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United States v. Guirguis

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

October 30, 2018

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

          ORDER GRANTING, IN PART, AND DENYING, IN PART, DEFENDANT WAGDY GUIRGUIS' MOTION IN LIMINE TO EXCLUDE GOVERNMENT'S OFFERED RULE 404(B) EVIDENCE (ECF NO. 70) AND DENYING DEFENDANT MICHAEL HIGA'S MOTION IN LIMINE TO EXCLUDE GOVERNMENT'S 404(B) EVIDENCE (ECF NO. 72)

          HELEN GILLMOR, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Defendants Wagdy A. Guirguis and Michael H. Higa are charged in a fifteen-count Indictment.

         Count 1 charges that from 2005 through 2017, Defendants Wagdy A. Guirguis and Michael H. Higa engaged in a 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).

         The Government seeks to introduce evidence of other acts of the Defendants pursuant to Federal Rule of Evidence 404(b) in order to prove motive, opportunity, intent, preparation, plan, knowledge, identity, absence of mistake, or lack of accident.

         The Government also argues that some of the other acts evidence is inextricably intertwined with the charges and is also admissible on that basis.

         PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On September 26, 2018, the Government filed a NOTICE OF INTENT TO INTRODUCE RULE 404(b) EVIDENCE. (ECF No. 68).

         On September 27, 2018, Defendant Guirguis filed a MOTION IN LIMINE TO EXCLUDE GOVERNMENT'S OFFERED RULE 404(b) EVIDENCE. (ECF No. 70).

         On September 28, 2018, Defendant Higa filed a MOTION IN LIMINE TO EXCLUDE GOVERNMENT'S 404(b) EVIDENCE. (ECF No. 72).

         On October 9, 2018, the Government filed its CONSOLIDATED RESPONSE TO DEFENDANTS GUIRGUIS AND HIGA'S MOTIONS IN LIMINE TO EXCLUDE GOVERNMENT'S OFFERED RULE 404(b) EVIDENCE. (ECF No. 101).

         On October 19, 2018, the Court held the Final Pretrial Conference and ordered the Government to file a Supplemental Brief in support of its Notice of Intent to Introduce Rule 404(b) Evidence. (ECF No. 111).

         On the same date, the Government filed SUPPLEMENTAL MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF GOVERNMENT'S CONSOLIDATED RESPONSE TO DEFENDANTS GUIRGUIS AND HIGA'S MOTION TO EXCLUDE RULE 404(b) EVIDENCE. (ECF No. 107).

         On October 23, 2018, Defendant Higa filed SUPPLEMENTAL MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF MOTION IN LIMINE RE EXCLUDING GOVERNMENT'S 404(b) EVIDENCE. (ECF No. 112).

         On October 25, 2018, the Court held a Continued Final Pretrial Hearing.

         ANALYSIS

         Federal Rule of ...


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