Fayetteville Man Indicted on Federal Charges for Defrauding Colleges and Universities

The season for college sports is upon us once again and what better way to honor the occasion than with a bit of news from 7th Space Interactive that Dale Brannan, of Fayetteville, Georgia, has been indicted in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia for defrauding various universities and colleges, including Kansas State University, the University of New Mexico, Oakland University, Stonehill College and Minnesota State University - Mankato. Mr. Brannan was arraigned last week on charges of bank fraud, mail fraud, bankruptcy fraud, and one count of making a false declaration in a bankruptcy filing.

Mr. Brannan is alleged to have operated a company called Transport Athletics in Fayetteville and Savannah, Georgia, which purportedly arranged for overseas travel for collegiate sports teams to countries including China, Italy, Brazil and Finland. However, the government has charged that he used the funds paid by universities and colleges to pay the costs of earlier trips of other schools and to pay his personal expenses.

Mr. Brannan is alleged to have caused Transports Athletics to file for bankruptcy and notified the schools that the trips had been cancelled. He then allegedly started another company, Sports Tours and Tournament Specialists, Inc., or STATS, and re-commenced the scheme. The alleged loss from the activities is over $400,000.

Image source: heartlandcatbackers.com/News/News_Cheerleaders0803.asp


Gillen Withers & Lake LLC are expert criminal law attorneys with a stunning record of success on behalf of our clients in criminal investigations and prosecutions.

The Blagosphere - Blago Arraigned in Chicago

Former Illinois Governor, Rod Blagojevich, was arraigned yesterday in Chicago on the 16 criminal charges pending against him. At arraignment the criminal defendant is brought before the court, advised of the charges against him and enters a formal plea of “not guilty.” An arraignment takes about 10 minutes, at most. The Chicago Tribune reports that Blago has not yet settled on criminal defense counsel and is trying to get access to his campaign funds so that he can retain counsel.

Other defendants, including Blagos former Chief of Staff, John Harris, are scheduled to be arraigned on Thursday.

No doubt the discovery in this case will be voluminous and the government has indicated that it is turning over the first round of documents and recordings within two weeks.

Corley Proves That There is Some Joy in Mudville

One of my hopes since establishing this blog over a year ago, has been that we can help the criminal practitioner be a better, more efficient counsel to his clients. Therefore, in addressing confessions in your practices, if you encounter the fact pattern of a detention of more than six hours before the defendant is taken before a magistrate, you should be thinking suppression. Attached is a sample suppression motion that we have crafted around the Supreme Court’s holding this week in United States v. Corley, -- S.Ct. -- , 2009 WL 901513 (U.S.). On Monday, April 6, the Supreme Court finally considered the issue of whether Congress intended § 3501 to eliminate the McNabb/Mallory exclusionary rule, or whether it merely intended § 3501(c) to immunize confessions given within 6 hours of a person’s arrest. 

In a powerfully written opinion, Justice Souter wrote that,

"In a world without McNabb- Mallory, federal agents would be free to question suspects for extended periods before bringing them out in the open, and we have always known what custodial secrecy leads to. See McNabb, 318 U.S. 332, 63 S.Ct. 608, 87 L.Ed. 819. No one with any smattering of the history of 20th-century dictatorships needs a lecture on the subject, and we understand the need even within our own system to take care against going too far. [C]ustodial police interrogation, by its very nature, isolates and pressures the individual, Dickerson, 530 U.S., at 435, 120 S.Ct. 2326, and there is mounting empirical evidence that these pressures can induce a frighteningly high percentage of people to confess to crimes they never committed, see, e.g., Drizin & Leo, The Problem of False Confessions in the Post-DNA World, 82 N.C.L.Rev. 891, 906-907 (2004)." Id. at 11.

The majority reversed Corley’s conviction and remanded, holding that:

"a district court with a suppression claim must find whether the defendant confessed within six hours of arrest  . . . If the confession came within that period, it is admissible, subject to the other Rules of Evidence, so long as it was “made voluntarily and . . . the weight to be given [it] is left to the jury.” If the confession occurred before presentment and beyond six hours, however, the court must decide whether delaying that long was unreasonable or unnecessary under the McNabb-Mallory cases, and if it was, the confession is to be suppressed. Id. at *12.

We hope that the attached motion makes each of our readers better practitioners.