United States v. Spallone

399 F.3d 415, 95 A.F.T.R.2d 2005-1339, C02.0000254(2005)

    • USD 0.99
    • USD 0.99

Descripción editorial

Argued: September 15, 2004 Defendant-Appellant Silvio Spallone pleaded guilty to income tax evasion, see 26 U.S.C. § 7201, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York (Jacob Mishler, Judge) and, on August 18, 2000, was sentenced to thirty months' imprisonment, three years' supervised release with a special condition that he pay restitution in the amount of $1,425,014, corrected on August 24, 2000 to $2,450,515, and a $100 special assessment. By order dated April 18, 2002 (Jacob Mishler, Judge), the court reduced Spallone's sentence pursuant to Fed. R. Crim. P. 35(b) to ""time served."" United States v. Spallone, 99-CR-0317, Order (E.D.N.Y. Apr. 18, 2002).At issue on this appeal is a subsequent order, entered December 4, 2003 (Denis R. Hurley, Judge), compelling Spallone to serve the supervised release term and to pay restitution as ordered in the original judgment of conviction. United States v. Spallone, 99-CR-0317, Order (E.D.N.Y. Dec. 4, 2003).1 Spallone argues that this order is unlawful because it impermissibly attempts to modify or correct the reduced sentence imposed on April 18, 2002. We reject Spallone's argument. While a district court's ability to correct or modify a sentence is narrowly circumscribed by Fed. R. Crim. P. 35 and 36, it nevertheless retains inherent authority to interpret ambiguities in its own orders and judgments. In this case, there is such an ambiguity in the use of the term ""sentenced"" in the April 18, 2002 order granting Rule 35(b) relief. The district court did not exceed its authority in clarifying this ambiguity. Moreover, having reviewed the totality of circumstances de novo, we concur in the district court's conclusion that the April 18, 2002 order reduces only Spallone's incarceratory sentences and does not vacate the sentence of supervised release or restitution specified in the August 18, 2000 judgment of conviction. Accordingly, we affirm the December 4, 2003 judgment ordering Spallone to serve supervised release and to pay restitution. I. Factual Background A. Spallone's Original Sentence On September 30, 1999, after several witnesses had testified against him at trial, Spallone pleaded guilty to two counts of income tax evasion in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7201. On August 18, 2000, he was sentenced to a thirty-month term of incarceration; three years' supervised release with a special condition that he pay restitution to the United States in the amount of $1,425,014, plus interest and penalties; and a $100 special assessment. On consent of the parties, the court entered an order on August 24, 2000, correcting the restitution amount to reflect the victim's true loss of $2,450,515. See Fed. R. Crim. P. 35(a) (stating that ""[w]ithin 7 days after sentencing, the court may correct a sentence that resulted from arithmetical, technical, or other clear error"").

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