Defendant-appellant Lisa Jones appeals from a judgment of conviction entered August 23, 1989, after a jury trial, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Sand, J.). Jones was convicted of five counts of making false declarations before a grand jury in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1623 (1988) and two counts of obstruction of justice in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1503, based on her testimony before a federal grand jury investigating a "securities parking" scheme involving her employer, the investment firm of Drexel Burnham Lambert, Inc. After increasing the base offense level under Sentencing Guidelines § 2J1.3(b)(2) because Jones had "substantially interfered with the administration of justice," the district court sentenced Jones to concurrent terms of imprisonment for 18 months on each count. The court also imposed a fine of $50,000 and a special assessment of $350.
On appeal, Jones asserts her trial counsel was burdened by conflicts of interest, rendering his assistance ineffective. These conflicts are said to arise from the prosecutor's threat of disciplinary charges against 515*515 Jones' attorney relating to a letter that the attorney had sent to the government in her behalf, and the attorney's concurrent representation of other Drexel employees. The government contends that the district court properly determined after a hearing that no actual conflicts of interest existed.
Jones contends also that the district court erred in allowing cross-examination into her history of making false statements, because this evidence was used, in violation of Fed.R.Evid. 404(b), to prove she acted in conformity with a character for untruthfulness. The government argues that this line of questioning was permissible under Fed.R.Evid. 608(b) and was relevant to her credibility as a witness.
In light of a post-trial revelation that one of the jurors was related to an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey, Jones asserts that the district court abused its discretion by refusing to ask specifically whether any jurors had relatives who were government attorneys. The government responds that the court's broad inquiry into possible bias on voir dire provided Jones with adequate information to exercise peremptory challenges.
Finally, Jones assigns as error the district court's increase of her base offense level on the ground that she "substantially interfered with the administration of justice" within the meaning of Sentencing Guidelines § 2J1.3(b)(2). Jones contests as unsupported by any evidence the government's assertion that her conduct resulted in "the unnecessary expenditure of substantial governmental or court resources." Guidelines § 2J1.3 application note 1. The government argues that unnecessary expenditures could be inferred from the complex nature of its investigation and the information known to Jones.
For the reasons that follow, we affirm the convictions for making false statements before a grand jury and obstruction of justice. However, we find the record insufficient to support the district court's increase of the base offense level under the Sentencing Guidelines and, therefore, we vacate the sentence and remand for resentencing.
Miner '56, Roger J., "US v. Jones, 900 F. 2d 512 - Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit 1990" (1990). Circuit Court Opinions. 277.