Argued: March 24, 2017
from the United States District Court for the District of
Maryland, at Baltimore. William D. Quarles, Jr., District
Vincent Anthony Jankoski, VINCENT A. JANKOSKI, ESQ., Silver
Spring, Maryland, for Appellant. Kathleen O'Connell
Gavin, OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY, Baltimore,
Maryland, for Appellee.
Rosenstein, United States Attorney, OFFICE OF THE UNITED
STATES ATTORNEY, Baltimore, Maryland, for Appellee.
TRAXLER and WYNN, Circuit Judges, and DAVIS, Senior Circuit
a two-day bench trial, the district court convicted Defendant
Karen Kimble of numerous charges stemming from her submission
of fraudulent immigration and tax filings to various state
and federal agencies over a nearly five-year span. Seeking to
overturn her conviction, Defendant argues that the district
court erred in admitting certain evidence obtained following
a search of her home pursuant to a validly issued warrant.
For the reasons set forth below, we conclude that the
district court correctly admitted this evidence,
which-together with additional evidence offered at trial-
provided sufficient support for the trial court's guilty
verdict on each of the government's charges against
Defendant. Accordingly, we affirm.
summary of the facts proven at trial, as found by the
district court, follows. Between 2007 and 2011, Defendant
perpetrated a series of schemes that ultimately led to her
indictment on charges ranging from tax and visa application
fraud to aggravated identity theft. First, in the fall of
2007, Defendant participated in a marriage and immigration
fraud scheme with Tamim Mamah, a native of Ghana. According
to the government, after Mamah's earlier attempt to
obtain a green card by means of a fraudulent marriage failed,
Defendant filed, under Mamah's first wife's name, for
a divorce from Mamah. Thereafter, Defendant submitted a new
green card application on Mamah's behalf using a marriage
certificate listing herself as Mamah's wife.
roughly the same period, in September 2007, Defendant
committed perjury in connection with her testimony in the
criminal trial of Mamah's brother, who was charged with
importing heroin in his luggage on a flight from Ghana. At
that trial, Defendant testified that she traveled with
Mamah's brother to Ghana in 2006. In particular,
Defendant testified that, during that trip, she observed
numerous individuals visit the brother's home, which she
asserted was customary in Ghana. The defense relied on
Defendant's testimony as evidence that someone other than
Mamah's brother packed his luggage and placed the heroin
in his bag. However, a subsequent review of Defendant's
travel records revealed that she did not travel to Africa
during the period in question.
beginning in February 2008 and continuing through at least
April 2012, Defendant submitted numerous fraudulent tax
returns for herself and others. In addition to inflating her
own refunds, Defendant-who falsely held herself out as a
certified tax preparer-filed returns on behalf of others that
included artificially inflated credits and deductions.
Defendant provided the taxpayers with versions of the returns
that did not include the inflated figures and kept the excess
refunds, which totaled roughly $222, 000. During the course
of her tax fraud scheme, Defendant committed identity theft
on at least four occasions.
2011, the Department of Homeland Security ("Homeland
Security") obtained a search warrant in connection with
its investigation of Defendant's marriage and immigration
fraud and perjury. In an accompanying affidavit, the
government asserted probable cause to believe that
Defendant's home contained evidence of perjury, marriage
and immigration fraud, and false statements, in violation of
18 U.S.C. §§ 1001, 1425, 1621, and 1623 and 8
U.S.C. § 1325(c). Entitled "Items to be Seized from
[Defendant's Residence], " Attachment B to the
warrant affidavit averred that the requested search would
enable the government to seize "[a]ny and all records
and documents relating to the travel of [Defendant] to Ghana
in 2006 including but not limited to . . . documents,
correspondence, notes, statements, receipts or other records
that reference or indicate the fraudulent activity [and]
items evidencing the obtaining, secreting, transferring,
concealment and/or expenditure of illegal proceeds and
currency to include cash." J.A. 46.
Security agents executed the search warrant on July 29, 2011.
At the beginning of the search, the agents asked Defendant if
she had any valuables in the house, to which Defendant
replied that there was some cash in a laundry basket.
Defendant then led the agents to the cash, which was
contained in a bag in a laundry basket in the home and
totaled more than $41, 000. When the agents inquired as to
the source of the funds, Defendant told the agents that the
cash did not belong to her. Rather, she said that, at
Mamah's request, she had retrieved the cash from a
stranger about a week earlier and was holding it for Mamah.
Aware Mamah was detained on unrelated narcotics distribution
charges, the agents seized the cash on suspicion that it
derived from Mamah's alleged drug activity.
months later, Defendant filed a claim to recover the seized
funds. At odds with the explanation she gave at the time of
the initial seizure, Defendant claimed that the cash was
proceeds of an insurance claim she filed after her home was
damaged in a fire. Their suspicions piqued by Defendant's
revised account, investigators subpoenaed Defendant's
bank records in an attempt to confirm the source of the
seized funds. After reviewing the records, however,
investigators found numerous deposits from ...