United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
WILLIAM E. DUFFIN U.S. Magistrate Judge
McArthur is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit
money laundering in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956(h)
(Count Five) and one count of substantive money laundering,
in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956(a)(1)(B)(i) and (2)
(Count Nine). (ECF No. 83.) She seeks a bill of particulars
1. When McArthur joined the conspiracy charged in Count Five
of the indictment.
2. What evidence exists or is known to the government that
the Defendant McArthur joined with the other named defendants
in a conspiratorial agreement?
3. What evidence exists or is known to the government that
the property at 80XX W. Townsend (Townsend Property) was
purchased with proceeds from drug trafficking activity.
4. What transaction yielded the proceeds the government
alleges were used in the purchase of the Townsend property.
5. What evidence exists or is known to the government that
defendant McArthur knew the Townsend Property was purchased
with proceeds from drug trafficking activity.
(ECF No. 172 at 1.) Alternatively, McArthur seeks the legal
instructions provided to the grand jury. (ECF No. 172 at 2.)
Rule of Criminal Procedure 7(f) permits the court to order
the government to provide a defendant with a bill of
particulars. “The purposes of a bill of particulars are
to inform the defendant of the nature of the charge against
her to enable her to prepare for trial, to avoid or minimize
the danger of surprise at time of trial, and to enable her to
plead acquittal or conviction in bar of another prosecution
for the same offense when the indictment itself is too vague
and indefinite.” United States v. Brown, 2015
U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6667, 10-12 (E.D. Wis. Jan. 21, 2015)
(citing United States v. Roman, 728 F.2d 846, 856
(7th Cir. 1984)). “Whether to require a bill of
particulars rests within the sound discretion of the district
court.” United States v. Hernandez, 330 F.3d
964, 975 (7th Cir. 2003).
“bill-of-particulars analysis is similar to the
constitutional sufficiency-of-the-indictment analysis;
‘in both cases, the key question is whether the
defendant was sufficiently apprised of the charges against
him in order to enable adequate trial
preparation.’” United States v. Vaughn,
722 F.3d 918, 927 (7th Cir. 2013) (quoting United States
v. Blanchard, 542 F.3d 1133, 1140 (7th Cir. 2008)).
“[A] bill of particulars is ‘unnecessary where
the indictment sets forth the elements of the charged
offenses and provides sufficient notice of the charges to
enable the defendant to prepare his defense.’”
Id. (quoting Hernandez, 330 F.3d at 975;
citing United States v. Kendall, 665 F.2d 126, 135
(7th Cir. 1981)). “Information relevant to the
preparation of a defense includes the elements of each
charged offense, the time and place of the accused's
allegedly criminal conduct, and a citation to the statute or
statutes violated.” Blanchard, 542 F.3d at
1140; see also United States v. Fassnacht, 332 F.3d
440, 446 (7th Cir. 2003).
the indictment fails to provide the full panoply of such
information, a bill of particulars is nonetheless unnecessary
if the information ‘is available through some other
satisfactory form, ' such as discovery.’”
Blanchard, 542 F.3d at 1140 (quoting
Hernandez, 330 F.3d at 975); see also
Vaughn, 722 F.3d at 927. Moreover, while a defendant is
entitled to know the offense with which she is charged, the
government need not disclose all the details of how it will
prove its case. Blanchard, 542 F.3d at 1141 (citing
Fassnacht, 332 F.3d at 445; see also
Kendall, 665 F.2d at 135 (quoting United States v.
Giese, 597 F.2d 1170, 1181 (9th Cir. 1979)) (“It
is established that ‘a defendant is not entitled to
know all the evidence the government intends to produce, but
only the theory of the government's case.’”);
United States v. Douglas, 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS
13163 (W.D. Wis. June 27, 2005) (citing Wong Tai v.
United States, 273 U.S. 77, 82 (1927)) (“[A] bill
of particulars under F. R. Crim. Pro. 7(f) is not designed to
provide the defendant with a detailed disclosure of the
government's witnesses, legal theories or evidentiary
detail.”). Thus, a motion for a bill of particulars
should not be confused with a request to admit or an
interrogatory; it is not a discovery tool. See United
States v. Vest, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52135, 10 (S.D.
Ill. July 28, 2006).
large part McArthur’s requests read like
interrogatories whereby she asks the court to order the
government to disclose how it intends to prove its case. It
is well-established that this is not a proper use of a bill
of particulars. See, e.g, United States v.
Richardson, 130 F.3d 765, 776 (7th Cir. 1997);
United States v. Richards, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS
5783, 2-4 (E.D. Wis. Jan. 19, 2015) (citing United States
v. Glecier, 923 F.2d 496, 502 (7th Cir. 1991));
United States v. Mazharuddin, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS
16643 (E.D. Wis. Feb. 7, 2013) (“[The
defendant’s] original motion reads like a request for
the evidentiary details of the government's case, which
he has no right to discover through a bill of
particulars.”) (citing United States v. Brock,
863 F.Supp. 851, 867 (E.D. Wis. 1994)). “Discovery, not
a bill of particulars, is the means by which a defendant is
informed of what evidence the government possesses to
evidence his involvement in a conspiracy….”
United States v. Rodriguez, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS
38695, 13-14 (E.D. Wis. Apr. 24, 2009).
only detail that McArthur requests that might be
appropriately within the scope of a bill of particulars is
the date McArthur is alleged to have joined the conspiracy.
See, e.g., United States v. Barnes, 2010 U.S. Dist.
LEXIS 45769, 34-36 (E.D. Wis. Apr. 7, 2010);
Rodriguez, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38695, 14. The
government responds that it alleges that each member of the
conspiracy joined in approximately January of 2011, the date
the indictment alleges that the conspiracy began. (ECF No.
178 at 2.) Although not presented with the formality of a
bill of particulars, the court is presented with no reason to
conclude that the government’s response is
insufficient. Therefore, McArthur’s motion for a bill
of particulars will be denied.
court will also deny McArthur’s alternative request for
disclosure of the instructions provided to the grand jury.
The proper functioning of the grand jury depends upon
secrecy. United States v. Sells Eng’g, 463
U.S. 418, 424 (1983) (quoting Douglas Oil Co. v. Petrol
Stops Northwest, 441 U.S. 211, 218-19 (1979)); In re
Grand Jury Proceedings, 942 F.2d 1195, 1198 (7th Cir.
1991). Thus, disclosure of grand jury proceedings is
appropriate only in extremely limited circumstances when the