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Case Number: 2:21-cr-00170-SRW
Court: United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama (Montgomery County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office
Description: Montgomery, AL: Criminal defense lawyer represented Defendant charged with obstruction of a criminal investigation.
Charles Gregory Hardy, Jr., 37, was indicted for obstructing a criminal investigation as an officer of a financial institution.
Hardy was an employee of Valley National Bank during the spring of 2020. In April of that year, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) sent the bank a federal grand jury subpoena seeking records pertaining to the accounts of bank customer D’livro Beauchamp. Hardy learned about the subpoena and sent a text message to Beauchamp that read, “I got a subpoena for your financial records.” A few days later, Hardy went to Beauchamp’s office and, while there, sent a photo of a part of the grand jury subpoena from his personal telephone to Beauchamp.
Grand jury subpoenas are confidential documents and bank employees are, in most cases, prohibited by federal law from disclosing a subpoena’s existence to the customer whose records are being sought. By sending the subpoena to Beauchamp, Hardy informed the former physician of the existence of an otherwise confidential federal grand jury investigation.
Despite the disclosure of confidential information by Hardy, Beauchamp was eventually charged with conspiring to unlawfully distribute oxycodone on July 22, 2020. Beauchamp pleaded guilty to that charge in October of 2020. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for September 30, 2021 and he will be facing up to 20 years in prison.
“Safeguarding the integrity of our judicial system is critical when investigating crimes,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney Stewart. “The disclosure of confidential grand jury information can derail an investigation by allowing a target to destroy evidence or threaten witnesses. My office considers this bank employee’s disclosure a serious crime and is dedicated to holding anyone unlawfully sharing confidential information accountable for their actions.”
"This investigation has shown the unfortunate reality that people in all professional positions can become involved in criminal activity,” stated DEA Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge Towanda Thorne-James. “People who commit such crimes will be held accountable.”
The DEA’s Tactical Diversion Squad investigated this case, with assistance from the Shelby County, Alabama Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorneys Jonathan S. Ross and Alice S. LaCour prosecuted the case.
18 U.S.C. 1510, provides:
(a) Whoever willfully endeavors by means of bribery to obstruct, delay, or prevent the communication of information relating to a violation of any criminal statute of the United States by any person to a criminal investigator shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.
(1) Whoever, being an officer of a financial institution, with the intent to obstruct a judicial proceeding, directly or indirectly notifies any other person about the existence or contents of a subpoena for records of that financial institution, or information that has been furnished in response to that subpoena, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.
(2) Whoever, being an officer of a financial institution, directly or indirectly notifies—
(A) a customer of that financial institution whose records are sought by a subpoena for records; or
(B) any other person named in that subpoena;
about the existence or contents of that subpoena or information that has been furnished in response to that subpoena, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.
(3) As used in this subsection—
(A) the term “an officer of a financial institution” means an officer, director, partner, employee, agent, or attorney of or for a financial institution; and
(B) the term “subpoena for records” means a Federal grand jury subpoena, a subpoena issued under section 3486 of this title, or an order or subpoena issued in accordance with section 3512 of this title, section 5318 of title 31, or section 1782 of title 28, for customer records that has been served relating to a violation of, or a conspiracy to violate—
(i) section 215, 656, 657, 1005, 1006, 1007, 1014, 1344, 1956, 1957, 1960, an offense against a foreign nation constituting specified unlawful activity under section 1956, a foreign offense for which enforcement of a foreign forfeiture judgment could be brought under section 2467 of title 28, or chapter 53 of title 31; or
(ii) section 1341 or 1343 affecting a financial institution.
(c) As used in this section, the term “criminal investigator” means any individual duly authorized by a department, agency, or armed force of the United States to conduct or engage in investigations of or prosecutions for violations of the criminal laws of the United States.
(A) acting as, or being, an officer, director, agent or employee of a person engaged in the business of insurance whose activities affect interstate commerce, or
(B) is engaged in the business of insurance whose activities affect interstate commerce or is involved (other than as an insured or beneficiary under a policy of insurance) in a transaction relating to the conduct of affairs of such a business,
with intent to obstruct a judicial proceeding, directly or indirectly notifies any other person about the existence or contents of a subpoena for records of that person engaged in such business or information that has been furnished to a Federal grand jury in response to that subpoena, shall be fined as provided by this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.
(2) As used in paragraph (1), the term “subpoena for records” means a Federal grand jury subpoena for records that has been served relating to a violation of, or a conspiracy to violate, section 1033 of this title.
(e) Whoever, having been notified of the applicable disclosure prohibitions or confidentiality requirements of section 2709(c)(1) of this title, section 626(d)(1) or 627(c)(1) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681u(d)(1) or 1681v(c)(1)), section 1114(a)(3)(A) or 1114(a)(5)(D)(i) of the Right to Financial Privacy Act  (12 U.S.C. 3414(a)(3)(A) or 3414(a)(5)(D)(i)), or section 802(b)(1) of the National Security Act of 1947 (50 U.S.C. 436(b)(1)), knowingly and with the intent to obstruct an investigation or judicial proceeding violates such prohibitions or requirements applicable by law to such person shall be imprisoned for not more than five years, fined under this title, or both.
Outcome: Defendant was sentenced to three years’ probation and fined $10,000.00