US v. Abiola Oginni
UNPUBLISHED PER CURIAM OPINION filed. Originating case number: 3:15-cr-00077-RJC-3 Copies to all parties and the district court/agency. .. [16-4488]
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UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Plaintiff - Appellee,
ABIOLA O. OGINNI, a/k/a ABS,
Defendant - Appellant.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, at
Charlotte. Robert J. Conrad, Jr., District Judge. (3:15-cr-00077-RJC-3)
Submitted: May 22, 2017
Decided: May 30, 2017
Before WILKINSON, TRAXLER, and AGEE, Circuit Judges.
Affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded by unpublished per curiam opinion.
William David Auman, AUMAN LAW OFFICES, Asheville, North Carolina, for
Appellant. Jill Westmoreland Rose, United States Attorney, Amy E. Ray, Assistant United
States Attorney, Asheville, North Carolina, for Appellee.
Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.
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Abiola O. Oginni pled guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, in violation of 18
U.S.C. §§ 1343, 1349 (2012). The district court sentenced Oginni to one year and one day
of incarceration. The district court also ordered restitution in the amount of $58,000 to be
paid immediately. Oginni’s attorney filed a brief pursuant to Anders v. California, 386
U.S. 738 (1967), stating that there were no meritorious grounds for appeal but questioning
whether the Government breached the plea agreement by failing to recommend a particular
base offense level and whether the district court’s restitution award is too high. Oginni
was notified of his right to file a pro se supplemental brief but has not done so. After our
Anders review, we ordered the parties to file supplemental briefs addressing (1) whether
the Government breached the plea agreement in its discussion of the base offense level
during the plea hearing and, if so, whether the district court committed plain error in
accepting the guilty plea; and (2) whether the district court committed plain error in failing
to consider Oginni’s financial resources and assets pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3664(f)(2)
(2012), before ordering Oginni’s restitution to be paid immediately. We affirm in part,
vacate in part, and remand for further proceedings.
Because Oginni did not raise the breach of plea agreement issue in the district court,
we review for plain error. United States v. Tate, 845 F.3d 571, 575 (4th Cir. 2017). “Plain
error analysis has four prongs: (1) there must be an error; (2) the error must be plain; (3) the
appellant’s substantial rights must be affected by the error; and (4) the error must seriously
affect the fairness, integrity, or public reputation of judicial proceedings.” Id. (internal
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quotation marks omitted). “A defendant’s substantial rights are affected if the error
‘affected the outcome of the district court proceedings.’” United States v. Dawson, 587
F.3d 640, 645 (4th Cir. 2009) (quoting Puckett v. United States, 556 U.S. 129, 135 (2009)).
“The defendant whose plea agreement has been broken by the Government will not always
be able to show prejudice, either because he obtained the benefits contemplated by the deal
anyway or because he likely would not have obtained those benefits in any event.” Id.
(alterations and internal quotation marks omitted).
We conclude that the Government breached the plea agreement by failing to
recommend to the district court that Oginni’s offense level was six. See United States v.
Warner, 820 F.3d 678, 683-84 (4th Cir. 2016) (finding breach where Government promised
to make sentencing recommendation and later acknowledged to court that recommendation
was erroneous but asked court to honor the agreement). The district court stated at
sentencing, however, that it would correctly apply the Sentencing Guidelines regardless of
the parties’ recommendations and assessed Oginni’s correct base offense level. We
therefore conclude that the breach did not affect Oginni’s substantial rights, and we affirm
With regard to the restitution order the Government argues that Oginni’s appeal
waiver bars his challenge. Because “we will not enforce an otherwise valid appeal waiver
against a defendant if the government breache[s] the plea agreement containing that
waiver,” United States v. Cohen, 459 F.3d 490, 495 (4th Cir. 2006), we conclude that the
waiver does not bar Oginni’s appeal. We review the district court’s restitution order for
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plain error because Oginni did not object to the order in the district court. United States v.
Seignious, 757 F.3d 155, 160 (4th Cir. 2014). Under the Mandatory Victim Restitution
Act (MVRA), 18 U.S.C. §§ 3663A to 3664 (2012), “a sentencing court must ‘order
restitution to each victim in the full amount of each victim’s losses as determined by the
court.’” United States v. Grant, 715 F.3d 552, 554 (4th Cir. 2013) (quoting 18 U.S.C.
§ 3664(f)(1)(A)). We conclude that the district court did not plainly err in ordering
restitution in the amount of $58,000.
The MVRA also requires the district court, after ordering full restitution, to “specify
in the restitution order the manner in which, and the schedule according to which, the
restitution is to be paid,” considering the defendant’s “financial resources and other
assets[,] . . . projected earnings and other income,” and other “financial obligations.” 18
U.S.C. § 3664(f)(2). The district court must make factual findings regarding a defendant’s
ability to pay before ordering restitution due immediately. United States v. Dawkins, 202
F.3d 711, 716-17 (4th Cir. 2000). In this case, nothing in the record indicates that the
district court considered Oginni’s finances before ordering restitution to be paid
immediately. It further appears from the record that Oginni is unable to pay restitution
immediately. Accordingly, we vacate the district court’s restitution order and remand so
that the district court may address Oginni’s ability to pay.
In accordance with Anders, we have reviewed the entire record in this case and have
found no other meritorious grounds for appeal. We therefore affirm in part, vacate in part,
and remand for further proceedings. This court requires that counsel inform Oginni, in
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writing, of the right to petition the Supreme Court of the United States for further review.
If Oginni requests that a petition be filed, but counsel believes that such a petition would
be frivolous, then counsel may move in this court for leave to withdraw from
representation. Counsel’s motion must state that a copy thereof was served on Oginni.
We dispense with oral argument because the facts and legal contentions are
adequately presented in the materials before this court and argument would not aid the
AFFIRMED IN PART,
VACATED IN PART,
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