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Transcript of Kevin Ring Sentencing

Case 1:08-cr-00274-ESH Document 292

Filed 10/11/11 Page 1 of 39


No. 1:08-cr-00274-ESH

UNITED STATES SENTENCING MEMORANDUM REGARDING FACTORS TO CONSIDER PURSUANT TO 18 U.S.C. 3553 The United States, by and through its undersigned attorneys, respectfully submits this sentencing memorandum regarding factors to consider pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 3553 in determining the appropriate sentence for defendant Kevin Ring, whom a jury convicted of conspiracy, payment of an illegal gratuity, and three counts of honest services fraud. The Court has previously determined that the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines recommended sentencing range is 46 to 57 months of incarceration. DE 289. For the reasons stated herein, the Government recommends that the Court sentence Ring to a sentence within the Guidelines range50 months. In addition, the Government does not recommend that Ring pay a fine, but that Ring be ordered to pay the mandatory special assessments of $500, serve a period of three years of supervised release, and perform community service in lieu of a fine. I. Applicable Sentencing Law As stated by the Supreme Court in Gall v. United States, a district court should begin all sentencing proceedings by correctly calculating the applicable Guidelines range. 552 U.S. 38, 49 (2007). The Guidelines range should be treat[ed] as the starting point and the initial

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benchmark for sentencing. United States v. Akhigbe, 642 F.3d 1078, 1084 (D.C. Cir. 2011) (quoting Gall, 552 U.S. at 49). Then, after giving both parties an opportunity to argue for whatever sentence they deem appropriate, the court is required to consider all of the sentencing factors Congress identified in 18 U.S.C. 3553(a) and undertakes an individualized assessment based on the facts presented. Id. (citing Gall, 552 U.S. at 49-50). In this case, as noted above, the Court has determined that the total offense level for Rings conduct is 23, with a guidelines range of 46 to 57 months of incarceration. DE 289 at 42. II. Section 3553 Factors Strongly Support A Guidelines Sentence As noted above, the Supreme Court has declared that [a]s a matter of administration and to secure nationwide consistency, the Guidelines should be the starting point and the initial benchmark. Gall, 552 U.S. at 49. Thus, the Sentencing Guidelines remain an indispensable resource for assuring appropriate and uniform punishment for federal criminal offenses. While the Guidelines are the starting point used to ensure nationwide consistency, this Court must also consider all of the sentencing considerations set forth in 3553(a). Those factors include: (1) the nature and circumstances of the offense and the history and characteristics of the defendant; (2) the need for the sentence imposed to reflect the seriousness of the offense, to promote respect for the law, and to provide just punishment for the offense; (3) the need to afford adequate deterrence to criminal conduct, and to protect the public from further crimes of the defendant; (4) the need to provide the defendant with educational or vocational training, medical care, or other correctional treatment in the most effective manner; (5) the guidelines and policy statements issued by the Sentencing Commission; (6) the need to avoid unwarranted sentence disparities among defendants with similar records who have been found guilty of 2

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similar conduct; and (7) the need to provide restitution to any victims of the offense. 18 U.S.C. 3553(a). As described below, the relevant sentencing factors warrant the imposition of a sentence within the applicable Guidelines range of 46 - 57 months of incarceration. A. Section 3553(a)(1) -The Long-Term and Extensive Nature and Circumstances of the Offense Support a Guidelines Sentence of Incarceration

In fashioning a reasonable sentence pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 3553(a)(1), the Court must consider the nature and circumstances of the offense. The serious and long-term nature of this public corruption scheme supports a Guidelines sentence of 50 months. The decline of public confidence in our democratic institutions in general and in our public officials in particular is a loss that cannot be lightly cast aside. Courts have repeatedly recognized that the type of harm caused by defendant Ring is an intangible harm that can never be measured in dollars, and is one that cannot easily be remedied: Government corruption breeds cynicism and mistrust of elected officials. It causes the public to disengage from the democratic process because, as the Court stated at sentencing, the public begins to think of politics as only for the insiders. Thus corruption has the potential to shred the delicate fabric of democracy by making the average citizen lose respect and trust in elected officials and give up any hope of participating in government through legitimate channels.1 United States v. Ganim, 2006 WL 1210984, at *5 (D. Conn. May 5, 2006). The serious nature of Rings criminal conduct and blatant violations of the public trust, and the direct and adverse impact upon the integrity of the federal government and the citizens Further, courts have recognized that the harm to the publics confidence in its elected officials is one that is not adequately considered by the sentencing guidelines. See, e.g., United States v. Saxton, 53 Fed. Appx. 610, 613 (3d Cir. 2002) (affirming three-level upward departure where fraud caused non-monetary harm of loss of public confidence and trust in elected officials). 31

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confidence therein, call for the imposition of terms of imprisonment consistent with the Guidelines range and, concomitantly, negate any requested downward sentencing variance or departure. The criminal acts alleged in the Indictment and demonstrated at trial spanned many years and targeted the highest levels of the executive and legislative branches of government. Indeed, the evidence presented at trial established that Ring engaged in, and helped manage, an orchestrated scheme to use exclusive, high-priced tickets, trips, even a low-show job for a congressional spouse, and other things of value to corruptly influence public officials. See, e.g., GX-KR 327 (email between Ring and Todd Boulanger, a co-conspirator who emailed Ring from an MCI suite during March Madness in which he was drinking beers with David Ayres, Chief of Staff to the United States Attorney General, to which Ring responded Glad he got a chance to relax. Now he can pay us back.). After the Department of Justice awarded Rings client a $16.3 million grant, Ring sent the following email to his co-conspirators: Dont thank me - thank your friends on the Hill and in the Administration. In fact, thank them over and over this week preferably for long periods of time and at expensive establishments. Set aside time to think about thanking them. Thank them until it hurts - and until we have a June bill that reflects the fact that our client is about to get a $16.3 million check from the Department of Justice. GX-KR 332. Rings own words unequivocally established that he was corruptly linking things of value to official acts. See, e.g., GX-KR 112 (Ring emailing Albaugh, You are going to eat free off our clients. Need to get us some abstinence money.). But the corpus of Rings efforts to corrupt public officials was not limited merely to free meals. The evidence at trial established that Ring spiked the steady provision of things of value with high-priced items, including 4

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initiating efforts to secure a free Caribbean trip for a Member of Congress and his Chief of Staff. In one email proposing this free trip, Ring wrote to Jack Abramoff: [P]lease give [Congressman] Doolittle a call when you get a chance as well. He was such a good soldier, doing everything we asked of him, and then going beyond the call of duty by chairing the hearing for 3 hours. I know you are great about making sure he gets his fair share of contributions, but if Hernan is feeling generous, this would be a very opportune time to get something to Doolittle. Also, I know he and David [Lopez] are still interested in visiting PR whenever possible. GX-KR 225. In another email in which Ring and Abramoff discuss the free Caribbean trip for Congressman Doolittle and his Chief of Staff, David Lopez, Ring says to Abramoff, I dont think they want to have too many scheduled visits or activities. Abramoff responds, They dont need to have any scheduled activities. GX-KR 226. Although Ring was not a public servant when he committed his crimes, his illegal activity is no less threatening to the publics trust or the integrity of the government. The evidence presented at trial, particularly Rings own words, demonstrated that Ring went much further than his co-conspirators, managing his and his co-conspirators activities with a very specific principle of using large things of value to target only public officials who would provide a return on their investment, as evidenced by Rings own words: I hate when we spend all that money and dont get any return on our investment. GX-KR 553; see also GX-KR 552 (We want anyone who will really, really help us with specific stuff.). Out of pure greed and in his never-ending attempt to be the top lobbying group in town (see, e.g., GX-KR 555 (F #5; were going to be #1 this year)), Ring selfishly attempted to turn public officials from serving their constituents to serving Ring and his co-conspirators. In one such example, Ring and Abramoff provided the