United States District Court, D. Kansas
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
THOMAS MARTEN, JUDGE
basis of recently-acquired information, the government moved
for attorney fees from defendant Antoine Beasley. (Dkt. 553).
Citing evidence strongly suggesting that Beasley is not
indigent, the government seeks an order requiring
compensation for the amount expended to provide him with an
attorney at no charge. Subsequently, the government filed a
supplemental motion (Dkt. 556), supplying additional
court conducted a hearing in which the parties argued the
government's motions, and allowed both the government and
defendant an opportunity to submit additional briefing on the
relief sought by the government is unusual, but the law is
straightforward. If a defendant charged with a felony is
indigent, he is entitled to a court-appointed attorney at
government expense. However, if it is later discovered that
the defendant was not indigent, or if he obtained substantial
funds in the interim, he may be required to reimburse the
government for the cost of his court-appointed attorney. If
the government provides evidence casting doubt on a
defendant's inability to afford counsel, the defendant
has the burden of coming forward with evidence rebutting the
government's evidence. United States v. Allen,
596 F.2d 227, 232 (7th Cir.), cert. denied, 444 U.S.
court will consider factors including the accessability of
defendant's assets, whether he would suffer hardship if
deprived of the assets, and his and his family's needs.
United States v. Simmers, 911 F.Supp. 483, 486
(D.Kan., 1995) (citing United States v. Bracewell ,
569 F.2d 1194 (2d Cir. 1978)). Here, the government has
provided such evidence.
Beasley made his initial appearance on April 11, 2014, and
reported that he was indigent and required court-appointed
counsel. The court granted his request. The Financial
Affidavit submitted by the defendant states that his monthly
income from his employment with a real estate investment firm
is $2, 000, and that he has monthly expenses of $750. (Dkt.
over a year later, according to information now presented by
the government, Beasley purchased a luxury automobile, a 2015
Audi A7 3.0T Quattro. The MSRP for this vehicle was $67, 163,
but with the added optional equipment, the purchase price was
$7, 715.00. In conjunction with the purchase, Beasley
completed a credit application in which he reported that his
monthly income was $10, 000.00. This income was reported
separately from his wife (Patrice Beasley Duncan) which was
listed as $3, 588.00 per month.
then made monthly payments on the Audi, but not by electronic
transfer or by bank checks. Rather, according to the
government, Beasely made the payments of $1, 347.62 each
month by exchanging cash for money orders at Dillons. On each
occasion, Beasley obtained two money orders: one for $1, 000,
and one for $347.62.
defendant and his wife have two additional vehicles, a 2006
Chevy and a 2008 Ford. Both are in working condition and
lien-free, although defendant asserts in his brief the
vehicles have high mileage.
information submitted by the government in its first
supplemental motion is a set of grocery store money orders
made out to Audi Financial Services, which collectively
indicate that Beasley began to significantly increase the
payments on the Audi in 2017. In March, he made $4, 000 in
total payments, and in April a total of $5, 000. In each
month, the payments were made by separate $1, 000 payments.
defendant's brief in opposition asserts that defendant
makes some $1, 500 per month managing rental housing, and his
wife brings home $3, 500 working as a teacher. His assertion
is not supported by any affidavit or other evidence.
reviewing the material submitted by the parties, the court
finds the government has presented prima facie evidence that
Antoine Beasley was not indigent during the time of his
response, the defendant stresses the complexity of the
case(Dkt. at 3-5) and that, after the government seized some
$500, 000.00 in cash at the time of his arrest, he was
without any funds at the time of his indictment to employ
counsel. The defendant also, as he did at the hearing,
invokes the doctrine of laches, but expands upon it, arguing
that not only the government but “the Court is
collaterally estopped from ordering him to repay any of the
attorney fees in the case.” Id. at 5. Beasley
argues that the fact of his indigence cannot be reviewed
because the court entered judgment as to his sentence.
defendant's arguments, the fact remains that defendant
bought, financed, and paid for a luxury car while he was also
receiving government-funded free legal services, based on the
representation of limited financial resources. The evidence
before the court establishes that defendant does have
“specific funds, assets, or asset streams (or the fixed
right to those funds, assets or asset streams) that are (1)
identified by the court and (2) available to the ...