FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF
MASSACHUSETTS [Hon. Richard G. Stearns, U.S. District Judge]
B. Krasnoo, with whom Krasnoo, Klehm & Falkner LLP was on
brief, for appellant.
J. Balthazard, Assistant United States Attorney, with whom
Carmen M. Ortiz, United States Attorney, and Doreen M.
Rachal, Assistant United States Attorney, were on brief, for
Torruella, Lynch, and Barron, Circuit Judges.
TORRUELLA, Circuit Judge.
2008 to 2012, defendant-appellant Darren Stokes sent
fraudulent invoices to thousands of businesses. Each invoice
appeared to be sent by a legitimate trade association and
directed the business to send membership dues to one of three
addresses in Massachusetts where, unbeknownst to the
business, Stokes received mail. Postal inspectors intercepted
mailings to these addresses. After criminal charges were
leveled against Stokes in the United States District Court
for the District of Massachusetts, he moved to suppress the
mailings as the product of an unreasonable search under the
Fourth Amendment. The district court denied the motion to
suppress, and Stokes pled guilty to 8 counts of wire fraud
under 18 U.S.C. § 1343 and 7 counts of mail fraud under
18 U.S.C. § 1341. During the sentencing, the district
court determined that Stokes's scheme had an intended
loss between $400, 000 and $1, 000, 000 and 250 or more
victims, findings that increased his sentencing range under
the United States Sentencing Guidelines, and sentenced Stokes
to 48 months' imprisonment. Stokes reserved the right to
appeal the district court's denial of his motion to
suppress and its sentencing determination; he appeals those
decisions here. We affirm.
this appeal follows a guilty plea, we draw the relevant facts
from the change-of-plea colloquy, the unchallenged portions
of the presentence investigation report (PSI Report), and the
transcript of the disposition hearing." United
States v. Mateo-Espejo, 426 F.3d 508, 509 (1st Cir.
2005). Where necessary, we supplement the facts with
materials submitted to the district court for purposes of the
motion to suppress. See United States v. Pacheco,
489 F.3d 40, 42 (1st Cir. 2007).
2008 to 2012, Stokes sent fraudulent invoices to businesses.
The invoices purported to be from legitimate trade
associations, including the American Dental Association (the
"ADA"), the National Association of Manufacturers
(the "NAM"), the American Trucking Association (the
"ATA"), and the American Hospital Association (the
"AHA"). Each invoice requested that the recipient
send annual membership dues to the trade association at a
Massachusetts address where Stokes received mail. Stokes was
listed as neither a recipient nor a sender on any of these
identified target businesses by purchasing lists of business
fax numbers and then hiring a company, Profax, to send
invoices to those numbers. For example, in January 2012,
Stokes used Profax to send invoices purporting to come from
the ADA and requesting $575 in membership dues to more than
13, 000 dental offices. That same month, Stokes had Profax
send invoices bearing the NAM acronym and requesting $575 in
membership dues to 1, 100 manufacturing businesses. He cashed
the checks using United Check Cashing, a business where
customers could cash checks instantly without needing to
establish a bank account.
2008 onward, Stokes received cease and desist letters from
various trade associations and faced two civil actions, as
well as an administrative complaint from the United States
Postal Inspection Service, for his involvement in this
scheme. In 2012, postal inspectors seized 443 envelopes
addressed to the ADA that were mailed to a P.O. Box in
Brockton, Massachusetts, in response to Stokes's
fraudulent invoices. The PSI assumed that each of these
envelopes contained a check for $575. Postal inspectors
withheld from delivery 32 envelopes assumed to contain checks
for $575 addressed to the NAM at a Willard Street address in
Quincy, Massachusetts, 10 envelopes assumed to contain checks
for $585 addressed to the Automotive Parts Remanufacturers
Association (the "APRA") at a Blaine Street address
in Brockton, and 14 envelopes assumed to contain checks for
$685 addressed to the ATA at the same Blaine Street address.
At oral argument, the Government explained that it had sought
the consent of the senders to open 7 of these items and that
those 7 opened envelopes formed the basis of mail fraud counts.
Although postal inspectors seized 8 envelopes personally
addressed to Stokes at his P.O. Box, the Government avows
that they were never opened.
was charged with 8 counts of wire fraud under 18 U.S.C.
§ 1343, based on calls that Stokes made to Profax in
January and February 2012, and 7 counts of mail fraud under
18 U.S.C. § 1341. He sought to suppress the seized mail
before the district court. The district court denied the
motion in a written memorandum and order, explaining that
"no mail addressed to Stokes personally ha[d] ever been
opened" and that he lacked "standing to challenge
the seizure of letters addressed to someone else
altogether." Stokes pled guilty, reserving the right to
appeal the suppression issue.
sentencing hearing, the district court adopted the probation
office's recommendation for a base offense level of 7,
with a 14-level increase for an intended loss between $400,
000 and $1, 000, 000,  a 6-level increase for 250 or more
victims, and a 2-level decrease for acceptance of
responsibility. With a total offense level of 25 and a
Criminal History Category of III, Stokes had a sentencing
range of 70 to 87 months' imprisonment. Stokes received a
below-guidelines sentence of 48 months' imprisonment and
3 years' supervised release.
now appeals the denial of his motion to suppress and the
district court's loss calculation.