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United States v. Guirguis

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

September 26, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
WAGDY A. GUIRGUIS (01), MICHAEL H. HIGA (02), Defendants.

          ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT MICHAEL H. HIGA'S MOTION TO SEVER DEFENDANTS (ECF NO. 47)

          HELEN GILLMOR JUDGE

         In Count I, both Defendants Wagdy A. Guirguis and Michael H. Higa are charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States by impeding and impairing the Internal Revenue Service in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371.

         Defendant Guirguis is charged as follows:

         Counts 2-4 with subscribing and filing false tax returns in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7206(1);

         Count 10 with failure to file tax return in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7203;

         Counts 11-13 with attempted tax evasion in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7201;

         Count 14 with corrupt endeavor to obstruct and impede the due administration of the Internal Revenue Laws in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7212(a); and

         Count 15 with witness tampering in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1512(b)(1).

         Defendant Higa is charged as follows:

         Counts 5-9 with aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false tax return in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7206(2).

         Defendant Higa moves to sever his trial from codefendant Guirguis.

         Defendant Higa makes three arguments: (1) his defense strategy is mutually antagonistic to the defense strategy of his codefendant; (2) he will be prejudiced by spillover evidence; and (3) he will lose his codefendant Guirguis' exculpatory testimony.

         Defendant Higa has failed to establish that a joint trial would unduly prejudice his right to a fair trial.

         DEFENDANT MICHAEL H. HIGA'S MOTION TO SEVER (ECF No. 47) is DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.

         PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On August 31, 2017, the grand jury returned an Indictment of fifteen counts charging Defendants Wagdy A. Guirguis and Michael H. Higa. (ECF No. 1)

         On August 28, 2018, Defendant Higa filed DEFENDANT MICHAEL H. HIGA'S MOTION ...


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