Jones Trust

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Jones Trust

Postby Deep Knight » Mon Sep 15, 2008 3:33 pm

'Hello, Central!' Richard L. Jones
NR

----- Original Message -----
From: NR
To: Patrick Bellringer
Sent: Saturday, September 13, 2008 9:08 PM
Subject: For Casper and Bellringers: Comment
Patrick and Anne,

Thank you, as always, for your great service!

Will you please forward this to Casper? Please read this also, and any feedback is appreciated.

In service to All Life,

NR

******************
Casper, Greetings!

I met Richard L. Jones, founder of the Jones Trust, in the midwest in about late 1983 or early 1984, and it took me a lot to get the $4,000 together to get into his program. But somehow with gathering my own funds, borrowing and scrimping, I did it. (That was a LOT of money in 1984.) (When I proudly told my Dad about the great program I had gotten into, I had never seen him so mad - over an unwise use of funds! But ultimately, he supported the program.)

My friends and I heard him talk a few times near us in Iowa in those times.

I had heard he was poisoned - a first time - and wrote him over in Bloomington, Illinois, concerned, to please take care of himself. He thanked me the next time we spoke on the phone - as he was available by phone to individuals. He also sent me a post card in his lovely handwriting thanking me for my concern. At the time, I hadn't a real clue.

On the last occasion I remember, in Des Moines, Iowa, many folks were gathered in a hotel ballroom - I would say, about 150. He talked to us until after midnight, maybe 1 a.m. From his tapes and these talks in person, I learned about "arbitrage" - "the simultaneous buying of selling of currencies for profit", and much more. He taught us that we would now become the banking system, and wanted us to think as the source of resources.

I still have some of his tapes. I could offer copies - do you think people would want them? He had a Recommended Book list, all of which are now well known in our circles, such as fourwinds10.

When he died and all the meetings stopped, and of course we were still "waiting" to "fund", then after a year or two of carrying on in life, I began to find that all that he had taught me, I began to be able to see evidence of, when I heard the news or saw stuff in the world that was inconsistent with the "official version" of things. I knew right away, perceiving the world differently, that my new understanding was from Richard L. Jones.

That last night in Des Moines, one of the last questions asked him was from a young couple. They asked him many questions about the program. Then the young woman spoke, "How do we know we can trust you?" Richard answered, "Don't ask me. I can lie. Ask Spirit. Spirit won’t lie."

He was a spiritual mentor to me, as well as a financial, economic and political one. I was deeply touched by his answer, and have continued to learn from him even in his earthly absence.

He had a second in command, named Dr. Peter Wilkinson. He too was killed. I called his wife in Texas a short time afterwards. - I don’t know how, but I always seemed to get the contact info I wanted, and then, when I felt to contact persons, I could do so. She told me that he had gone into the hospital with a flu, and the next thing they knew, he had died.

Both these gentlemen had inspired me in the meetings. Both were quite portly and I had already been concerned about their weight impacting their health. But now, in retrospect, I see it more as Buddha’s belly – a type of insulation from the environment, and even a way of grounding to permit a radiating of divine influence amidst a terrible environs.

Then there was a third person in charge: Ell Conch. I learned from an acquaintance who apparently worked with Ell in this phase that, “The program is real. It will fund.” She whispered this to me, desperately, gripping my arm till it pinched. I had never doubted it, even before her words to me.

I attended the last meeting in my experience, before it all went silent, - up till 2000 when Jennifer Lee mentioned the program in one of her phone updates while listing many names of programs, and I almost fell over. This last meeting was in Southern California with Ell Conch, and my acquaintance who assured me. From that meeting in about 1989 till about 2000, all was silent.

By the way, after Jones’ death in about 1985 or 1986, his “wife” Bridget attempted to put out info and to sway us to sign our way “out of the program”. Of course, I had heard that she was CxxxIxxxAx, and I disregarded her materials. Her materials said things like, We know that RLJ was way off in what he was doing and that you will be prosecuted unless you take your name off the program. We had heard that she had poisoned him and then had delayed in calling 911 for help, and perhaps that it had been made to seem like a heart attack.

One last key item. In Jones’ form to apply for his program, one had to agree that one would not use the funds for four things: drugs; prostitution; arms; and human trafficking. I didn’t even know then what the last item was; I do now.

Jones was a truly great soul and being in the world, and my life has been immeasurably enriched from even a little exposure to him, and his ideas and teaching, and from the continued demonstration of his ideas in the world.

Once an acquaintance asked me, “Why should we get in the program (a later program), if all the world is going to change for the better anyway, and the world won’t use money or need this money?” I answered, “Maybe this is our way of self-selecting ourselves now to pray for these changes.”

I wouldn’t be on any other team, or working on anything else, in these times, than this great project to uphold our beloved Mother Earth and the lighted beings on Her.

Highest regards to Casper for your service. Highest regards to the Bellringers for your service.

Any feedback about this experience, Richard L. Jones, and/or related others, etc., is appreciated.

All Love in Service to All Life,

NR
"Follow the Money"

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Re: Jones Trust

Postby Deep Knight » Mon Sep 15, 2008 3:47 pm

By Larry Becraft from http://fly.hiwaay.net/~becraft/Scams.htm

Richard and Bridget Jones
Back in about 1983, I heard various patriots talking about an arbitrage program operated by a man from Illinois named Richard Jones. He was supposedly an acclaimed international financier who was tired of what the government and the "big boys" were doing and he wanted to help the patriots. Jones' program involved taking people's money and successively rolling it over in some arbitrage scheme which allegedly had a very high rate of return. But this was not his only package; he also had a loan program whereby you could borrow money from some offshore banks at a very low interest rate, and the proceeds of this loan could then be invested in his arbitrage program. In a few years, the investment would pay off the original loan from the offshore bank and you would allegedly end up with a nice stash of cash. To get involved with his project, the patriot was required to invest an initial $4000.

Later, a new third program was started by Jones. He claimed that he had discovered some extremely rich Saudi Arabs who wanted to assist patriots with their battles against the government. These Saudis planned to distribute $10 million to every patriot who got involved with the program. The sale pitch was that you had to give Jones $5000 to show good faith, and then at a designated time, these Saudis would take their yachts to Panama, and the investors in the program would be flown to Panama where they would be aboard the Saudis' yachts and given $10 million each. Of course, the patriot investors had to use about 60% to 75% of the funds given to them to carry out worthy causes and battles. Needless to say, business was very brisk and some of the patriots who fell for the Jones program kept me regularly informed of the forthcoming date when the Saudis would give away these millions. But then again, this day always kept being extended month after month and year after year.

Jones died in April, 1986, and his wife stepped into his shoes. But that summer, she was indicted; she went to trial and was convicted, but she fled before being sentenced. After being on the run for 2 years, she was apprehended and sentenced. The below extract is a portion of the decision in her appeal, which explains the facts of this case regarding the Jones loan program; unfortunately, this decision mentions nothing about the "Saudi project" which apparently was not a part of the case against Bridget.

Extracts from United States v. Jones, 938 F.2d 737 (7th Cir. 1991):

"A ‘loan procurement program' promoted to desperate or gullible persons generated over $11 million in procurement fees for Bridget and Richard Jones. No loans were ever procured and no taxes were ever paid on the fees received. Mrs. Jones was convicted of wire fraud, obstruction of justice and conspiracy. After failing to appear for sentencing, Mrs. Jones was apprehended and received a twenty-five year prison term. She appeals her convictions and sentence, raising a variety of arguments, and we affirm.
"Bridget C. Jones and her late husband, Richard L. Jones, operated what was termed an advance fee loan program. For a $4,000 fee paid up front, they promised to arrange a $100 million loan for the applicant. From the standpoint of Bridget and Richard Jones the program was quite successful. By April 15, 1986, (the date Richard died) the couple had accumulated more than $10 million from procurement fees received from approximately 4,000 clients who joined their programs. The money generated from this scheme was placed in more than 100 banks located throughout the United States. No taxes were paid on any of the fees received by Mrs. Jones and her husband. Not incidentally, no loans were ever arranged.

"In early 1986, Bridget and Richard Jones learned that the government had been subpoenaing records from their bank accounts. This news prompted them to take steps to move the money in those accounts outside the United States. To accomplish this international transfer of funds Mrs. Jones and her husband sought the assistance of Joan McIntosh and a Swiss banker named Harry Wanke. McIntosh claimed to be in the business of protecting people's money from being taxed. A plan was developed whereby Richard Jones would write checks on all his bank accounts and make them payable to sham corporations. The checks would be given to McIntosh, who would deposit them in a bank account she controlled in Denver, commingling them with other funds in that account. From the Denver account McIntosh would then move the funds to New York where Wanke would deposit them with a bank having a correspondent relationship with Wanke's bank in Zurich, Switzerland. Wanke would then arrange for the funds to be wire-transferred from the New York bank to his Swiss bank. No reporting or disclosure of the actual ownership of the funds was to be made.

"Bridget and Richard Jones had various bank accounts in Bloomington, Illinois, the base of their operations. Prior to his death and consistent with the plan to move the funds out of the country, Richard Jones depleted his bank accounts outside of Bloomington by writing multiple checks in amounts of less than $10,000 payable to dummy corporations. These checks totalled nearly $6 million. In late March and early April of 1986, Mrs. Jones and her husband sent $500,000 of the checks made payable to the sham corporations to McIntosh. On April 12, 1986, Bridget and Richard Jones, McIntosh, Wanke and others met in Chicago. Mrs. Jones and her husband decided that of the $500,000 sent to McIntosh, $200,000 would be used to test the system devised for getting the money to Switzerland. The balance of the $500,000 would be used to establish trusts.

"Three days later Richard Jones died. A week later, a federal grand jury subpoena was served on Mrs. Jones directing her to produce records relating to the loan program. After receiving the subpoena Mrs. Jones directed that the subpoenaed records be removed from her house, microfilmed and then burned. Although she was given immunity for the act of producing the records of the loan program, Mrs. Jones stated that she had no intention of turning the records over to the grand jury.

"During this time, the Internal Revenue Service made two jeopardy assessments against Richard Jones' estate. The first assessment in the sum of $3.8 million was made in middle or late April of 1986. The second assessment for $10.25 million was made in the middle of June of 1986. Bridget Jones received notifications of the levies and was heard repeatedly to say that she wanted to move the money outside the United States to avoid seizure.

"After Richard Jones' death, Bridget Jones assumed sole control over the operations of the advance fee loan program. She also pursued the scheme to move the untaxed money outside the United States to prevent its seizure by the Internal Revenue Service. On May 7, 1986, Mrs. Jones met with McIntosh in Denver, Colorado, and gave McIntosh an additional $239,000. Mrs. Jones directed her to funnel $100,000 to the overseas bank accounts and to retain $139,000 as an escape fund for Mrs. Jones and her family.

"Seven days later on May 14, 1986, Mrs. Jones met with Rupert Henry and Robin Baily in Miami, Florida. The purpose of this meeting was to arrange the transfer of approximately $290,000 out of the country to bank accounts in Panama.

"On May 21, 1986, Mrs. Jones divided the remaining checks written to the dummy corporations into two groups. Mrs. Jones directed that one group of checks totalling $2,841,172.10 be given to Rupert Henry for deposit in the Panamanian bank accounts. The second group of checks, totalling $3,024,627.48 was given to McIntosh for deposit in the Swiss bank accounts.

"The advance fee loan program continued to generate fees. On May 27, 1986, Mrs. Jones received an additional $1 million from the loan program brought in subsequent to her husband's death. Of this income to Mrs. Jones, approximately $800,000 was in the form of checks. Mrs. Jones directed that the checks be converted to cash without the filing of any Currency Transaction Reports with her name on them. However, the transfer of the cash to Panama could not be arranged and Mrs. Jones decided to move the cash outside the United States through McIntosh and Wanke. At Mrs. Jones' direction, $500,000 in cash was given directly to Wanke in New York. Wanke agreed not to disclose Mrs. Jones' identity on any Currency Transaction Reports. Wanke received the $500,000 in cash in New York and was arrested.

"Mrs. Jones was charged with one count of conspiracy in violation of 18 U.S.C. Sec. 371; four counts of wire fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1343; and one count of obstruction of justice in violation of 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1503.

"After trial, the jury found Mrs. Jones guilty on all six counts. The district judge set the case for sentencing and agreed to release Mrs. Jones pending sentencing. Mrs. Jones fled and remained at-large for over two and one-half years. After being apprehended and returned for sentencing, the district judge sentenced her to twenty-five years imprisonment."

I have seen mimics of the Jones program since then, so scam artists continue to thrive. But what happened to the money in the Jones program?
"Follow the Money"

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Re: Jones Trust

Postby Deep Knight » Mon Sep 15, 2008 10:52 pm

938 F.2d 737
68 A.F.T.R.2d 91-5583
UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
Bridget C. JONES, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 90-1364.

United States Court of Appeals,
Seventh Circuit.

Argued Oct. 30, 1990.
Decided July 25, 1991.

Patrick J. Chesley, Asst. U.S. Atty., Springfield, Ill., for plaintiff-appellee.

Jon G. Noll, Springfield, Ill., for defendant-appellant.

Before WOOD, Jr., COFFEY and KANNE, Circuit Judges.

KANNE, Circuit Judge.

1
A "loan procurement program" promoted to desperate or gullible persons generated over $11 million in procurement fees for Bridget and Richard Jones. No loans were ever procured and no taxes were ever paid on the fees received. Mrs. Jones was convicted of wire fraud, obstruction of justice and conspiracy. After failing to appear for sentencing, Mrs. Jones was apprehended and received a twenty-five year prison term. She appeals her convictions and sentence, raising a variety of arguments, and we affirm.

I.

2
Bridget C. Jones and her late husband, Richard L. Jones, operated what was termed an advance fee loan program. For a $4,000 fee paid up front, they promised to arrange a $100 million loan for the applicant. From the standpoint of Bridget and Richard Jones the program was quite successful. By April 15, 1986, (the date Richard died) the couple had accumulated more than $10 million from procurement fees received from approximately 4,000 clients who joined their programs. The money generated from this scheme was placed in more than 100 banks located throughout the United States. No taxes were paid on any of the fees received by Mrs. Jones and her husband. Not incidentally, no loans were ever arranged.

3
In early 1986, Bridget and Richard Jones learned that the government had been subpoenaing records from their bank accounts. This news prompted them to take steps to move the money in those accounts outside the United States. To accomplish this international transfer of funds Mrs. Jones and her husband sought the assistance of Joan McIntosh and a Swiss banker named Harry Wanke. McIntosh claimed to be in the business of protecting people's money from being taxed. A plan was developed whereby Richard Jones would write checks on all his bank accounts and make them payable to sham corporations. The checks would be given to McIntosh, who would deposit them in a bank account she controlled in Denver, commingling them with other funds in that account. From the Denver account McIntosh would then move the funds to New York where Wanke would deposit them with a bank having a correspondent relationship with Wanke's bank in Zurich, Switzerland. Wanke would then arrange for the funds to be wire-transferred from the New York bank to his Swiss bank. No reporting or disclosure of the actual ownership of the funds was to be made.

4
Bridget and Richard Jones had various bank accounts in Bloomington, Illinois, the base of their operations. Prior to his death and consistent with the plan to move the funds out of the country, Richard Jones depleted his bank accounts outside of Bloomington by writing multiple checks in amounts of less than $10,000 payable to dummy corporations. These checks totalled nearly $6 million. In late March and early April of 1986, Mrs. Jones and her husband sent $500,000 of the checks made payable to the sham corporations to McIntosh. On April 12, 1986, Bridget and Richard Jones, McIntosh, Wanke and others met in Chicago. Mrs. Jones and her husband decided that of the $500,000 sent to McIntosh, $200,000 would be used to test the system devised for getting the money to Switzerland. The balance of the $500,000 would be used to establish trusts.

5
Three days later Richard Jones died. A week later, a federal grand jury subpoena was served on Mrs. Jones directing her to produce records relating to the loan program. After receiving the subpoena Mrs. Jones directed that the subpoenaed records be removed from her house, microfilmed and then burned. Although she was given immunity for the act of producing the records of the loan program, Mrs. Jones stated that she had no intention of turning the records over to the grand jury.

6
During this time, the Internal Revenue Service made two jeopardy assessments against Richard Jones' estate. The first assessment in the sum of $3.8 million was made in middle or late April of 1986. The second assessment for $10.25 million was made in the middle of June of 1986. Bridget Jones received notifications of the levies and was heard repeatedly to say that she wanted to move the money outside the United States to avoid seizure.

7
After Richard Jones' death, Bridget Jones assumed sole control over the operations of the advance fee loan program. She also pursued the scheme to move the untaxed money outside the United States to prevent its seizure by the Internal Revenue Service. On May 7, 1986, Mrs. Jones met with McIntosh in Denver, Colorado, and gave McIntosh an additional $239,000. Mrs. Jones directed her to funnel $100,000 to the overseas bank accounts and to retain $139,000 as an escape fund for Mrs. Jones and her family.

8
Seven days later on May 14, 1986, Mrs. Jones met with Rupert Henry and Robin Baily in Miami, Florida. The purpose of this meeting was to arrange the transfer of approximately $290,000 out of the country to bank accounts in Panama.

9
On May 21, 1986, Mrs. Jones divided the remaining checks written to the dummy corporations into two groups. Mrs. Jones directed that one group of checks totalling $2,841,172.10 be given to Rupert Henry for deposit in the Panamanian bank accounts. The second group of checks, totalling $3,024,627.48 was given to McIntosh for deposit in the Swiss bank accounts.

10
The advance fee loan program continued to generate fees. On May 27, 1986, Mrs. Jones received an additional $1 million from the loan program brought in subsequent to her husband's death. Of this income to Mrs. Jones, approximately $800,000 was in the form of checks. Mrs. Jones directed that the checks be converted to cash without the filing of any Currency Transaction Reports with her name on them. However, the transfer of the cash to Panama could not be arranged and Mrs. Jones decided to move the cash outside the United States through McIntosh and Wanke. At Mrs. Jones' direction, $500,000 in cash was given directly to Wanke in New York. Wanke agreed not to disclose Mrs. Jones' identity on any Currency Transaction Reports. Wanke received the $500,000 in cash in New York and was arrested.

11
Mrs. Jones was charged with one count of conspiracy in violation of 18 U.S.C. Sec. 371; four counts of wire fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1343; and one count of obstruction of justice in violation of 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1503.

12
After trial, the jury found Mrs. Jones guilty on all six counts. The district judge set the case for sentencing and agreed to release Mrs. Jones pending sentencing. Mrs. Jones fled and remained at-large for over two and one-half years. After being apprehended and returned for sentencing, the district judge sentenced her to twenty-five years imprisonment.

13
Mrs. Jones alleges many errors on appeal. The only claims that merit discussion are: that the wire fraud counts did not state an offense because the government did not allege a scheme intended to deprive the victims of money or property; that the conspiracy count did not state an offense because Mrs. Jones could not have been convicted of the substantive offense of failure to file certain reports; that she was denied her constitutional right to proceed pro se at trial; that her sentence was unduly harsh; and that it was error for the magistrate to conduct jury selection. We now address these claims.

II.

14
Bridget Jones asserts that the scheme alleged in the indictment did not constitute a scheme to deprive the Treasury Department of money or property as required by McNally v. United States, 483 U.S. 350, 107 S.Ct. 2875, 97 L.Ed.2d 292 (1987).1 We noted in United States v. Gimbel, 830 F.2d 621, 627 (7th Cir.1987) that the standards set forth for mail fraud schemes under McNally are applicable to wire fraud schemes as well. We have considered a number of cases reviewing whether the scheme alleged fell within the "intangible rights" theory invalidated by McNally. But we do not look solely at the indictment when making this determination on this direct appeal. "When the jury must have found a deprivation of property, we affirm on direct appeal even though the indictment was cast in terms of intangible rights." Toulabi v. United States, 875 F.2d 122, 123 (7th Cir.1989). Our concern, as we noted in Gimbel, 830 F.2d at 627, is whether the jury was required to find that the scheme resulted in the government being deprived of money or property. As we noted in United States v. Wellman, 830 F.2d 1453, 1462 (7th Cir.1987), "we must look to the substantive allegations of the indictment and the jury instructions to determine whether the conduct alleged and necessarily found to have occurred by the jury constituted an offense."

15
We considered a situation somewhat similar to the one facing Jones in Gimbel. There the government alleged that the defendant used a scheme "to impede the Treasury Department from collecting Currency Transaction Reports and other 'data to be used to determine the correct source and amount of income in the determination and assessment of ... income taxes.' " Gimbel, 830 F.2d at 623 (citation omitted). We found that because the jury "was not required to find that the scheme resulted in the government being deprived of money or property," the indictment failed to state an offense under the mail fraud statute. Id. at 627.

16
In United States v. Bucey, 876 F.2d 1297 (7th Cir.), cert. denied, --- U.S. ----, 110 S.Ct. 565, 107 L.Ed.2d 560 (1989), we found that allegations charging the defendant with devising a scheme "to defraud the United States of money and property, that is, income taxes" satisfied the "money or property" requirement of McNally. This resolved a question left open in Gimbel as to whether the government had a property interest in income taxes due and owing. Jones must show that the jury was not required to find that the scheme resulted in the government being deprived of money or property.

17
The superseding indictment charged that Jones devised a scheme to defraud the United States by obstructing, impairing and defeating the Treasury Department's lawful functions of collecting data and reports of currency transactions at financial institutions in excess of $10,000, and of obtaining accurate and truthful information and data to be used to determine the correct source and amount of income and to determine income taxes.

18
Jones, in analyzing the scheme alleged, ignores the other language in the indictment, the evidence, and the jury instructions. Dispositive for our purposes are the jury instructions given at the close of trial. The jury was first instructed as to the wire fraud count.2 Then the jury was given the definition of "intent to defraud."3 With these two instructions, the jury could not convict simply for failure to provide information. Because the instruction phrased "information" and "tax revenues" in the conjunctive, the jury here was required to find that the scheme resulted in the government being deprived of money or property. This is the critical distinction between the situation here and the one faced by the court in Gimbel.

19
The proof at trial removed any doubt regarding the scheme's effect. The proof showed that Jones was engaged in an elaborate scam designed to evade federal income taxation. It is clear that the wire fraud charges properly stated an offense under the statute.

20
The second issue we address is whether the charge of conspiracy in the indictment was legally sufficient to allege a violation of the federal statute. Jones was charged in a superseding indictment with conspiracy to defraud the United States in relation to the failure to file Currency Transaction Reports with the IRS.4 Jones argues that because she is not a financial institution, she cannot be charged with conspiring to fail to file CTRs.

21
In Bucey, 876 F.2d 1297, we reversed the defendant's conviction for violation of the substantive offense of failing to file CTRs. But that case is of no aid to Jones. The government in Bucey contended that when Bucey received currency from undercover government agents, he himself was a financial institution and was obligated to file CTRs. Jones was not charged with the substantive counts of failure to file such reports. She was charged with conspiring to defraud the United States and conspiring to fail to file CTRs.

22
As is apparent from the part of the indictment set forth in footnote 4, the conspiracy charge alleged three objectives. We have noted the general rule that "when an indictment alleges a conspiracy with multifarious objectives, a conviction will be sustained so long as the evidence is sufficient to show that the defendants agreed to accomplish at least one of the alleged objectives." Id. at 1312. This is true so long as none of the objectives on which the jury relied in rendering its general verdict involved a legally invalid or unconstitutional basis for conviction. Id. at 1312 n. 27.

23
In Bucey, the defendant was charged with conspiracy to, among other things, impair the Treasury Department's collection of information through accurate CTRs, and the conviction on that count was affirmed. Id. at 1312-13. We conclude that Jones' situation is similar to Bucey's: "Although Bucey's failure to file CTRs and failure to disclose the source of currency on Form 4789 are not unlawful acts, these acts 'lost their lawful character when considered as part of a scheme to intentionally deprive the government of material information it would otherwise receive.' " Id. at 1313 (citation omitted). Also instructive is the Third Circuit's opinion in United States v. Donahue, 885 F.2d 45, 48 (3d Cir.1989), where the court held that "[w]hile Donahue himself could not have been held liable for a failure to file CTRs, this does not foreclose his criminal liability for conspiring to do so. A person, even though incapable of committing the underlying substantive offense, can be convicted of conspiracy under 18 U.S.C. Sec. 371." The conspiracy count properly stated an offense, and Jones' conviction on that count was proper.

24
Jones next argues that she was denied her constitutional right to proceed pro se, as described by the Supreme Court in Faretta v. California, 422 U.S. 806, 95 S.Ct. 2525, 45 L.Ed.2d 562 (1975). We have held that the demand to proceed pro se must be unequivocal and timely. United States v. Oakey, 853 F.2d 551, 553 (7th Cir.1988), cert. denied, 488 U.S. 1033, 109 S.Ct. 846, 102 L.Ed.2d 977 (1989).

25
We first inquire as to whether Jones' request to proceed pro se was unequivocal. Jones never informed the court specifically that she wanted to proceed pro se. Her attorney, who had been retained by Jones several months earlier, addressed the court regarding Jones' dissatisfaction with his refusal to file certain motions, and stated that Jones was prepared to proceed pro se rather than have him represent her. The attorney then went on to request that the court allow him to withdraw, and to ask for a continuance so that she could obtain other counsel. The court denied the attorney's motion to withdraw.

26
While personally addressing the court in discussing her dissatisfaction with current counsel, Jones told the court she had been attempting to secure alternate counsel. Jones then admitted that her objections to counsel's performance had to do with a disagreement regarding trial tactics. The court granted Jones a sort of hybrid representation, where she was represented by counsel, but where she could file any pro se documents she felt were relevant, and those documents would be considered by the court. It appears that Jones was seeking more time to retain other counsel rather than seeking to proceed pro se. Regardless, there was never any unequivocal request to proceed pro se.

27
The assertion of the right to proceed pro se must also be timely. We noted in Oakey our agreement with the decision in United States v. Smith, 780 F.2d 810 (9th Cir.1986). There the Ninth Circuit found that the demand for self-representation must be made before meaningful trial proceedings, such as jury selection, have occurred. Jones' assertion, if occurring at all, came on the second day of trial after the jury had been selected but prior to taking its oath. The district court noted that the previous day, the defense had answered affirmatively when asked if it was ready for trial. We find no error in not allowing the defendant to proceed pro se when the assertion of the right, if made at all, was neither unequivocal nor timely.

28
Jones alleges that her sentence was too harsh. This is a "pre-Guidelines" case--that is, the offenses were committed prior to the implementation of the Sentencing Guidelines. The standard for reviewing a "pre-Guidelines" sentencing decision of the district court is extremely narrow. We will affirm the district court's sentence that was within the statutory limits unless "the court based that sentence upon improper considerations or unreliable information in exercising its discretion or failed to exercise any discretion at all in imposing the sentence." United States v. Lewis, 910 F.2d 1367, 1373 (7th Cir.1990).

29
This defendant deserves a very substantial sentence, but a sentence of 25 years in a case in which no weapon was used and no life was put in jeopardy seems to us to be pushing the outer limits. At sentencing the government recommended imprisonment for 15 years, to be followed by 5 years probation, a recommendation that seems to us to have been fair and realistic, but the district judge disregarded it.

30
Why this particular sentence was imposed may possibly be suggested in the record. The defendant after being found guilty fled the jurisdiction, and for two and one-half years was missing. Before that happened, however, when the defendant's bail was being considered after her conviction, the district judge recognized that there was a distinct possibility that the defendant likely had access to large sums of money, and facing a 30-year sentence, might flee. The government held the same view, but opposed releasing the defendant prior to sentencing. The government regarded her as a definite flight risk. As the government pointed out she had previously set up an "escape fund." Although the government was not sure of that fund's availability at that moment, the government also pointed out that she had secreted other sums of money in various places in the world and some was available. Nevertheless, the district judge continued the defendant on her five hundred thousand dollar personal recognizance. It may be that the court was influenced by the fact she had two children and another on the way. The district judge certainly warned her adequately about what would happen if she violated the conditions of her bond. As the district judge put it, "I'll fall on her like a ton of bricks." She did and he did.

31
At sentencing it is apparent that the district judge well remembered his admonition in the prior year. He explained, "I am sentencing you today not only for those six convictions, but also for this mockery that you had made of our democracy and that which has held this country together for well over two hundred years." The defendant was, however, separately indicted and punished for that interim crime of jumping bail. The defendant appears to have paid heavily for her unlawful flight. Imprisonment was deserved, but the court, against the advice of the government, had originally provided her the opportunity to do what she did. Flight was almost certain to happen. That court therefore should share some of the responsibility.

32
We believe the government recommendation would have been adequate.5 However, on review considering our own limitations, we will not undertake to adjust this sentence downward.

33
The final issue we address is whether it was error for the magistrate to conduct the jury selection. Jones does not allege that she objected to the procedure, so we are left with a determination as to whether this was plain error. Although there is some confusion as to whether Jones simply did not object or in fact consented to this procedure, our outcome is the same under either scenario.

34
Our opinions in United States v. Wey, 895 F.2d 429 (7th Cir.), cert. denied, --- U.S. ----, 110 S.Ct. 3283, 111 L.Ed.2d 792 (1990) and United States v. Lake, 910 F.2d 414 (7th Cir.1990), control our decision on this issue. In Wey, we held that jury selection by a magistrate was not plain error. Wey, 895 F.2d at 431. Jones did not object to the procedure, and any error did not rise to the level of reversible error. Furthermore, there was some indication by counsel for Jones at oral argument that Jones in fact consented to this procedure. In Lake we held that when a defendant consents, a federal magistrate may conduct the selection of the jury in a felony case. Lake, 910 F.2d at 417. This position is consistent with the Supreme Court's recent decision in Peretz v. United States, --- U.S. ----, 111 S.Ct. 2661, 115 L.Ed.2d 808 (1991). Thus, there was no reversible error in the magistrate's action in selecting the jury in this case.

35
The defendant raises a number of other arguments on appeal. These other arguments are without merit and warrant no further discussion.

III.

36
For the foregoing reasons, the conviction and sentence of Bridget C. Jones are AFFIRMED.

Footnotes:

1
In McNally, the Supreme Court held that the mail fraud statute was limited in scope to the protection of property rights. But as the Court noted in Carpenter v. United States, 484 U.S. 19, 25, 108 S.Ct. 316, 320, 98 L.Ed.2d 275 (1987), McNally did not limit the scope of the mail fraud statute to only tangible property rights. Intangible property rights as well are within the scope of the mail fraud statutes. See Frank v. United States, 914 F.2d 828, 830 n. 4 (7th Cir.1990). The question then is whether the government alleged a scheme to deprive the victim (here the United States) of money or property

2
To sustain the charge of wire fraud, the government must prove the following propositions:

First: That the defendant knowingly devised or intended to devise and participated in the scheme to defraud as described in this indictment;

Second: That for the purpose of carrying out the scheme, the defendant caused interstate or foreign wire communications to take place in the manner charged in the particular counts; and

Third: That the defendant did so knowingly and with the intent to defraud.

If you find from your consideration of all the evidence that each of these propositions has been proved beyond a reasonable doubt, then you should find the defendant guilty.

If, on the other hand, you find from your consideration of all of the evidence that any of these propositions has not been proved beyond a reasonable doubt, then you should find the defendant not guilty.

3
"The phrase 'intent to defraud' means that the acts charged were done knowingly with the intent to deceive the United States in order to cause the loss to the Department of Treasury of information and tax revenues. "

4
The superseding indictment charged that Jones conspired:

a. to defraud the United States, and in particular the Internal Revenue Service, by impairing, obstructing and defeating its lawful governmental functions of the obtaining of accurate and truthful information and data to be used to determine the correct source and amount of income and in the determination, assessment, collection and payment of the revenue, that is income taxes[;]

b. to defraud the United States, in particular the Internal Revenue Service, by impairing, obstructing and defeating its lawful governmental function to collect data and information regarding currency transactions in excess of $10,000 at financial institutions operating within the United States;

c. to fail to file with the Internal Revenue Service Currency Transaction Reports (IRS Form 4789) for currency transactions occurring within the United States in excess of $10,000, in violation of Title 31, United States Code, Sections 5313 and 5322.

5
At oral argument government counsel was asked what had happened in the interim since its earlier 15-year recommendation to the sentencing court to cause it to now urge affirmance of the 25-year sentence. "Nothing," was the answer, "but sentencing was the court's prerogative and [it is] the government's responsibility to support it." It was a good answer
"Follow the Money"


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