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Not surprisingly, Arden took exception to this, and in spite of the fact that Stigwood had never met the group personally, Arden decided to pay him a visit with some of his minders, to teach him a lesson: "I had to stop these overtures - and quickly.

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Dunn, a certified financial planner, was a promoter as well as a manager of Aegis trusts; he became the executive director of Aegis Management. However, mere "expressions of impatience, dissatisfaction, annoyance, and even anger that are within the bounds of what imperfect men and women, even after having been confirmed as federal judges, sometimes display," do not by themselves suffice to show actual bias. Still, we see no way in which the decision reflected a bias against Vallone in particular or the defendants generally as opposed to a legitimate concern about delaying the trial and inconveniencing the jury. Although the record does confirm that the judge periodically interrupted Jenkins' testimony, the interruptions on the whole do not support the inference that the judge was biased against the defense or conveyed a disbelief of Jenkins' testimony to the jury. And we note that a number of the interruptions of Jenkins appear to have been occasioned by the court's legitimate concern that Jenkins may have misunderstood a broad or poorly worded question. After Jenkins was excused, the defendants objected to the fact that the court, while the jury was still present, had summoned Jenkins to the side.

I pretended to go berserk, lifted the impressario bodily from his chair, dragged him on to the balcony and held him so he was looking down to the pavement four floors below.

I asked my friends if I should drop him or forgive him. He went rigid with shock and I thought he might have a heart attack.

and later held the controlling interest in Sigma Resource Management, LLC (collectively,"Sigma"), which also provided management services to purchasers of Aegis trusts. Vallone makes no argument that he was, in the end, concretely prejudiced by what occurred in his counsel's absence; and, indeed, other than as an example of the court's purported bias, Vallone has not raised this as a stand-alone error that demands a new trial. Nothing in the court's request that Jenkins "step over here, please" bespeaks bias on the part of the court or demonstrates prejudice to the defendants. We are inclined to agree with the government that this was an instance of the court misapprehending the point that Mc Leese was trying to make with the witness. Whatever the court's thinking may have been as to notice, Dowd has made no showing that the court was so close-minded on the subject of severance that it would have been futile for him to renew his motion at the close of evidence. Minor Role Adjustment The district court overruled Dowd's objection to the probation officer's pre-sentence report ("PSR"), which did not grant him a two-level reduction in his offense level for being a minor participant in the offense.

He served as the president of Sigma Resource Management, Inc. Mc Leese had the opportunity to review the transcript of Parker's testimony before the trial resumed, and both he and Vallone waived the opportunity to have Parker repeat that portion of his testimony. There were times during his testimony when the court interrupted Jenkins to ask him if he understood the question that had been posed and to repeat his answer. We note first that the judge's interruptions began well before Jenkins gave testimony that the defendants perceive as helpful to them. The court rejected the notion that the words it had used signaled something negative to the jury and, after having the court reporter's audio recording played back, likewise rejected that there was any such implication in its tone. In his reply brief, he belatedly argues that renewal of the motion would have been futile in light of the court's notice-to-one rationale.

At the conclusion of an eleven-week trial, a jury convicted defendants Michael A. Attendance at these seminars was by invitation only, and guests were charged between 0 and 0 to participate. The actual purpose of these contracts was thus to conceal the diversion of business profits to the trusts without the payment of taxes on that income. The money that Aegis clients transferred to their trusts would be returned to the clients and their businesses in a variety of ways. Similarly, the enterprises to which the trust might make donations. We gather that what Mc Leese hoped to establish is that despite what he expected Smyros to say was a thorough search of Vallone's home, the agents did not discover any email or other document in which Vallone in some way acknowledged (in Mc Leese's words), "I know what we're doing doesn't comply with the requirements of the federal tax laws, but I think we can get away with it anyway." R. But we see no sign that the court in limiting this line of inquiry was motivated by bias rather than a genuine misunderstanding of what Mc Leese hoped to establish.

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