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United States v. Childs

United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma

February 7, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
MELVIN BROWN CHILDS, III, Defendant.

          ORDER

          TIMOTHY D. DEGIUSTI, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Before the Court are motions to quash filed by non-parties Verdia Ezell-Childs [Doc. No. 98] and Yvonne Washington [Doc. Nos. 105, 106]. The United States has responded to the motions [Doc. Nos. 100, 107] and Ms. Childs has replied [Doc. No. 104]. The matter is fully briefed and at issue.

         BACKGROUND

         On May 21, 2009, Defendant Melvin Childs pled guilty to both counts of a two-count Information charging him with wire fraud under 18 U.S.C. § 1343 and money laundering under 18 U.S.C. § 1957(a). He was sentenced to probation for a term of five years as to each count, to be served concurrently, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $357, 963.89. On January 7, 2014, Childs' probation was revoked and he was sentenced to six (6) months' incarceration followed by two years' supervised release for, among other things, submitting three checks to the Court Clerk's office that were returned for insufficient funds. See Order, Jan. 7, 2014 [Doc. No. 49]. The checks were drawn on an account in the name of Touch 1 Media LLC (“Touch 1”) and signed by Yvonne Washington. Id. at 3. Based on testimony received at the revocation hearing, the Court found that Childs asked Touch 1 to issue the checks on his behalf. Id. at 4. Childs completed his supervised release in August 2016.

         The present discovery dispute stems from the government's continuing efforts to collect restitution. After his discharge from supervised release, the government served Childs with written discovery requests, seeking information about, inter alia, his employment, income stream, and relationship with Touch 1, Ms. Washington, and Produced by Faith LLC (PBF).[1] In his responses, Childs stated he had no income, was employed at PBF as an unpaid production consultant, and identified Ms. Washington/PBF as having knowledge of financial information related to the Love Jones musical. After several unsuccessful attempts to obtain information from Ms. Washington, the government filed notices of subpoenas duces tecum indicating its intent to serve subpoenas on Touch 1 and PBF. The subpoenas, which are similar in their subject matter and scope, generally seek information related to each company's formation, their financial statements, Childs' employment, and their respective financial relationship with Childs.

         Ms. Washington, in her capacity as registered agent for Touch 1 and PBF, objects to the subpoenas and has moved the Court for an order quashing the subpoenas on the grounds they are overly broad and create an undue burden and expense. Alternatively, Ms. Washington asks that the subpoenas be substantially modified in certain respects.

         In its efforts to collect restitution, the government also learned that Childs drove a 2014 Maserati Ghibli and he and Ms. Washington purchased the vehicle in Georgia. Further inquiry revealed that Childs, in his capacity as “owner or legal agent” of PBF, registered the vehicle. After Childs failed to respond to written discovery requests relating to said purchase/registration, the government filed a notice of subpoena duces tecum indicating its intent to serve a subpoena on the Municipal Employees Credit Union (MECU). The subpoena requested MECU to produce:

Copies of loan applications and/or agreements for any and all accounts, purchases or sales, in the name of or related to MELVIN BROWN CHILDS, III …. Items should include, but not be limited to:
a. Melvin Brown Childs, III;
b. MECU loan account [REDACTED]; and
c. Auto loan for a Maserati Ghibli[.]
Include copies of loan applications, monthly billing statements, repayment records disclosing the dates, amounts and method of repayment, and checks used to make repayments (front and back), and any memoranda or correspondence from the time of purchase to the present (Emphasis in original).

         As discussed more fully below, Verdia Ezell-Childs is Childs' ex-wife. She moves the Court to quash the MECU subpoena on the grounds that it: (1) seeks irrelevant information, and (2) was issued for purposes of harassment.

         STANDARD ...


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