In re Raejean S. Bonham dba World Plus
Bankruptcy No. F95-00897
Unofficial Web Site

This is a partial transcript of the sentencing of Raejean S. Bonham in the Federal criminal case. Arguments about the sentence are omitted; only the sentence and comments of U.S. District Judge Holland are set out.







Case No. A97-0115-CR (HRH)
Anchorage, Alaska









For the Plaintiff:

U.S. Department of Justice
P.O. Box 28188
Washington, D.C. 20038
(202) 514-0630

U.S. Attorney's Office
222 West 7th Avenue, #9
Anchorage, Alaska 99513
(907) 271-5071

For the Defendant:

510 L Street, Suite 306
Anchorage, Alaska 99501
(907) 277-7171

For Probation:

U.S. Probation Service
222 West 7th Avenue, #48
Anchorage, Alaska 99513
(907) 271-5492

Court Recorder:

U.S. District Court
222 West 7th Avenue, #4
Anchorage, Alaska 99513
(907) 271-3259

Transcription Service:

6822 Cutty Sark Street
Anchorage, Alaska 99502
(907) 248-8973 

Proceedings recorded by electronic sound recording, transcript produced by transcription service.



(This Portion Not Requested)

(Tape No. 1, Log No. 3805)

THE COURT: Based upon her plea of guilty, Mrs. Bonham has been found guilty of Count 51 of the indictment, a violation of 18 U.S.C. Section1341, mail fraud, and Count 61 of the indictment, charging a violation of 18 U.S.C. Section1956(a)(1)(A)(i), money laundering. Based upon those convictions, it is the judgment of the Court that RaeJean S. Bonham be committed to the custody of the United States Bureau of Prisons for incarceration for a period of 60 months. This term consists of 60 months as to Count 51 and 60 mounts [sic] -- 60 months as to Count 61, sentences on both counts to be served concurrently.

Upon release from imprisonment, Mrs. Bonham shall be on supervised release for a term of three years as to each count, again serving the sentences concurrently. Within 72 hours of her release from the custody of the Bureau of Prisons, Mrs. Bonham shall report in person to the Probation Service office in the district to which she has been released.

While on supervised release, she shall not commit another federal, state or local crime, shall not possess a firearm or illegal controlled substance, and shall comply with the standard conditions of supervision, of which there are 13. They will appear in printed form in the Court's judgment.

This offense occurred after the effective date of the Violent Crime Control Law Enforcement Act of 1994, however, the Court finds that there is no or minimal risk of drug offenses and, therefore, the required testing will be waived in this case.

The Court imposes the following special conditions of supervision. First, the defendant shall submit to the warrantless search of her person, residence, vehicle or place of employment, at a reasonable time, in a reasonable manner, based upon a reasonable suspicion of the presence of contraband or a violation of a condition of supervised release. Failure to submit to such a search may be grounds for revocation of supervised release.

Defendant shall not reside at any location without first having first advised other residents of the premises that the premises may be subject to searches pursuant to this condition, and without having written -- having obtained written acknowledgement of an agreement to allow such searches from other residents. This acknowledgement shall be provided to the Probation Officer prior to any residency.

Second, the defendant shall provide the Probation Officer with access to requested personal or business financial information and shall not incur new debts or apply for lines of credit without prior approval of her Probation Officer.

Third, the defendant shall notify any employer of her conviction and shall permit the Probation Officer to verify that such notification has been made.

Fourth, the defendant shall fully cooperate with the U.S. Bankruptcy Trustee in his endeavors to settle the bankruptcy case which is still pending.

Fifth, as a condition of supervised release, the defendant shall pay any sums remaining owed from time to time on a restitution obligation that I am going to impose, in amounts determined by the Probation Officer.

The Court finds that the defendant does not have the ability to pay a fine in addition to the restitution obligation which I am going to impose.

It is the order of the Court that the defendant pay the special assessment in the amount of -- is this a $50 per count offense? Therefore, the total assessment amount will be $100, $50 per count.

It is the further order of the Court that the defendant pay restitution in the amount of $5,719,431, which sum shall be paid directly to the United States Bankruptcy Trustee for application to the claims which are finally approved in the bankruptcy court.

In accordance with the plea agreement which I have approved in this case, all of the charges against Mrs. Bonham, with the exception of Count 51 and 61 are dismissed at this time.

Mr. Beck, is there anything further that we need to be concerned about?

MR. BECK: I don't believe so, on behalf of the government, Your Honor.

THE COURT: All right. With respect to self-surrender, is it -- is it the request, Mrs. -- Ms. Tatter, that -- that the defendant surrender herself to the designated institution or to the United States Marshal?

MS. TATTER: I believe the procedure that the Marshals told me, and they can correct me if I'm wrong, is that if there's a self-surrender to the institution, which saves the government the --

THE COURT: Mm hmm (affirmative).

MS. TATTER: -- transport costs, and also saves the defendant things like sitting --

THE COURT: Mm hmm (affirmative).

MS. TATTER: -- in the Tacoma City Jail while there's a classification, then she still has to go to the Marshals and -- and make arrangements with them for fingerprinting and processing, and then --

THE COURT: Mm hmm (affirmative).

MS. TATTER: -- they take care of notifying her where she's going and how to get there. Is that true, Mr. Johnson?

THE U.S. MARSHAL: Yes, sir. We have to do a card for the Bureau of Prisons and then she pays her way to the designated institution.

THE COURT: Is there any objection to using that procedure, Mr. Beck?

MR. BECK: The government doesn't have any objection, Your Honor.

THE COURT: All right. The -- the Probation Service appears to have no difficulty with that. Ms. Bonham may surrender herself to the federal correction institution upon designation, with the proviso that she must make arrangements for processing by the United States Marshal at such time as -- as he directs that that be -- that that be accomplished.

Ms. Bonham, that means that the bail and other conditions that have been in place while this case was going forward will remain in place. You're subject to the same terms and conditions now, although sentenced, that you were before you were sentenced. It will be your total responsibility to present yourself at the time indicated at the institution. If you don't show up as ordered by the institution, you can be charged with a further criminal offense. You can be prosecuted again for failure to appear at the institution. Do you understand that?


THE COURT: All right. Ms. Tatter, anything further that we need to do?

MS. TATTER: Well, I'd just like the Court to know that her husband, who is on a disability program --

MS. TATTER: Mm hmm (affirmative).

MS. TATTER: -- from a mine, is the source of the funds. She -- she personally is indigent, which brings me to the next point, which is counsel on appeal, for the sentence appeal -- and I -- I'd request the Court to appoint her counsel on appeal.

THE COURT: Are -- are -- are you suggesting that there should be other counsel?

MS. TATTER: It's -- I think it's up to the Court.

THE COURT: Oh. All right.

MS. TATTER: And I'll be happy to represent her --

THE COURT: All right. I --

MS. TATTER: -- if the Court directs me.

THE COURT: I need to inform you Mrs. -- Mrs. Bonham, that you have the right to appeal sentencing decisions that I have made in this case. If you believe that the sentence that I have imposed is not in accordance with law or not in accordance with the Sentencing Commission Guidelines, you may appeal those sentencing decisions to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. If you do not have the wherewithal to afford counsel for such an appeal, counsel will be appointed for you, and I understand that has been the situation and that it -- that it will likely be the -- the situation.

On the assumption that there will be an appeal in this case, I -- I will, if it's appropriate, conditionally appoint Ms. Tatter to proceed with -- with the appeal as -- as appointed counsel. Ms. Bonham, if -- if there is to be an appeal in this case, it must be taken within 10 days from the entry of the Court's judgment. You should assume that judgment will be entered in this case either today or tomorrow, so the time will start running very, very quickly, and you will need to consult with Ms. Tatter about the advisability of appeal forthwith.

Anything further, Mr. Beck?

MR. BECK: No, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Ms. Tatter, anything further?

MS. TATTER: No, sir.

THE COURT: I've given a lot of thought as to whether I should say anything more about this situation now that it's concluded, and I guess there's just one thing that I want to say, and that is that I have never seen a case that has generated as much and as widespread ill feeling, hostility, anger. It -- it -- what -- what I read in the, I think now it's up to almost 150 letters that I have received from -- from various people, the -- the anger and the outrage that has been -- has been generated by -- by the scheme that you hatched, Mrs. Bonham, is -- is almost unimaginable.

And I -- I suggest to the Bankruptcy Trustee and his attorney that -- that if there's anything you can conceive of to do to better explain your role and your function and your responsibility in this matter, you need to do it because there is -- there -- there's incredible misunderstanding out there, either people who -- well, I don't understand what their problem is, but suffice it to say, the letters that I have received suggest just incredible misunderstanding on the part of -- of people caught up in this situation about what's going on. And maybe it's -- maybe they just don't want to understand, but if -- if what I am receiving truly reflects what people are -- are -- are understanding, they don't understand, they do not understand what's going on.

They don't understand what's happening to them. They think they're being victimized a second time by the Trustee, and I'm satisfied that that is not the case, but I wish there were some way that -- that that could be better conveyed to -- to the people who are caught up in this situation.

Thank you for your assistance, counsel. We'll be in recess subject to call.

THE CLERK: All rise. This matter is adjourned. This court now stands in recess subject to call.

(Proceedings concluded at 10:03 a.m.)


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