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United States v. Mohta

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

March 12, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
SHIKHA MOHTA

          OPINION AND ORDER

          KEVIN MCNULTY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the court are pretrial motions filed by defendant Shikha Mohta. Mohta's interrelated contentions are divided among separately-filed motions filed over several weeks and confusingly numbered. I heard oral argument on February 9, 2018 and March 9, 2018. For the reasons expressed on the record, the motions are decided as follows:

         1. First Motion to Dismiss Indictment (ECF no. 74). DENIED because the Indictment states the elements of the conspiracy, its object offenses, and the substantive offense, describes factually the nature of the scheme, and describes defendant Mohta's role in the scheme. It is not necessary that the overt acts, standing alone, state an offense.

         2. Second Motion to Compel Production of Grand Jury Transcript (ECF no. 75). DENIED because it is based on speculation that the transcripts might contain discoverable material, and for failure to make the threshold showing required by, e.g., U.S. v. Sells Engineering, 463 U.S. 418 (1983).

         3. Third Motion to Bifurcate Trial (Severance) (ECF no. 76). DENIED because Mohta is the only remaining defendant.

         4. Sixth Motion for Bill of Particulars (ECF no. 83).

a) DENIED as to the Indictment, because the Indictment states the charges in sufficient detail to avoid unfair surprise, and to permit the defendant to understand them and plead double jeopardy in connection with any later prosecution.
b) DENIED as to the arrest and search warrants, which, together with related materials, have been turned over in discovery.
c) DENIED as to information about the government witnesses, which will be turned over, to the extent required by Rule 16, Giglio, and the Jencks Act seven days before trial.
d) DENIED as to information about uncharged individuals, which is not required by Rule 16, Brady, or the Court's rules or standing orders.

         5. Fifth Motion to Remove this Matter to "Administrative Branch of the INS" for adjudication (ECF no. 86). DENIED. There is no basis or procedure for transferring a federal criminal case to an administrative agency.

         6. First Omnibus Motion (ECF no. 87)

a. Suppression of evidence.
(i) DENIED as to audio and video recordings because they were obtained pursuant to the consent of one party to the conversations, a cooperating witness. E.g., U.S. v. Caceres,440 U.S. 741, 744 (1979); United States v. Taketa,923 F.2d 665, 669 (9th Cir. 1991);18 U.S.C. ยง 2511(2)(c). The defendant has not proffered facts sufficient to raise an issue as to the voluntariness of that third party's consent. In an abundance of caution, however, the court will ...

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