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Perkins v. United States

United States District Court, N.D. Georgia, Atlanta Division

January 31, 2019

REGINALD PERKINS, BOP ID 69454-019, Movant,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

         MOTION TO VACATE 28 U.S.C. § 2255

          FINAL REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          CATHERINE M. SALINAS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         This matter is before me on (A) Reginald Perkins's pro se Motion Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence by a Person in Federal Custody [80] and Memorandum of Law [80-1], (B) the government's Response [82], and (C) Perkins's Reply [84]. For the following reasons, I RECOMMEND that Perkins's § 2255 motion be DENIED and that a Certificate of Appealability NOT ISSUE.

         In 2014, while incarcerated in Jimmy Autry State Prison, Perkins used contraband cell phones to learn the names of law enforcement and judicial officials across the United States. Perkins then impersonated those officials as he called individuals in Georgia and elsewhere and falsely represented that because the individuals had failed to report for jury duty, they were subject to fines and arrest. Perkins instructed the individuals to purchase cash cards and provide the numbers to him to discharge their fines and avoid arrest. Perkins passed the cash card numbers on to co-conspirators outside Autry State Prison who would transfer money from the cash cards to debit cards and then purchase new cash cards that would enable them to transfer untraceable money back to Perkins. See [1] at 3-5.

         Perkins was one of many people charged in this criminal enterprise. Cf. https://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga/pr/more-50-individuals-charged-massive-corruption-fraud-and-money-laundering-schemes. But, to his credit, when Perkins learned an investigation was underway, he voluntarily met with law enforcement agents and described his role. As most relevant for purposes of his § 2255 motion, Perkins acknowledged the following:

Q: So it was then thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars?
Perkins: Yeah, I could probably be a millionaire if I saved all that money.
Q: Really?
Perkins: No. questions asked.

Gov. Sent. Ex. 1. And:

Q: So over the time period, the, the 6-8 months, the 6-7 months, that you said, I mean, you said it yourself, it's probably a million dollars or so that rolled in? Perkins: Definitely.

Id.

         In 2016, Perkins and one of the women he had recruited to handle the cash card conversions were indicted for conspiracy to commit money laundering in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956(a)(1)(B)(i) and (h). See [1]. When the indictment was handed up, it was sealed and Perkins was afforded the opportunity to cooperate with the government to identify others involved. He declined to do so, foregoing the chance to reduce his sentence on that basis. See [70] at 29-30.

         Perkins did, however, quickly plead guilty and waive, inter alia, certain direct appeal and collateral attack rights. See [36-1]. In exchange, the government agreed to recommend (1) a sentence at the low-end of the guideline range and (2) a 1-level downward variance, all in ...


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