Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Jha v. United States

United States District Court, D. Maryland

June 12, 2018

MANOJ KUMAR JHA Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM

          Ellen L. Hollander United States District Judge

         In this post-conviction matter, the Court addresses for the second time a motion to recuse filed by the self-represented Petitioner, Manoj Kumar Jha. See ECF 217. It is titled “Second Motion For Judge Hollander's Recusal And Disqualification” (the “Second Motion”). Id. The government opposes the Second Motion. ECF 225. Jha has filed a reply. ECF 229.

         No hearing is necessary to resolve the Second Motion. See Local Rule 105.6. For the reasons that follow, I shall deny the Second Motion.

         I. Procedural Background

         Jha, a former engineering professor, was initially indicted on November 14, 2012 (ECF 1), on five counts of wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343; mail fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1341; and falsification of records, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1519. Id. In a Superseding Indictment filed on August 21, 2013 (ECF 49), a charge of theft from a program receiving federal funds was added, under 18 U.S.C. § 666. In addition, the Superseding Indictment contained a forfeiture count, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 982(a)(2)(A).

         Beginning on March 18, 2014, the Court presided over a nine-day jury trial. See ECF 100; ECF 101.[1] At trial, more than 200 exhibits were introduced and over 30 witnesses were called to testify. On April 1, 2014, the jury returned a verdict of guilty as to all counts. ECF 118; ECF 119.

         Numerous issues were contested in presentencing submissions with regard to the calculation of the advisory sentencing guideline range applicable to Jha. See ECF 124; ECF 131 (Defense); ECF 127 (Government). The Presentence Report (“PSR, ” ECF 123) reflected that Jha had a total offense level of 27 and a criminal history category of I, with an advisory sentencing guidelines range of 70 to 87 months of imprisonment.[2]

         Sentencing was held on August 29, 2014. ECF 134. The Government initially requested a 78-month sentence, based on its belief that Jha had an offense level of 27, with guidelines of 70-87 months. See ECF 127 (Government's sentencing memorandum) at 3. However, I concluded that Jha had a final offense level of 25. Based on a final offense level of 25 and a criminal history category of I, the advisory sentencing guidelines range called for a period of incarceration of 57 to 71 months. In light of the Court's ruling, finding an offense level of 25, the government sought a sentence of 65 months' incarceration. See ECF 158 at 78.

         Despite my characterization of the government's recommendation as “reasonable” (id.), and notwithstanding the defendant's reprehensible conduct (id. at 88), I awarded a substantial downward variance to Jha. Id. at 90-92. In particular, I sentenced Jha to concurrent terms of 36 months' incarceration and ordered restitution in the amount of $105, 726.31. The term of incarceration was obviously well below the low end of the advisory guidelines range and well below the 65-month sentence that the government requested.

         Judgment was entered on September 11, 2014. See ECF 137. In the Statement of Reasons (ECF 183), to explain my leniency in imposing a variant sentence, I stated that Jha is “an immigrant, a scholar and a professor [who] has helped many minority students . . . to his credit.” Id. at 3. I also pointed out that Jha's “career is ruined, ” noting that he “had to resign in disgrace.” Id.[3]

         Thereafter, the defendant noted an appeal to the Fourth Circuit. ECF 135. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed the defendant's convictions on June 4, 2015, in an unpublished, per curiam opinion. ECF 163. The mandate issued on June 26, 2015. ECF 164. See United States v. Jha, 613 Fed.Appx. 212 (4th Cir. 2015).

         Jha subsequently filed a petition for a writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court. See ECF 162-2. The Supreme Court denied Jha's certiorari petition on October 13, 2015. ECF 166 at 9; ECF 171 at 2; see Jha v. United States, 136 S.Ct. 349 (2015). On November 6, 2015, Jha filed a petition for rehearing in the Supreme Court. See ECF 166-4. That petition was denied on December 7, 2015. ECF 166 at 9; ECF 171 at 2; see Jha v. United States, 136 S.Ct. 611 (2015).

         On February 25, 2016, Jha filed “Fed. R. Crim. P. 33 Motion To Vacate The Judgment of Conviction, Sentence And Restitution, And Order A New Trial” (ECF 166, “Rule 33 Motion”), along with numerous exhibits. By Memorandum (ECF 173) and Order (ECF 174) of June 13, 2016, I denied the Rule 33 Motion. Thereafter, Jha noted an appeal to the Fourth Circuit. ECF 175. In a per curiam opinion issued November 22, 2016, the Fourth Circuit affirmed. ECF 185. On January 24, 2017, the Fourth Circuit denied Jha's petition for rehearing. ECF 191. The mandate issued on February 1, 2017. ECF 192.[4]

         In the interim, on October 14, 2016, while the appeal was pending as to this Court's disposition of the Rule 33 Motion, Jha filed a petition to vacate under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. See ECF 180. And, he filed motions to supplement the petition on October 14, 2016 (ECF 181) and February 8, 2017 (ECF 193). I granted those motions in an Order of February 24, 2017. ECF 199. The government filed its opposition to the § 2255 petition on May 30, 2017 (ECF 207), to which Jha replied on June 23, 2017. ECF 209. Thereafter, in a filing on July 13, 2017 (ECF 211), Jha sought a stay of the § 2255 petition, advising that he was pursuing certiorari in the Supreme Court as to the Fourth Circuit's ruling of ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.