US v. Geoffrey Ramer


UNPUBLISHED PER CURIAM OPINION filed. Originating case number: 3:14-cr-00022-MOC-1 Copies to all parties and the district court/agency. [1000016661].. [16-4186]

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Appeal: 16-4186 Doc: 34 Filed: 02/03/2017 Pg: 1 of 6 UNPUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT No. 16-4186 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff – Appellee, v. GEOFFREY ALEXANDER RAMER, a/k/a Geoffrey Alexander RamerMesen, Defendant - Appellant. Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, at Charlotte. Max O. Cogburn, Jr., District Judge. (3:14-cr-00022-MOC-1) Submitted: November 30, 2016 Before GREGORY, Judges. Chief Judge, Decided: and KING and February 3, 2017 KEENAN, Circuit Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion. C. Fredric Marcinak, III, SMITH MOORE LEATHERWOOD, LLP, Greenville, South Carolina, for Appellant. Jill Westmoreland Rose, United States Attorney, Amy E. Ray, Assistant United States Attorney, Leslie R. Caldwell, Assistant Attorney General, Sung-Hee Suh, Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Jeremy R. Sanders, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Washington, D.C., for Appellee. Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit. Appeal: 16-4186 Doc: 34 Filed: 02/03/2017 Pg: 2 of 6 PER CURIAM: Based on his role in an international telemarketing scam, Geoffrey Alexander Ramer pled guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, eight counts of wire fraud and aiding and abetting, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and four counts international money laundering and aiding and abetting. of The district court sentenced Ramer to 108 months’ imprisonment, and he now appeals, challenging the district court’s calculation of his Sentencing Guidelines range reasonableness of his sentence. and the procedural We affirm. Ramer first argues that the Government failed to present evidence at his sentencing hearing regarding his leadership role, the number and vulnerability of victims, and the amount of loss attributable to him. However, we conclude that Ramer has waived appellate review of these claims. We have recognized that “[a] party who identifies an issue, and then explicitly withdraws it, has waived the issue.” United States v. Robinson, 744 (internal F.3d omitted). 293, 298 (4th Cir. 2014) quotation marks “[W]hen a claim is waived, it is not reviewable on appeal, even for plain error.” Id.; see also United States v. Williams, (4th sentencing 29 F.3d 172, stipulation 174-75 on issue issue). 2 Cir. waives 1994) right (holding to appeal that that Appeal: 16-4186 Doc: 34 Ramer Filed: 02/03/2017 raised these Pg: 3 of 6 Guidelines calculation issues in his objections to the presentence report, and he later agreed to a sentencing stipulation objections. Indeed, that specifically defense counsel resolved agreed at his Ramer’s sentencing hearing that the sentencing stipulation resolved all of Ramer’s objections to the presentence report and even relied on the stipulation to argue for a lesser sentence. disingenuous for required introduce to Ramer to now claim evidence at that the the We find it Government sentencing hearing was on these issues. Moreover, contrary to Ramer’s argument, the Supreme Court’s decision in Molina-Martinez v. United States, 136 S. Ct. 1338 (2016), does not require us to review his waived arguments. In Molina-Martinez, the Supreme Court observed that “a court of appeals has discretion to remedy a forfeited error,” or an error that “has not Id. at 1343. Ramer been intentionally relinquished abandoned.” Here, by agreeing to the sentencing stipulation, “intentionally relinquished” his ability Guidelines calculation issues that he now argues. Next, or Ramer contends that unreasonable for two reasons. his sentence to appeal the Id. is procedurally First, Ramer asserts that the district court failed to consider any of the 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) (2012) factors other than deterrence. 3 Second, Ramer argues that Appeal: 16-4186 the Doc: 34 district Filed: 02/03/2017 court neglected Pg: 4 of 6 to address his arguments for a downward variance. A sentence is procedurally reasonable if the district court properly calculates the defendant’s advisory Guidelines range, gives the parties an opportunity to argue for an appropriate sentence, considers the § 3553(a) explains the selected sentence. 38, 49-51 (2007). As we factors, and sufficiently Gall v. United States, 552 U.S. have explained, “[r]egardless of whether the district court imposes an above, below, or withinGuidelines sentence, it must place on the record an individualized assessment based on the particular facts of the case before it.” United States v. Carter, 564 F.3d 325, 330 (4th (internal Cir. explanation 2009) must be quotation sufficient to marks omitted). allow for The “meaningful appellate review,” such that we need “not guess at the district court’s rationale.” omitted). Id. at 329, 330 (internal quotation marks Furthermore, “[w]here the defendant or prosecutor presents nonfrivolous reasons for imposing a different sentence than that set forth in the advisory Guidelines, a district judge should address the party’s rejected those arguments.” arguments and explain why he has Id. at 328 (internal quotation marks omitted). Insofar as Ramer contends that the district court failed to properly consider the § 3553(a) factors by only addressing the 4 Appeal: 16-4186 Doc: 34 Filed: 02/03/2017 Pg: 5 of 6 need for deterrence, we find that Ramer’s argument is meritless. Although the district court’s statements in imposing sentence were heavily focused on general deterrence, the court also discussed Ramer’s personal characteristics, the seriousness of the offense, and the need to protect the public from Ramer. United States (recognizing v. Pauley, that 511 district F.3d 468, 476 court may (4th Cir. “reasonably Cf. 2007) accord significant weight to a single sentencing factor in fashioning its sentence”). The district court clearly recognized that it must consider the § 3553(a) factors and did so. The district court was not required to “robotically tick through § 3553(a)’s every subsection.” (4th Cir. 2006). did not commit United States v. Johnson, 445 F.3d 339, 345 Therefore, we conclude that the district court procedural error in its consideration of the § 3553(a) factors. Turning argument, to Ramer Ramer’s does not second procedural specifically unreasonableness identify the downward variance arguments that the district court failed to address, but defense counsel requested a variance based on Ramer’s personal history and characteristics, including his intelligence and education, and the tragedy of his mother’s murder. Defense counsel also argued in mitigation that Ramer intermittently left Costa Rica while the scheme was 5 ongoing, that he did not Appeal: 16-4186 Doc: 34 substantially Filed: 02/03/2017 profit from Pg: 6 of 6 the scheme, and that he did not particularly target elderly persons. After some discussion with defense counsel, the district court stated that Guidelines range. it would not go below the stipulated While the district court did not discuss each of Ramer’s arguments for a downward variance in rejecting his request, the court’s remarks reflect that it considered Ramer’s personal characteristics and his offense conduct in fashioning his sentence. sufficiently variance. Therefore, we conclude that the district court addressed Moreover, Ramer’s even arguments assuming that for the a downward district court erred, we find that the Government has demonstrated any error to be harmless. United States v. Boulware, 604 F.3d 832, 838 (4th Cir. 2010) (providing harmless error standard). Accordingly, we affirm the district court’s judgment. dispense with contentions are oral argument adequately because presented in the the facts We and legal materials before this court and argument would not aid the decisional process. AFFIRMED 6

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