United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
Nathaniel M. Gorton United States District Judge
Amit Kanodia ("Kanodia" or "defendant")
has been indicted for Conspiracy to Commit Securities Fraud
(Count 1) for allegedly conspiring in 2013 to engage in
insider trading of shares of Cooper Tire & Rubber Company
("Cooper Tire"), all in violation of 15 U.S.C.
§ 78j(b) and 78ff(a), 18 U.S.C. § 371 and 17 C.F.R.
§ 240.10b-5 ("Rule 10b-5"). Kanodia has also
been indicted on 18 counts of securities fraud (Counts 2-19)
in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 78j(b) and 78ff(a), 18
U.S.C. § 2 and Rule 10b-5.
before the Court is Kanodia’s motion to suppress
evidence that the government obtained pursuant to a search
warrant directed to Network Solutions, LLC ("Network
Solutions") for e-mail communications and account data
associated with the e-mail address
AK@LincolnVentures.com. For the reasons that follow,
that motion will be denied.
is charged with engaging in insider trading after
misappropriating material, nonpublic information that he
obtained from his wife, the General Counsel of Apollo Tyres,
Ltd. ("Apollo"), concerning an anticipated merger
between Apollo and Cooper Tire. Kanodia purportedly disclosed
that information to co-defendant Iftikar Ahmed
("Ahmed" or "co-defendant") and family
friend Steven Watson ("Watson") with the
understanding and intent that they use the inside information
to trade in shares of Cooper Tire and share their profits
indictment alleges that Ahmed and Watson then began
accumulating Cooper Tire shares and call options in April,
2013 and continued doing so until shortly before the public
announcement of the merger in June, 2013. Ahmed and Watson
allegedly sold their interests in Cooper Tire within a few
days after the announcement and collectively garnered over
one million dollars in proceeds.
early August, 2013, Kanodia sent Ahmed an e-mail with the
subject line of "Wire Instructions" from the
AK@LincolnVentures.com e-mail account. He wrote:
all is well. Finally we have all the documents in place . . .
The entity is:
Lincoln Charitable Foundation Bank of America Account #
West 33rd Street, New York, NY Telephone 617 713 6301
government explains that 1) the e-mail was signed
"Salaam. amit", 2) "bhai" is an Indian
term for "brother", 3) "salaam" is a
salutation meaning "peace" and 4) both Kanodia and
Ahmed had ties to India.
its investigation, the government applied for a warrant to
search the AK@LincolnVentures.com e-mail account for
evidence, fruits and instrumentalities of wire fraud,
securities fraud and conspiracy. The warrant application
included an affidavit from a Federal Bureau of Investigation
("FBI") agent that 1) summarized the alleged
insider trading scheme and the relationship between the
participants, 2) described the August, 2013 e-mail that
Kanodia sent to Ahmed from the account, 3) outlined the
procedures for executing the search warrant and 4) identified
the "Accounts and Files to Be Copied by Network
Solutions Personnel" and the "Records and Data to
[B]e Searched and Seized by Law Enforcement Personnel".
Magistrate Judge Marianne B. Bowler approved and issued the
search warrant in October, 2014.
agent served a copy of the warrant on Network Solutions. The
government received a disk of materials from Network
Solutions and produced a copy of those materials to Kanodia
February, 2016, Kanodia moved to suppress "any
substantive communications, or any fruits of such evidence,
" that the government unlawfully seized pursuant to the
Network Solutions search warrant.
Motion to suppress
Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects
against unreasonable searches and seizures. U.S. Const.
amend. IV. Law enforcement officers must generally secure a
warrant supported by probable cause before conducting a
search or seizure. United States v. Gifford, 727
F.3d 92, 98 (1st Cir. 2013). Under the particularity
requirement, a search warrant 1) must include sufficient
information to guide and control the judgment of the
executing officer in deciding where to search and what to
seize and 2) cannot be overbroad or include items that should
not be seized. United States v. Kuc, 737 F.3d 129,
133 (1st Cir. 2013).
An application for a search warrant must establish probable
cause to believe that (1) a crime has been committed - the
"commission" element, and (2) enumerated evidence
of the offense will be found at the place to be searched -
the so-called "nexus" element.
United States v. Feliz, 182 F.3d 82, 86 (1st Cir.
1999). With respect to the nexus element, the magistrate
judge must consider the totality of the circumstances and
make a "practical, common-sense decision" as to
whether there is a "fair probability" that evidence
of a crime will be found in a particular place. Id.
The party seeking the warrant must present facts that would
"warrant a man of reasonable caution to believe that
evidence of a crime will be found" but need not show
that such a belief is correct or more likely true than false.
reviewing court must treat with "considerable
deference" the determination of the magistrate judge
that the warrant application established probable cause.
Id. The proper inquiry on review is whether the
magistrate judge had a "substantial basis for concluding
that probable cause existed." Id. (internal
quotation marks omitted). The reviewing court should resolve
doubtful or marginal cases in favor of the magistrate