United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. CASPER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Charlie Jinan Chen (“Chen”) has moved to suppress
statements made to law enforcement agents at his restaurant
on March 30, 2016. D. 53. Having considered the motion, the
government's opposition, D. 57, Chen's reply brief,
D. 62 and the evidence presented at the evidentiary hearing
on December 19, 2018, D. 65, 67, the Court DENIES the motion.
Accordingly, the Court makes its findings of fact and legal
Findings of Facts
findings are based upon the testimony of Federal Bureau of
Investigation (“FBI”) Special Agents
(“SA”) John Keelan and Ryan Lane during the
December 19th hearing.
Investigation of Vistaprint Trading
motion to suppress concerns his March 30, 2016 interview by
SA Keelan and Lane. The agents conducted this interview in
the course of investigating allegations of insider trading in
Vistaprint N.V. (“Vistaprint”) securities. D. 67
at 21. In the course of the investigation, the FBI received
information that an individual who worked in financial
forecasting at Vistaprint, Jenny Xu and/or her spouse, Kun
Xu, allegedly provided Chen with material nonpublic
information (“MNPI”) concerning Vistaprint's
quarterly financial performance upon which he allegedly
Special Agents Interview Chen at His
agents' purpose in interviewing Chen on March 30, 2016
was to inquire about his suspicious options trading in
Vistaprint stock. D. 67 at 8. At the time of the interview,
the agents considered Chen, and others, in the agents'
parlance, a focus, subject or target of their investigation.
D. 67 at 23-24, 44, 79-80. The agents had intended to
interview Chen at his residence, but he left his home that
morning with his children to drop them at school, so the
agents instead decided to interview him at his restaurant,
Feng Shui, in Chelmsford, Massachusetts. D. 67 at 9, 50.
Shortly after 10 a.m., the agents arrived at the restaurant.
D. 67 at 50. It was not clear that it was open for business,
but restaurant employees were present. D. 67 at 9-10, 22, 52.
The agents introduced themselves to Chen as FBI agents,
displaying their credentials, and explained that they wanted
to ask him some questions about his trading. D. 67 at 10, 53.
Chen showed them to a booth in the restaurant so that they
could sit down. D. 67 at 10, 54. The agents sat across from
Chen in the booth. D. 67 at 11. Although the agents were
armed, their firearms were not visible. D. 67 at 11-12, 52.
the three sat down in the booth, the agents asked Chen
questions about his stock trading. D. 67 at 12. In response
to their questions, Chen described himself as a day trader,
but indicated that he did not recall specifically what
options trading he had done in Vistaprint. D. 67 at 12-13,
26, 60-61. He acknowledged that he was familiar with
Vistaprint and followed the company, but Chen denied knowing
anyone who worked there. D. 67 at 14, 70. The agents
specifically asked Chen about whether he knew Kun
(“Kevin”) Xu, the husband of Jenny Xu, who was a
former accountant at Vistaprint. D. 67 at 14-15. Although he
initially said he did not recognize his name, he indicated
that he knew “Kevin, ” as a fellow parent from
his daughter's school, but only as an acquaintance. D. 67
at 15, 29, 61-62, 70. He also indicated that he had not
spoken with Kevin about Vistaprint. D. 67 at 15. Chen
indicated that he was aware that Kevin was married to Jenny
Xu, but that he did not know where she worked, thought that
she might work in real estate, and that he had not spoken to
her about Vistaprint either. D. 67 at 16, 64. When the agents
showed him some telephone records indicating his calls with
Kevin, Chen responded that those calls were about his
purchasing an apartment or condo in Lexington. D. 67 at 17,
63. Although the agents asked Chen numerous questions, they
all concerned his relationship with Kevin and trading in
Vistaprint. D. 67 at 44. The agents asked their questions in
English and Chen responded in English and there was no
indication that Chen did not understand the questions. D. 67
initial interview lasted less than half an hour. D. 67 at 17,
56. After leaving and going to the parking lot and speaking
with the case agent (who was conducting a simultaneous
interview of Kevin at another location, D. 67 at 23), SA
Keelan and Ryan returned to the restaurant to ask Chen some
followup questions. D. 67 at 18, 66. They indicated to Chen
that they had some additional questions and, this time, Chen
invited them upstairs to his office. D. 67 at 18, 42. Among
other things, Chen denied again having spoken with Kevin
about trading in Vistaprint. D. 67 at 18. This followup
meeting did not last more than five to ten minutes. D. 67 at
agents described the tone of the interviews as professional
and cordial and that they did not raise their voices to Chen.
D. 67 at 19, 41, 57. Other than a handshake, the agents had
no physical contact with Chen. D. 67 at 19, 57. They did not
obstruct his exit or otherwise prevent him from leaving or
speaking with anyone. D. 67 at 20, 55. The agents did not
place Chen under arrest and had no intent to arrest him that
day. D. 67 at 12, 24, 54. They did not give him
Miranda warnings because he was not under arrest. D.
67 at 21, 56, 75. The agents did not advise Chen that he did
not have to speak with them or that he could consult with an
attorney. D. 67 at 75. Although they advised him on several
occasions during the interview that lying to a federal agent
was a federal crime, D. 67 at 16, 34-35, 64-65, they never
told Chen that he had to answer their questions. D. 67 at 12,
20, 35, 56.
Miranda Warnings and ...