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United States v. Coffman

United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Central Division

December 1, 2014

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF
v.
BRYAN COFFMAN, ET AL., DEFENDANTS

For Bank of America, N.A., Dft in 5:08-cv-410-KKC, Respondent: Jason A. Mosbaugh, Weltman, Weinberg & Reis Co., LPA, Cincinnati, OH.

For American Oil and Gas, Claimant in 5:08-cv-410-KKC, Corrie Anderson, Claimant in 5:08-cv-410-KKC, Megan Coffman, Claimant in 5:08-cv-410-KKC, Dacorta, LLC, Claimant in 5:08-cv-410-KKC, Claimants: Brian M. Johnson, Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP - Lexington, Lexington, KY.

For Baniel, LLC, Claimant in 5:08-cv-410-KKC, Claimant: Adam Clay Reeves, Brian M. Johnson, Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP - Lexington, Lexington, KY.

For Bryan S. Coffman, Claimant in 5:08-cv-410-KKC, Claimant: Brian M. Johnson, Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP - Lexington, Lexington, KY; Steven Rush Romines, Romines, Weis & Young, PSC, Louisville, KY.

For James A. Skinner, Movant: Joseph A. Woodruff, LEAD ATTORNEY, Waller, Lansden, Dortch & Davis, LLP, Nashville, TN.

For USA, Plaintiff in 5:08-cv-410-KKC, Movant: Wade Thomas Napier, U.S. Attorney's Office, EDKY, Lexington, KY.

For Danny Butler, Movant: Elmer J. George, LEAD ATTORNEY, Lebanon, KY.

For USA, Plaintiff: Kenneth Taylor, LEAD ATTORNEY, Brandon Wayne Marshall, Robert M. Duncan, Jr., Wade Thomas Napier, U.S. Attorney's Office, EDKY, Lexington, KY; Elaine K. Leonhard, U.S. Attorney's Office - Ft. Mitchell, Ft. Mitchell, KY.

OPINION AND ORDER

KAREN K. CALDWELL, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

This matter is before the Court on the United States' Motion to Enforce Opinion and Order of Forfeiture (DE 653) and the motion by petitioner Corrie Anderson for attorney's fees (DE 650). For the following reasons, the Court denies the relief requested in both motions.

I. Background

After a jury trial, defendants Bryan Coffman and Gary Milby were found guilty of mail fraud, wire fraud, securities fraud, and money laundering. The indictment charged Bryan Coffman with running an investment scheme in which he defrauded investors by misrepresenting the value or existence of various oil and gas investments and transferred millions of dollars of investor funds into personal accounts. Megan Coffman, Bryan's wife, was also charged with multiple counts of money laundering with regards to the proceeds of the fraud but was acquitted of all charges.

At trial and in the forfeiture proceedings, the government proved that the proceeds derived from the fraud were at least $33, 000, 000. Bryan waived his right to a jury trial on the forfeiture allegations in the indictment. The government moved for a preliminary order of forfeiture with regard to $33 million, 13 financial accounts, two pieces of real property and a yacht, arguing that they were subject to forfeiture under 18 U.S.C. § § 982(a) (1) and 981(a) (1) (C). (DE 393-1, Mem.) The first of those provisions pertains to a defendant convicted of money-laundering crimes and provides that that the Court must order that the defendant forfeit any property " involved in" the offense or any property that is traceable to the property involved in the offense. The term property " involved in" the offense includes " the money or other property being laundered (the corpus) . . . and any property used to facilitate the laundering offense." United States v. McGauley, 279 F.3d 62, 76 n. 14 (1st Cir. 2002) (quoting United States v. All Monies in Account No. 90-3617-3, 754 F.Supp. 1467, 1473 (D. Haw. 1991)).

The second forfeiture provision -- ยง 981(a) (1) (C) --pertains to Bryan's mail- and wire-fraud convictions and provides that any property that constitutes or is derived from the proceeds ...


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