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United States v. Okoroji

United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division

April 5, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
PATIENCE OKOROJI, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          SIDNEY A. FITZWATER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         In this memorandum opinion and order, the court addresses the following motions filed by defendant Patience Okoroji (“Okoroji”): January 12, 2018 motion for specific and advance discovery; January 12, 2018 motion for James hearing; and January 12, 2018 request for notice of intent to use evidence pursuant to Fed.R.Evid. 404(b).[*] Okoroji, along with five other defendants, is charged in Count 1 of the superseding indictment with conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1349, and in Counts 2 through 6 with healthcare fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1347, and aiding and abetting healthcare fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2. The trial is set for July 23, 2018.

         I

         Okoroji's January 12, 2018 request for notice of intent to use evidence pursuant to Fed.R.Evid. 404(b) is unopposed. Accordingly, the court grants the motion and orders that the government comply with its disclosure obligations under Rule 404(b) no later than the deadline specified infra at § III.

         II

         In Okoroji's January 12, 2018 motion for specific and advance discovery inspection, she moves for 10 categories of discovery. The court has organized some of Okoroji's categories of evidence into subcategories for purposes of this memorandum opinion and order.

         A

         Rule 16 Evidence

         In request No. 1, Okoroji requests that the government be ordered to disclose any written or recorded statements made by Okoroji, the substance of any statements made by her that the government intends to offer in evidence at trial, any response made by her to interrogation, the substance of any oral statements that the government intends to introduce at trial, any written summaries of Okoroji's oral statements contained in the reports or handwritten notes of a government agent, and any other statements by Okoroji that are discoverable under Fed. R. Crim. P. 16(a)(1)(A).

         To the extent that Okoroji requests discovery that the government is required to disclose under Rules 16(a)(1)(A)-(D), 12(b)(4), and 26.2, Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963), and its progeny, Giglio v. United States, 405 U.S. 150 (1972), and its progeny, and/or the Jencks Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3500, the motion is granted. To the extent her requests exceed what is required by these authorities, the motion is denied.

         B

         Impeachment Evidence

         Okoroji requests in request No. 2 that the government be ordered to disclose, before trial, all statements, agreements, and/or promises, express or implied, made to or with any government witness in exchange for his testimony or cooperation in this case, and all other information that could arguably be used for the impeachment of any government witness. In request No. 3, Okoroji requests that the government be ordered to disclose, before trial, all proffer agreements, immunity agreements, motions for immunity, orders for immunity, plea agreements, and motions for downward departure filed on behalf of any government witness, including, but not limited to, cooperating codefendants and unindicted coconspirators. She requests in request No. 4 that the government be ordered to disclose, before trial, any evidence in its possession that would provide a basis to argue that any prospective government witness is biased or prejudiced against her or has any motive to falsify or distort his testimony. In request No. 5, Okoroji requests that the government be ordered to disclose, before trial, any evidence that any prospective government witness has engaged in any criminal act, whether or not resulting in a conviction, and whether any witness has made a statement favorable to her, including, but not limited to, conduct during the time period alleged in the indictment, and also requests that the presentence reports for each of the codefendants who will be testifying for the government be submitted to the court for in camera review. Okoroji requests, in request No. 6, that the government be ordered to disclose, before trial, any evidence that any prospective witness is currently under investigation by federal, state, or local authorities for any criminal conduct. In request No. 7, she requests any evidence, including any medical or psychiatric report or evaluation, tending to show that any prospective witness' ability to perceive, remember, communicate, or tell the truth is impaired, and any evidence that a witness has ever used narcotics or other controlled substances or has ever abused alcohol or any other intoxicating substances.

         To the extent Okoroji requests discovery that the government is required to disclose under Rules 12(b)(4), 16, and 26.2, Brady, Giglio, and/or the Jencks Act, the motion is granted. To the extent her requests exceed what is required by these authorities, the motion is denied. The government need not produce any discoverable ...


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