United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION & ORDER DENYING MOTION UNDER 28 U.S.C.
F. COX U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
a habeas petition made pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255.
Petitioner Gerald Bass (“Bass”) filed his habeas
petition acting pro se, asserting that he is
entitled to relief from his convictions and sentences for
identity theft and other financial crimes, based on the
ineffective assistance of his trial and appellate counsel.
Specifically, Bass's motion argues that his trial counsel
was ineffective because counsel failed to object to testimony
about hundreds of “medical profiles” that this
Court suppressed prior to trial and failed to negotiate a
more favorable plea offer with the Government. Bass also
argues that his subsequent counsel failed to sufficiently
argue sentencing disparities and failed to raise an argument
on appeal. The motion was fully briefed by the parties.
Because the files and records of the case conclusively show
that Bass is entitled to no relief as to the claims in this
§ 2255 motion, an evidentiary hearing is not necessary
and the matter is ripe for a decision by this Court. For the
reasons set forth below, the Court denies the motion and
declines to issue a certificate of appealability.
along with several Co-Defendants, including Defendant Isaiah
Price (“Price”), was charged with committing
identity theft and other financial crimes.
was originally represented by attorney Rita Chastang, and
then and attorney Edward Wishnow. At Bass's request, Mr.
Wishnow filed a motion to withdraw because Bass desired a new
attorney. This Court granted that motion and a new attorney,
Anthony Chambers, was appointed to represent Bass.
pretrial proceedings, Bass's Counsel (Mr. Chambers) filed
a Motion to Suppress, which this Court granted in part and
denied in part. The Court granted the motion to the extent
that the Court suppressed certain evidence found during the
execution of a search warrant on Ilene Street in Detroit,
Michigan on November 2, 2011. (See D.E. No. 79).
Among the evidence suppressed were multiple documents that
had been generically identified in the Incident
Report/Inventory as “victim profile sheets.” or
“victim profiles.” (Id. at Pg ID 393).
The Motion to Suppress was denied in all other respects.
Court held the Final Pretrial / Plea Cutoff Conference as to
Bass on June 25, 2012. (See Docket Entry No. 190,
6/25/12 Tr.). At that time, the Government noted on the
record the offer that it had made to Bass, and Bass rejected
THE COURT: This is the final pretrial, plea cut-ff date. Has
the government made an offer?
MS. OBERG: We did make an offer, Your Honor.
We offered Mr. Bass the opportunity to plead to Count One,
the conspiracy count. And the guidelines, because his
criminal history is a category six, the guidelines were, with
acceptance of responsibility, 84 to 105 months, and 24-month
additional sentence consecutive to that, because of the
So it was Count One and Count Five; aggravated identity theft
and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
THE COURT: Mr. Chambers, did you get that offer and were you
able to discuss it with your client?
MR. CHAMBERS: Yes, I have, Your Honor.
THE COURT: And what is your client's position?
MR. CHAMBERS: Sir, are you interested in the Rule 11 Plea
DEFENDANT BASS: No, not at this time.
THE COURT: Well, this is the time.
DEFENDANT BASS: No.
THE COURT: Is that a no?
DEFENDANT BASS: No.
rejecting the Government's plea offer, Bass ultimately
proceeded to a jury trial and was the only defendant that did
so. Mr. Chambers represented Bass at trial.
Co-Defendant Price testified at Bass's trial. Among other
things, the Government elicited testimony from Price
regarding how Bass possessed and used various
“profiles” to perpetrate his fraudulent scheme:
Q. Now, you just described to the jury the conduct that led
up to your guilty plea. When did you start working with Mr.
Bass on these credit accounts?
A. I started working with Mr. Bass roughly around September,
the beginning of September.
Q. Of what year, sir?
A. Of 2011.
Q. And could you please describe how that started? How did
you first start ...