USA v. Applebury et al

District of Alaska, akd-3:2017-cr-00121-58433

Response in Opposition

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BRYAN SCHRODER United States Attorney RETTA-RAE RANDALL Assistant United States Attorney Federal Building & U.S. Courthouse 222 West Seventh Avenue, #9, Room 253 Anchorage, Alaska 99513-7567 Phone: (907) 271-5071 Fax: (907) 271-1500 Email: Attorneys for Plaintiff IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF ALASKA UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,) Case No. 3:17-cr-00121-TMB) Plaintiff,)) vs.)) JILL DIANE APPLEBURY, aka "Jill) Wetzsteon",)) Defendant.) OPPOSITION TO MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION OF THE COURT ORDER OF DETENTION AT DOCKET 313 The United States of America, by and through undersigned counsel, opposes Defendant Jill Applebury's ("Defendant") Motion to Reconsider the Court's Order of Detention at Docket 313 because Defendant has failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that she is not an economic danger to the community and therefore the presumption of detention remains. See 18 U.S.C. § 3143(a). Defendant continued to commit crimes and lie to the court while on pretrial release, and the deviousness of her continuing deception and misrepresentation of facts makes her a continuing danger to the community. Defendant claims that she took upon herself the payment of a number of Rocky Knob Lodge ("Lodge") obligations. First, the line of credit is NOT an obligation of the Lodge. From conversation this date with Dirk A. Williams, the attorney for Defendant's mother, who has an ownership interest in the Lodge, the line of credit was obtained by Sterling Wetzsteon (Defendant's father) and Defendant for the purpose of running the Lodge. The financial institution would not provide any information to Defendant's mother about the line of credit after her husband's death, so the assumption was that the debt was Defendant's. Defendant stopped making payments on the line of credit some time after her father's death. The court should recall that at previous bail hearings evidence was introduced that Defendant helped herself to portions of the daily proceeds (Lodge income) paid by clients to the Rocky Knob Lodge, including paying herself a salary when she was not employed. Perhaps her argument as to unreimbursed expenses is a belated excuse for writing herself two checks on the Lodge account right after she was terminated and right before the account was closed? See Docket 306-1. Perhaps the unreimbursed expenses are attempts to place liens against the Lodge. Why not inform the family and invoice the Lodge for "expenses" on a monthly basis? Making these "voluntary" payments without the family's United States v. Applebury, Jill 3:17-cr-00121-1-TMB-DMS Page 2 of 7 knowledge is another example of the secretive manner defendant operates accounts in order to have control over them, and move money as she wishes, many times to her own benefit. Now Defendant argues that stealing the insurance check from the Lodge fire was justified and that she continued to "work" for the Lodge. 1 If one carefully reads the emails provided by Defendant (Docket 318-8), paying attention to the dates, one finds that she is being requested to provide all of the financial information pertaining to the Lodge post- termination. The dates of the emails range from July 12, 2018, through July 27, 2018. The court should recall that on June 27, 2018, the defendant was terminated from taking any action on behalf of the Lodge. See Docket 306-2. Specifically, the June 27, 2018, letter from Williams, attorney for defendant's mother, stated that: "On behalf of Rocky Knob Lodge, Inc., you [the defendant] are hereby notified that, effective immediately, you are terminated from any position you have held or claim to have held as manager, officer, or director of Rocky Knob Lodge, Inc. Your termination is for cause. You have no authority to take any further action on behalf of Rocky Knob Lodge, Inc., including accessing or utilizing the financial or credit accounts of Rocky Knob Lodge, Inc." Id. Defendant was not continuing to work for the Lodge; the Lodge owners needed financial information for the Lodge which she had never provided. Instead, Defendant stalled, gave vague responses, and claimed that she did not see emails with deadlines in time – always maintaining control. // 1 However, counsel for Defendant was denied access to the insurance file regarding the fire because "Jill was no longer an employee so the file would not be provided." United States v. Applebury, Jill 3:17-cr-00121-1-TMB-DMS Page 3 of 7 On July 13, 2018, the attorney for the Lodge continued to press for information – "Most importantly, we still do not know from you or the institutions how much is in the Wells Fargo OR Bitterroot Community Credit Union accounts. That information belongs to Rocky Knob Lodge Inc., not you, and you owe a profound legal duty to give the officers of Rocky Knob Lodge, Inc. both access to the information and access to the money in those accounts, immediately. Excuses that you 'didn't know' what we need, or that I 'didn't ask' for certain information, are neither plausible nor acceptable. We need access to every bit of financial information for any and all accounts that you have maintained in the name or for the benefit of Rocky Knob Lodge, Inc. (or Rocky Knob Lodge No. 2, Inc, which appears to have been the named owner of some Rocky Knob accounts) and we need it now. If there is any ambiguity about my demand that you provide all the financial information regarding the Rocky Knob, then please submit your questions in writing." Docket 318-8 at pg. 6. The attorney followed up with another email dated July 15, 2018, requesting specific information and informing Defendant that her presence in Montana was not needed: "You mentioned in a phone call late last week that you need to get to Montana to get my questions about the Rocky Knob answered. There may be a day when Rocky Knob Lodge, Inc needs your physical presence in Montana, but that is not presently the case. Every question I have asked you in the past month you should be able to answer from Anchorage. What we most need from you today is for you simply to get to me the full information on the Rocky Knob's accounts, including copies of account statements, and cooperating to get your name removed, and [your mother's] name added, as authorized signatory on the Rocky Knob bank accounts." Docket 318-8 at p. 11. 2 // // 2 The emails provided by Defendant in Docket 318 end on July 27, 2018, but the court should note the Motion for Bail Hearing filed at Docket 187 on August 17, 2018, where Defendant was "asking that the court schedule a bail hearing as soon as possible to allow her to travel to Montana to address important business and family affairs." United States v. Applebury, Jill 3:17-cr-00121-1-TMB-DMS Page 4 of 7 The emails attached to Defendant's motion at Docket 318 do not clarify when the financial information regarding the Lodge was finally provided, if ever. Additional criminal conduct while Defendant was on pretrial release has been discovered in preparation for the sentencing hearing scheduled March 29, 2019. Attached are applications by Defendant to open an account with the Bitterroot Community Federal Credit Union – first, on the application dated April 25, 2018, Defendant described her membership eligibility as "Resides in Ravalli County", and then, second, on September 13, 2018, she described her membership eligibility as "Ravalli County Resident." See Exhibit 1. Both of these statements are lies to a financial institution. Defendant was previously admonished about claiming to be a resident of Montana while she collected PFD's in Alaska. From conversation this date with Dirk A. Williams, the attorney for Defendant's mother, additional information was provided as to why the Lodge was closed. Specifically the Lodge was closed for business on June 27, 2018 (the same date of Defendant's termination). Williams confirmed that the sale of the Lodge was just recently completed. The cause for the closing of the Lodge is another Defendant scheme. Defendant was the only Location Manager for the Lodge who had been approved by the State of Montana, Gambling Control Division, in 2017. The Gambling License came up for renewal in 2018. The owner of the gambling equipment in the Lodge obtained a copy of Defendant's Application for the 2019-2020 License Renewal which Defendant signed on June 6, 2018. See Exhibit 2. Defendant named Alissa Hamby as the current Location Manager; Hamby United States v. Applebury, Jill 3:17-cr-00121-1-TMB-DMS Page 5 of 7 had not been approved by the State of Montana or the Lodge owners for such a position. Hamby was listed because Question 5 asked: "Since your initial licensure or since your last renewal, have there been any criminal charges (either felony or misdemeanor) filed against the licensee or any owner, investor, shareholder, member, partner, office/director, or location manager?" (Emphasis added.) Defendant checked "NO." The owner of the gambling equipment knew of the criminal conduct by Location Manager Defendant. If the owner of the gambling equipment submitted the form with the perjured statement it could cost him his license. The Lodge attempted to engage Hamby as the new manager prior to the June 29 deadline for renewing the gambling license. The effort did not succeed and the Lodge was closed. Attached is a letter dated June 29, 2018, to Alissa Hamby regarding the termination of her employment. See Exhibit 3. Defendant has continuously committed crimes while under supervision. Some of those crimes have been against her own family. Defendant only knows how to lie, steal and cheat – NO condition of release can protect the public from her machinations. Defendant is incorrigible. In addition, the draft Presentence Report at Docket 321(sealed) has calculated a USSG sentence of 41 – 51 months, providing Defendant with reason to flee. // // // United States v. Applebury, Jill 3:17-cr-00121-1-TMB-DMS Page 6 of 7 RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED on February 19, 2019, in Anchorage, Alaska. BRYAN SCHRODER United States Attorney s/ Retta-Rae Randall RETTA-RAE RANDALL Assistant United States Attorney United States of America CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE I hereby certify that on the filing date a copy of the foregoing is being served electronically, via the Court=s CM/ECF system, on: James A. Wendt, Esq. s/ Retta-Rae Randall Assistant United States Attorney United States v. Applebury, Jill 3:17-cr-00121-1-TMB-DMS Page 7 of 7