 million of the total listed accounts receivable were valid. (P.I.R. at 6.) IBMCC notified the United States Attorney's Office in Newark on November 6, 1995, and an investigation by the United States Postal Inspector's Office ensued. (P.I.R. at 6.)

On September 10, 1996, Goyal plead guilty to an information which alleged mail and wire fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1341 & 1343. This Court sentenced Goyal on March 13, 1997 to 30 months of incarceration, to be followed by three years of supervised release. In addition, Goyal was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $7,000,000 to IBMCC (Gov't Br. at 3) and a special assessment of $100. No direct appeal was taken, nor did Goyal make any other post-conviction efforts. (Gov't Br. at 3.)

On August 25, 1995, two days after IBMCC initiated its audit of Simplex, Goyal filed for bankruptcy protection for Simplex pursuant to Chapter 11 of the United States Code. (P.I.R. at 6 & Pet'r Br. at 5.) Goyal voluntarily filed personal, Chapter 7, bankruptcy on December 19, 1996. (See Docket for Bankruptcy Petition No. 96-42009.) On March 13, 1997, the Simplex case and Goyal's personal bankruptcy case were consolidated. The United States Bankruptcy Court refused to discharge the $7 million debt owed to IBMCC by Goyal. (Pet'r Br. at 6, 7.)

Background

On January 9, 1998, Hari Goyal petitioned to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence. In support of his petition, Goyal alleges (1) his conviction was obtained in violation of the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment; and (2) his sentence is excessive and violates the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses. In a December 31, 1998 submission, Goyal requested the following relief:

(1) Immediate release, and suspension of remaining period including three years supervised release; or

(2) Order of home confinement for the balance of the prison sentence, and to commute the three ...


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