United States v. Bowers, No. 16-4008 (10th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Defendant Donald Bowers was previously involved in a civil trade secret misappropriation case that was litigated in the United States Federal District Court. During the course of that litigation, Bowers willfully and repeatedly violated a permanent injunction, and refused to purge himself of civil contempt. His actions resulted in findings of civil contempt against him, judgments against him for the plaintiff’s attorneys’ fees, and, ultimately, a criminal referral to the United States Attorney for the District of Utah. A federal grand jury subsequently indicted Bowers on two counts of contempt. The case proceeded to trial, where a jury found Bowers guilty of both counts. Bowers was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of fifteen months, to be followed by a thirty-six month term of supervised release. He was also directed, as a condition of supervised release, to make monthly payments on the outstanding amount owed by him to the plaintiff in the underlying civil case. Bowers appealed, arguing that the district court erred in: (1) imposing a special condition of supervised release requiring him to make monthly payments on the outstanding judgments owed to the plaintiff in the civil case; (2) denying his motion for disclosure of the criminal referral; and (3) sentencing him to a term of imprisonment that exceeded six months. Finding no reversible error, the Tenth Circuit affirmed.