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United States v. Teyf

United States District Court, E.D. North Carolina, Western Division

December 3, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
LEONID ISAAKOVICH TEYF, Defendant.

          ORDER

          LOUISE W. FLANAGAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter is before the court on defendant's motion for reconsideration of the magistrate judge's November 5, 2019, order pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A) and Rule 59(a) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. (DE 349). The issues raised have been fully briefed, and in this posture are ripe for ruling. For the reasons noted, defendant's motion is denied.

         BACKGROUND

         This case has a lengthy and contentious procedural history, set forth fully in the court's prior orders. In the interest of judicial economy, the court recounts those facts pertinent to the instant motion.

         On February 22, 2019, the grand jury issued a subpoena requiring defendant to produce the following:

Any and all records in your possession, custody, or control that are required to be maintained pursuant to 31 C.F.R. § 1010.420 (formerly 31 C.F.R. § 103.32) for the past 5 years relating to foreign financial bank, securities, or other financial accounts in a foreign country for which you had/have a financial interest in, or signature or other authority over and are required by law to file a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Account (FBAR). The records required to be maintained pursuant to 31 C.F.R. § 1010.420 (formerly 31 C.F.R. § 103.32) include records that contain the name in which each such account is maintained, the number or other designation of such account, the name and address of the foreign bank or other person with whom such account is maintained, the type of such account, and the maximum value of each such account during the reporting period.

(Grand Jury Subpoena (DE 175-1) at 2, 4). On March 11, 2019, defendant filed a motion to quash the subpoena, arguing that it violated his Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights. The following month, the grand jury returned a third superseding indictment, adding several items of property to the indictment's notice of forfeiture. Shortly thereafter, the magistrate judge denied the motion to quash on April 10, 2019.

         On May 7, 2019, the government filed motion to compel, informing the court that defendant refused to comply with the subpoena, continuing to assert a Fifth Amendment right against disclosure. Two days later, the government filed a fourth superseding indictment, adding five counts against defendant. On May 21, 2019, defendant responded in opposition, asserting that the court should give him more time to respond to the subpoena because of the amount of information produced by the government in discovery, the subpoena violates his Fifth Amendment privilege. After retaining new counsel, defendant filed supplemental response on August 16, 2019, arguing for the first time that the government was abusing the grand jury to bolster evidence of existing charges. One week later, the magistrate judge heard argument from the parties at hearing.

         On November 5, 2019, the magistrate judge granted the government's motion to compel, holding that defendant's Fifth Amendment testimonial privilege had not been violated, and that the government did not abuse the grand jury process by seeking to enforce the grand jury's subpoena. The instant motion followed.

         DISCUSSION

         A. Standard of Review

         A district court may designate a magistrate judge to hear and decide any “pretrial matter not dispositive of a party's claim or defense.” Fed. R. Crim. P. 59(a); see also 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A). Upon timely objection by a party, the court must modify or set aside any part of a magistrate judge's order that is “clearly erroneous” or “contrary to law.” Fed. R. Crim. P. 59(a). “A factual finding is clearly erroneous when [the court is] ‘left with the definite and firm conviction that a mistake has been committed.'” TFWS, Inc. v. Franchot, 572 F.3d 186, 196 (4th Cir.2009) (quoting Anderson v. Bessemer City, 470 U.S. 564, 573 (1985)). The “contrary to law” standard permits plenary review of legal conclusions. See PowerShare, Inc. v. Syntel, Inc., 597 F.3d 10, 15 (1st Cir. 2010); Haines v. Liggett Grp. Inc., 975 F.2d 81, 91 (3d Cir. 1992). However, discretionary decisions related to discovery disputes and scheduling are accorded greater deference. See, e.g., Patrick v. PHH Mortg. Corp., 298 F.R.D. 333, 336 (N.D. W.Va. 2014); In re Outsidewall Tire Lit., 267 F.R.D. 466, 470 (E.D. Va. 2010).

         B. Analysis

         1. Act of ...


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