US v. John Brady
UNPUBLISHED PER CURIAM OPINION filed. Originating case number: 1:15-cr-00303-MJG-9 Copies to all parties and the district court/agency. .. [16-4555]
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UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Plaintiff - Appellee,
JOHN HOWARD BRADY,
Defendant - Appellant.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, at Baltimore.
Marvin J. Garbis, Senior District Judge. (1:15-cr-00303-MJG-9)
Submitted: June 30, 2017
Decided: August 2, 2017
Before TRAXLER and KEENAN, Circuit Judges, and HAMILTON, Senior Circuit
Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion.
G. Arthur Robbins, CHESAPEAKE MERIDIAN, Annapolis, Maryland, for Appellant.
Rod J. Rosenstein, United States Attorney, Martin J. Clarke, Assistant United States
Attorney, Baltimore, Maryland, for Appellee.
Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.
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John Howard Brady was convicted by a jury of conspiracy to commit bribery and
two counts of bribery concerning a program receiving federal benefits, in violation of 18
U.S.C. §§ 371, 666(a)(2), (b) (2012). He appeals his convictions and 36-month sentence,
arguing that § 666 is unconstitutional and that the district court erred in calculating the
amount of loss for sentencing purposes. Finding no error, we affirm.
Brady argues that § 666 is unconstitutional on its face and as applied to him.
Brady concedes, however, that the Supreme Court’s decision in Sabri v. United States,
541 U.S. 600 (2004), forecloses his facial challenge. As to Brady’s as-applied claims, we
review challenges to the constitutionality of a statute de novo. United States v. Shrader,
675 F.3d 300, 310 (4th Cir. 2012).
First, Brady contends that applying § 666 to the facts of his case violates the
Spending Clause, which gives Congress the power to “to pay the Debts and provide for
the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States,” U.S. Const. art. I, § 8, cl.
1, and the Necessary and Proper Clause, which gives Congress the authority to “make all
Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution” the Spending
Clause and Congress’ other enumerated powers, U.S. Const. art. I, § 8, cl. 18. Brady
argues that his indictment is constitutionally infirm because it failed to allege a nexus
between Brady’s bribery and the federal funds at issue. The Sabri Court rejected this
requirement, however. Sabri, 541 U.S. at 604 (“We can readily dispose of this position
that, to qualify as a valid exercise of Article I power, the statute must require proof of
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connection with federal money as an element of the offense.”); see also United States v.
Hines, 541 F.3d 833, 836 (8th Cir. 2008) (collecting cases rejecting similar argument).
Brady also argues that the indictment does not include sufficient allegations that the
federal funds involved qualify as federal “benefits” under § 666(b).
however, that the indictment’s statement that the local government entity received “in
excess of $10,000 annually under a Federal program involving a grant, contract, subsidy,
loan guarantee, insurance or other form of Federal assistance” sufficiently identifies the
federal funds as “benefits” under the statute.
Next, Brady contends that the Tenth Amendment precludes application of § 666 to
his case. We are unpersuaded. Although the bribes at issue implicate local interests,
those interests do not preempt the federal government from enacting concurrent laws.
The federal government has an interest in ensuring that recipients of benefits do not
misuse funds, directly or indirectly. Sabri, 541 U.S. at 605-06. And Congress has
ensured a federal interest in these local affairs sufficient to warrant federal intervention
by “condition[ing] the offense on a threshold amount of federal dollars defining the
Id. at 606.
Accordingly, we reject Brady’s Tenth Amendment
Brady also argues that the district court erred in calculating his total offense level
and sentencing range because the court applied a 14-level enhancement for a loss greater
than $550,000 without making adequate factual findings to support such a loss amount.
We review a sentence for procedural and substantive reasonableness under “a deferential
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abuse-of-discretion standard,” Gall v. United States, 552 U.S. 38, 41 (2007), and the
district court’s determination of loss amount for clear error, United States v. Jones, 716
F.3d 851, 859-60 (4th Cir. 2013). The district court need only make a “reasonable
estimate” of the loss. United States v. Cloud, 680 F.3d 396, 409 (4th Cir. 2012); U.S.
Sentencing Guidelines Manual § 2B1.1 cmt. n.3(C) (2015).
We have previously
determined that district courts may use extrapolation in computing loss. United States v.
Pierce, 409 F.3d 228, 234 (4th Cir. 2005).
In determining that the total loss amount exceeded $550,000 for sentencing
purposes, the district court relied on the extrapolation of the videotaped incidents to the
overall duration of Brady’s criminal conduct. Although Brady seeks a loss total based
only on the taped incidents, he has not established that the loss total based on the
extrapolation method is unreasonable. ∗ Thus, we find that the court did not clearly err in
determining that the total loss amount was in excess of $550,000.
Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the district court. 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 decisional process.
Brady argued that extrapolation of the taped incidents to 2009 would be
inappropriate. However, even disregarding the extrapolated loss for 2009 (roughly
$80,000), the total loss amount remains well above $550,000.
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