U.S. v. Smith, s. 87-1010

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (10th Circuit)
Citation838 F.2d 436
Docket NumberNos. 87-1010,87-1011,s. 87-1010
PartiesUNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Norman B. SMITH and Robert A. Bailey, Defendants-Appellants.
Decision Date29 January 1988

Page 436

838 F.2d 436
UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,
Norman B. SMITH and Robert A. Bailey, Defendants-Appellants.
Nos. 87-1010, 87-1011.
United States Court of Appeals,
Tenth Circuit.
Jan. 29, 1988.
Rehearing Denied Feb. 1, 1989.

Page 437

Edward B. Simpson, Simpson & Gigounas, San Francisco, Cal. (John Gigounas of Simpson & Gigounas, was also on brief), for defendant-appellant Bailey.

Richard Rideout, Freudenthal, Salzburg, Bonds & Rideout, Cheyenne, Wyo., for defendant-appellant Smith.

David A. Kern, Asst. U.S. Atty., Cheyenne, Wyo. (Richard A. Stacy, U.S. Atty., Cheyenne, Wyo., was also on brief), for plaintiff-appellee.

Before HOLLOWAY, Chief Judge, ANDERSON, Circuit Judge, and ALLEY, * District Judge.

Page 438

HOLLOWAY, Chief Judge.

Defendants-appellants, Norman B. Smith and Robert A. Bailey, were convicted under 18 U.S.C. Sec. 371 and under 18 U.S.C. Secs. 1014 and 2 for conspiracy and for making false statements to a federally insured institution for purposes of obtaining loan funds. Defendants appeal, arguing: 1) the evidence was insufficient to sustain the convictions; and 2) the verdict form was improper so as to deny them due process. We affirm.


Viewing the evidence favorably to the verdict, as we must, it tends to show the following:

This case centers around a construction loan by the Stockman's Bank and Trust Company of Gillette, Wyoming to defendants to finance a condominium project called Knollwood. The bank's deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. In December of 1981 defendants applied for a $300,000.00 construction loan for the Knollwood project. They submitted a brochure to the Stockman's bank which stated: "The Construction Financing requested by Alpha IV on this project is only for: A/E, Design, Minimum Site-Work, Foundations, Landscaping, and Site completion." Government Ex., 1 at 11. Defendants orally explained the money would be used for these purposes only.

The bank approved the loan, which was set up for disbursement as follows: defendants formed Alpha IV Development Corporation ("Alpha"), which then opened an account at the bank. Subcontractors would submit their bills to Alpha which would then submit them to the bank as invoices. The bank would then disburse portions of the construction loan to Alpha's account and Alpha would issue checks, over defendants' signatures, to the subcontractors.

The loan formalities were completed and two construction firms began work. By June of 1982 work was nearly complete. However, payments to the construction firms stopped unexpectedly and the first payment due on the construction loan became deliquent. When contacted by the bank defendants gave assurances that money would be forthcoming. On these assurances the bank made several more disbursements. A total of $298,796.96 was advanced to defendants through Alpha, but none of the money was ever repaid. Foreclosure proceedings ultimately left the bank with a loss of approximately $225,000.

Subsequent federal investigation revealed that defendants had submitted sixteen invoices, on eight separate dates, through their own subcontracting corporations: Inter-west, Inc., which they owned jointly; Rocky Mountain Properties, Inc., owned by Smith; and Monarch Construction, Inc., owned by Bailey. The bank, unaware of defendants' ownership interests in these firms, credited Alpha's account on the basis of the invoices. I.R. at 57-58.

Defendants then wrote checks to themselves or to their subcontracting corporations. They used this money for several purposes unrelated to Knollwood. For example, approximately $230,000 was used to defray "soft" costs such as overhead, travel expenses, office supplies, salaries and expenses of defendants and their businesses, defendant's personal expenses and debts, prior loan obligations, and legal and accounting expenses. II R. at 24-28; V R. at 77-79. A bank officer, Mr. Naramore, testified the bank would not have approved the loan if he had known that portions or all of the $300,000 was going for personal expenses, debts, travel expenses and similar expenses. I R. 56, 73.

Mr. Naramore, formerly president and chairman of the board of the bank after 1983, testified for the Government. He admitted he was somewhat negligent and remiss in his management as to approval of the advances on the invoices. I R. 73, 92-93. The invoices did "demarcate" various legal expenses and things of this nature. I R. 73. These were not within the purposes in the loan proposal, as discussed earlier. Naramore also said as to the statements on invoices about contract services, legal, accounting, office and that type of expense, that he wouldn't say defendants

Page 439

made false statements; instead "they made statements which was beneficial to them." I R. 117. Mr. Naramore testified further that had he known that Interwest Inc. was owned by Smith and Bailey and that Rocky Mountain Properties was owned by Smith, he would not have made the advances. I R. 75. Naramore also admitted that Ex. 1 showed Smith as the CEO of Rocky Mountain Properties. I R. 137.

On November 21, 1985, a grand jury returned a nine count indictment against defendants. Eight counts were based on the eight separate submissions of invoices. Each count charged the particular submission constituted a violation of 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1014 (making false statements to a federally insured institution for purposes of influencing action on loans or extensions of them and 18 U.S.C. Sec. 2 (aiding and abetting). The remaining count charged defendants with conspiracy in violation of 18 U.S.C. Sec. 371 and identified the eight submissions as overt acts. Defendant Bailey testified that all expenses charged to the bank loan by him, by Monarch, RPM or Smith were directly related to the Knollwood project as direct costs, expenses or service fees. IV R. 161-201; V R. 3-90.

A jury convicted defendants on the conspiracy count and five of the false statement counts. Defendant Smith was sentenced to four years' imprisonment on the conspiracy conviction, to be served consecutively with another sentence he was already serving. Defendant Bailey was sentenced to three years' imprisonment on the conspiracy conviction. Both defendants received suspended sentences on the five substantive convictions and were placed on five years' probation to commence upon release from confinement.


Defendants contend the evidence was insufficient to support the charges for which they were convicted. The indictment's substantive counts alleged that the eight submitted invoices were for amounts "intended for [defendants'] personal use unrelated to said project." (emphasis added). E.g. I R. Item 1, at p. 4. Defendants contend the United States failed to introduce any evidence the amounts were for personal use and were unrelated to the Knollwood...

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