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United States v. Swor

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

August 27, 2013

United States of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
Shawn Anthony Swor, Defendant-Appellant.

Argued and Submitted May 10, 2013—Portland, Oregon

Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Montana D.C. No. 9:11-cr-00057-DWM-2 Donald W. Molloy, District Judge, Presiding

Timothy M. Bechtold (argued), Bechtold Law Firm, PLLC Missoula, Montana, for Defendant-Appellant.

Carl E. Rostad (argued) and J. Bishop Grewell, Assistan United States Attorneys; Michael W. Cotter, United State Attorney, United States Attorney's Office, Great Falls Montana, for Plaintiff-Appellee.

Before: Alex Kozinski, Chief Judge, and Marsha S. Berzon, and Andrew D. Hurwitz, Circuit Judges.

SUMMARY [*]

Criminal Law

The panel affirmed in part and vacated in part a sentence imposed after the defendant pled guilty to one count of investment fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343, and remanded.

The panel held that the district court abused its discretion by including in the restitution order losses suffered by victims who entrusted Eric Schultz to invest in an investment scheme touted by Dan Two Feathers on the ground that the defendant had introduced Schultz to Two Feathers some months earlier. The panel reasoned that intervening events made the defendant's connection to Schultz's losses in that scheme – which began two months after, and was separate from, the scheme in which the defendant was involved – too attenuated to impose liability on the defendant for Schultz's victims' losses.

The panel held that the district court did not clearly err in finding that the defendant failed to establish that he played a minor role in the offense.

OPINION

PER CURIAM

Shawn Anthony Swor appeals from the sentence impose after he pled guilty to one count of investment fraud i violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343. We affirm the sentence in par and vacate in part.

I.

Swor was a mortgage broker. In February 2008, he, Dan Two Feathers, and Terrence Paulin founded DTF Consulting Group to lure investors to “high yield” opportunities, using “leveraged investment and securities programs.” Essentially, DTF advertised that it would leverage modest investments to secure much larger lines of credit and invest loan proceeds in government securities, which DTF would buy at a discount and sell at a premium, using its ostensible “connections in the world of international finance.” At Two Feathers’ direction, Paulin created a fraudulent $1.5 billion letter of credit “to entice potential ...


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