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Sviridiuk v. United States

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma

August 28, 2014

ALEXANDER VENIAMIN SVIRIDIUK, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

ORDER DENYING PETITIONER'S MOTION TO VACATE, SET ASIDE OR CORRECT SENTENCE

BENJAMIN H. SETTLE, District Judge.

This matter comes before the Court on Petitioner Alexander Veniamin Sviridiuk's ("Sviridiuk") motion to vacate, set aside or correct sentence (Dkt. 1). The Court has considered the pleadings filed in support of and in opposition to the motion and the remainder of the file and hereby denies the motion for the reasons stated herein.

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On December 7, 2011, the Government filed an indictment against Sviridiuk and his cousin, Natalya Sviridyuk ("Natalya"), alleging six counts of bank fraud. Cause No. 11-CR-5581BHS, Dkt. 1. On February 17, 2012, Natalya pled guilty to all six counts. Id., Dkt. 24.

On May 17, 2012, the Government filed a superseding indictment against only Sviridiuk alleging twenty counts of bank fraud. Id., Dkt. 38. On October 9, 2012, the Court began a five-day jury trial on the charges in the superseding indictment against Sviridiuk, who was represented by attorney Des Connall. See id., Dkts. 61-66. On October 15, 2012, the jury returned a verdict of guilty on all twenty counts. Id., Dkt. 70.

On January 29, 2013, Sviridiuk filed a motion to substitute attorney Allen Bentley for Mr. Connall. Id., Dkt. 85. On January 30, 2013, the Court granted the motion. Id., Dkt. 88.

On June 25, 2013, the Court sentenced Sviridiuk to fifty-four months imprisonment, five years supervised release with standard & special conditions, and $1500 special assessment with restitution to be determined at a subsequent hearing. Id., Dkt. 106.

On July 8, 2013, Sviridiuk filed a notice of appeal. Id., Dkt. 116.

On September 3, 2013, the Court entered an amended judgment that included $901.632.88 in restitution. Id., Dkt. 129.

On January 6, 2014, Sviridiuk filed the instant motion to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence. Dkt. 1. On March 18, 2014, Sviridiuk filed two memorandums in support of his motion. Dkts. 9 & 11. On April 21, 2014, the Government responded. Dkt. 14. On May 16, 2014, Sviridiuk replied. Dkt. 21.

II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

The Government's case against Sviridiuk was based on the theory that he orchestrated a scheme to defraud J.P. Morgan Chase and other financial institutions. The Government alleged that Sviridiuk submitted false student loan applications on behalf of his clients when the clients had no intention of attending school. The Government called numerous witnesses including: the registrar of Washington State University, the registrar of the University of California Irvine, a bank fraud manager, multiple borrower or clients of Sviridiuk, and co-defendant Natalya. See Dkt. 14 at 4-27. In defense, Sviridiuk testified and he called one of his clients, Nikolay Trachuk. Id. at 27-36.

III. DISCUSSION

In this petition, Sviridiuk raises five grounds for relief that are all based on ineffective assistance of counsel by Mr. Connall. "To establish ineffective assistance of counsel a defendant must show both deficient performance [by counsel] and prejudice.'" Premo v. Moore, 131 S.Ct. 733, 739 (2011) (quoting Knowles v. Mirzayance, ...


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