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United States v. Manuelian

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

February 7, 2018



          Nathaniel M. Gorton, United States District Judge.

         On September 30, 2008, defendant Gregory Manuelian (“defendant” or “Manuelian”) was charged in a twelve-count indictment with wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343, and forgery of customs forms, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 496. Defendant pled guilty in November, 2009, and in February, 2010, this Court entered a judgment against defendant, sentencing him to 24 months imprisonment followed by 36 months of supervised release.

         Defendant was ordered to pay a $1, 200 special assessment and $1, 188, 886.97 in criminal restitution to the victim of his crime, Analogic Corporation (“Analogic”). In June, 2010, this Court denied defendant's motion to modify his sentence in which he asked the Court to relieve him of his obligation to pay interest on the restitution.

         In June, 2017, defendant filed a motion to clarify the restitution order and enjoin Analogic from foreclosing on his residence. Analogic responded with a letter filed in August, 2017 and the government filed its response in September, 2017. For the reasons that follow, the motion to clarify the restitution order will be allowed, with respect to defendant's request for clarification, but denied, with respect to his motion to enjoin Analogic from continuing its foreclosure proceeding.

         I. Background and Procedural History

         The restitution order in this case requires defendant to pay $1, 188, 886.97 to Analogic according to a court-ordered repayment schedule. In November, 2010, the government moved for enforcement against defendant's assets by applying for a writ of garnishment against his Individual Retirement Accounts (“IRA”) held by garnishee, JPMorgan Chase Bank NA. The Court held a garnishment hearing in December, 2011 and entered a garnishee order in July, 2012. In addition, upon his release from imprisonment, defendant was ordered to pay restitution at a rate of 10% of his gross monthly income.

         Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3664(m)(1)(B), Analogic has registered this Court's judgment with the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York (“the Eastern District”), commencing a separate civil action to enforce the restitution order entered against defendant. Defendant owns real property in that district and, as of the time of his motion, resides in the district. In March, 2014, the Eastern District granted Analogic's motion for summary judgment as to its claim that defendant had fraudulently conveyed an interest in real property (“the property”) to himself and his wife as tenants by the entirety. That conveyance was set aside to the extent necessary to satisfy the restitution order.

         In February, 2017, defendant moved in the Eastern District for a temporary restraining order to prevent the sale of the property contending that he did not receive notice of the sale. The Eastern District issued an order denying the motion for a temporary restraining order in which it stated that the payment schedule established by this Court did not

limit Analogic Corporation's right to use any and all lawful remedies to collect [the restitution amount].

         Shortly thereafter, Analogic filed a notice that it had reached a stipulation postponing the execution sale of the property in contemplation of the funding of a settlement. In May, 2017, Analogic moved for an order authorizing the United States Marshal's Service to re-schedule the sale of the property because of defendant's failure to commit the funds promised under parties' agreement.

         II. Motion for Clarification of Restitution Order and to Enjoin Analogic from Selling the Property

         In his motion, styled as a motion for clarification of the restitution order, defendant seeks to (1) establish that the interest rate on the restitution be set at the standard federal rate at the time of the judgment, 0.36% and (2) enjoin Analogic from the sale of defendant's property.

         In response to defendant's motion, the government states that, as to the United States, the applicable interest rate for the restitution order is 0.36%. The government further contends that it takes no position as to whether the same interest rate applies when a victim commences a separate civil action against a defendant under the Mandatory Victim Restitution Act of 1996 (“MVRA”).

         Restitution is a mechanism for making a victim whole by “restoring the monetary equivalent of losses suffered in consequence of the defendant's criminal activity”. United States v. Salas-Fernandez, 620 F.3d 45, 48 (1st Cir. 2010). Pursuant to the MVRA, district courts have the discretion to order restitution “in addition to or in lieu of, any other penalty authorized by law” to the victim of defendant's criminal activity. 18 U.S.C. ...

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