FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW
HAMPSHIRE [Hon. Landya B. McCafferty, U.S. District Judge]
L. Parsons, Christian J. Urbano and Law Offices of Inga L.
Parsons on brief for appellant.
R. Aframe, Assistant United States Attorney, and John
J.Farley, Acting United States Attorney, on brief for
Torruella, Thompson, and Barron, Circuit Judges.
TORRUELLA, CIRCUIT JUDGE.
Defendant-Appellant Aaron Olson ("Olson") committed
securities and tax fraud, and he pled guilty to tax fraud.
Olson's plea agreement contained a sentencing range of
forty-two to sixty months of imprisonment, and the district
court sentenced him to sixty months. Olson also agreed to pay
restitution, and the district court ordered him to pay almost
$23 million. Olson now appeals his sentence and his
restitution schedule. We affirm.
1999, Olson began trading in commodities, and in 2002, he was
approached by his first client. Although he was not licensed
as a trader, Olson continued adding clients. By 2010, he had
invested several million dollars for family, friends, and
their businesses, and the New Hampshire Bureau of Securities
investigated his unregulated trading. However, Olson remained
unlicensed to trade in New Hampshire, and his business, AEO
Associates ("AEO"), was not registered to trade in
the state. As a result of the New Hampshire Bureau of
Securities investigation, AEO effectively shut down and Olson
created KMO Associates ("KMO"), which he registered
in Massachusetts but ran out of his home in New Hampshire,
where he remained unlicensed. KMO was also not registered in
2011, many of Olson's investments had failed. Rather than
truthfully report losses to his investors, however, he turned
his investment business into a Ponzi scheme, creating false
earnings statements showing significant returns and
attracting new investments to pay investors. Olson also
converted about $2.6 million of investor funds for his
personal use and comingled clients' funds with his own.
In addition to his securities violations, he attempted to
evade or defeat taxes on income he obtained from operating
AEO and KMO.
clients finally became suspicious and confronted him. On
March 23, 2012, he confessed and self-reported to the
government and the Internal Revenue Service.
government filed a four-count information on April 14, 2014,
charging Olson with attempt to evade or defeat tax, in
violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7201. On March 9, 2015, Olson
entered into a plea agreement pursuant to Fed. R. Crim. P.
11(c)(1)(C) (the "Agreement"), in which he pled
guilty to the four tax-fraud counts. The Agreement allowed
Olson to withdraw his plea if the district court did not
accept it, and it contained, inter alia: a
sentencing range of forty-two to sixty months; a condition
that Olson would pay restitution to the victims "in
amounts to be determined at the time of sentencing"; and
an appeal waiver that became effective if Olson was sentenced
"within, or lower than, the guideline range determined
by the Court." At his plea hearing, the district court
informed Olson that "[u]nder some circumstances [he] . .
. may have the right to appeal any sentence, " but that
Olson waived some appeal rights, "and those waivers are
set forth in your plea agreement."
sentencing was delayed while Olson attempted to sell his
granite quarry to provide a fund for restitution. The
district court then held Olson's sentencing hearing on
April 1, 2016. It calculated Olson's recommended
sentencing range to be thirty-seven to forty-six months under
the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines (the "Guidelines"),
the same range recommended in Olson's presentence
investigative report. Both parties agreed with the
calculation and jointly recommended a sentence of forty-two
months. The district court also heard testimony from two
victims, Olson, and Olson's wife, read letters from