U.S. v. Qaoud, s. 83-1729

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
Citation777 F.2d 1105
Docket NumberNos. 83-1729,83-1730 and 83-1757,s. 83-1729
PartiesUNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Sam QAOUD; Evan H. Callanan, Sr.; Evan H. Callanan, Jr., Defendants-Appellants.
Decision Date21 November 1985

Carl P. Ranno, Birmingham, Mich., Nicholas Smith, argued, Southfield, Mich., Court appointed, for defendants-appellants.

Leonard R. Gilman, U.S. Atty., Detroit, Mich., Sheldon N. Light, Joseph E. Papelian, argued [Lead Counsel], for plaintiff-appellee.

Before WELLFORD and MILBURN, Circuit Judges, and PHILLIPS, Senior Circuit Judge. *

WELLFORD, Circuit Judge.

Defendants, Sam Qaoud, Evan Callanan, Sr. and Evan Callanan, Jr., appeal their convictions on various counts charged in a seven count indictment after a jury trial in the Eastern District of Michigan.

The charges stemmed from evidence of the defendants' improper kickback schemes in exchange for judicial favors from state judge Callanan (Evan Callanan, Sr.). Qaoud was presented at trial as the "bag man" for Judge Callanan. The younger Callanan allegedly served as an informal negotiator for his father and also directed a case through his own law firm.

All of these defendants were convicted of conspiracy to violate RICO (Count I) and substantive violations of RICO (Count II). Callanan, Jr. was convicted of three counts of mail fraud (Counts IV-VI) and Callanan, Sr. was convicted on one count (Count VI). Callanan, Jr. was also convicted of obstructing a criminal investigation (Count VII). In a separate indictment joined for trial with the RICO charges. Callanan, Jr. was also convicted of making false declarations before a grand jury.

Callanan, Sr. received concurrent sentences of ten years each on the RICO charges and five years on the mail fraud charge. Callanan, Jr. received concurrent sentences of eight years each on the RICO charges and five years on the other counts. Qaoud received concurrent sentences of three years on the RICO counts.

The evidence produced at trial may be placed in separate categories. The first five categories concerned five separate criminal matters which, according to the government, were "fixed" through the abuse of Callanan Sr.'s power as a judge of the 18th District Court for the State of Michigan. The sixth category involved the attempted "cover-up" once the defendants became suspicious of the government's investigation.

The government was initially tipped off by an informer about kickback scheme "fixes" dealing with liquor and traffic offenses in Judge Callanan's court. The government arranged for the informant (Hanna Judeh) to contact defendants and introduce them to people who might desire to arrange "fixes" within Judge Callanan's jurisdiction, including some involved in cases from the outstanding warrants file of Callanan, Sr.'s judicial district. The plan also sometimes required government agents to assume the identity of these persons in legal difficulties. Many of the conversations with members of the conspiracy were electronically monitored and/or tape recorded.

The defendants do not challenge the use of the electronic evidence on appeal. They also do not seriously dispute the various government recitations of evidence from these sources, which are outlined herein.


The first "sting" operation that the government arranged after learning from informant Judeh about the alleged fix-kickback scheme concerning Judge Callanan involved Karol Golob ("Golob"). The local police department cooperated with the federal investigation by providing information about a seven-year old drunk driving charge still outstanding against Golob. An FBI agent then assumed the fictitious identity of Golob's purported brother-in-law, "John Izzy."

Judeh connected undercover agent "Izzy" with the defendant Qaoud to fix the ticket. On October 8, 1980, at a tape recorded meeting, Qaoud stated that the matter could be fixed for $500 and part of this sum would go to the judge. Qaoud demanded that half be paid in advance and half after Golob's record was cleared and the case dismissed. A week later "Izzy" met with Qaoud and paid him $250. Qaoud appeared at Judge Callanan's court a few days later on October 21. The judge dismissed the citation that day, and the warrant was recalled two days later. On October 22, Izzy paid Qaoud the balance of the $500. Qaoud gave Izzy a document that would clear Golob's record at the Michigan Secretary of State's office.


During his conversation with agent "Izzy" on October 21, Qaoud mentioned an actual criminal matter that he was also going to fix at Judge Callanan's court that day. This involved the case of Reda Makki, who had received a citation for furnishing alcohol to a minor. Surveillance revealed that Qaoud met with Reda Makki's brother, Hussein Makki, as they entered the court that day. Through another contact, Reda Makki had passed $200 on to Qaoud. As they entered the court, Makki presented the ticket to Qaoud. He reported back to Makki that he had taken care of the situation.

Judge Callanan apparently took a guilty plea under advisement on October 28, 1980. The judge subsequently dismissed the citation on April 30, 1981.


In June 1981 the government informant Judeh was actually charged by the state of Michigan with criminal sexual conduct in the third degree. His offense involved the alleged molestation of a retarded fourteen year old girl. Judeh first unsuccessfully attempted to pass a $2,000 bribe through a court employee. Qaoud told Judeh that it would cost $3,000 to $5,000 to fix the sexual conduct charge. Qaoud explained that the judge would either promptly dismiss the charge for lack of probable cause or bind it over for another date when he was serving as a visiting circuit judge with jurisdiction over such a felony charge.

At the government's prompting, Judeh also placed a call to Richard Debs, a local union official and probation officer. Debs was another associate of Judge Callanan, a defendant acquitted in this case. Debs subsequently appeared with Evan Callanan, Jr. at the gas station where Judeh was employed. They agreed to help Judeh if he would fire his present lawyer and hire Callanan, Jr.'s firm. After Judeh retained Callanan's firm, Callanan, Jr. assured Judeh of receiving probation once his father heard Judeh's case as a circuit judge. Judeh paid him $2,500, in cash, accordingly.

Judeh was sentenced by Judge Callanan on November 22, 1981 to three years probation. The judge based the probation on a psychiatric analysis of Judeh arranged by Callanan, Jr. Another member of Callanan's firm (Barbara Miller) represented Judeh in court. Judeh eventually paid $3,500 more to Debs.


After sentencing Judeh, Judge Callanan began stopping by his gas station. Callanan, Sr. apparently obtained free services from Judeh. Judeh approached the judge directly about the actual case involving Mitchell Golofit, the brother of a gas station employee, and Callanan, Sr. indicated that he would review the file.

On December 15, 1981, Judge Callanan returned to the gas station with the file, stating he would try to work something out for Golofit if Judeh brought him to court. This conversation was recorded and the government photographed Judge Callanan with file in hand.

Judeh subsequently appeared in court with Golofit. Before the proceeding, Callanan told Judeh that Golofit should plead guilty and he would take the case under advisement. Golofit followed this instruction, but the ultimate disposition of the case by Judge Callanan is unclear, apparently because local police officials became suspicious of Judge Callanan's handling of the case. Judge Callanan told Judeh not to say anything about the case to inquiring police officials and stated that he could not trust Golofit.


In the spring of 1982 the government arranged one more "sting" operation involving Judeh and another alleged friend who assumed the identity of James Sires, a purported friend of the undercover agent known as "Izzy." Callanan, Sr. and Qaoud had many meetings with Judeh at the service station concerning this matter. Concern was expressed that Sires was charged with two felonies. The judge eventually agreed to get the charges reduced to misdemeanors and assume jurisdiction in exchange for $3,000. He testified at trial that although he counted the money, he then returned it to Judeh.

This operation involving Sires eventually ran into serious problems. A court clerk sent official correspondence to the Sires' residence (his parents' home). The local police department learned about the apparent mistake, and this information eventually came to Judge Callanan's attention. The FBI subsequently approached Callanan, Sr. about the case. He denied any knowledge or participation in a kickback scheme for judicial favors.


Soon thereafter Judge Callanan and Debs contacted Judeh and discussed matters while riding together in a car. The judge demanded Judeh's silence if he were approached by the FBI. Debs kept in frequent contact with Judeh.

On July 6, 1982 Callanan, Jr. appeared before the federal grand jury. He denied telling Judeh that the other member of his firm would only be the attorney of record in his sex conduct case. Callanan, Jr. also denied telling Judeh that he had talked to his father about the case. This conversation in which Callanan, Jr. made these statements was tape recorded.

Callanan, Jr. and other associates subsequently had a meeting with Judeh at the service station. Callanan, Jr. threatened more legal problems for Judeh on his probation unless he kept quiet.





The government first allowed the manipulation of normal state processes in Judeh's particular case for...

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