United States v. Mullikin, No. 13-1290 (10th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
As a result of an investigation into purported clinical weight-loss studies from 2006-2008, defendant Edward Mulikin was indicted by a grand jury sitting in the District of Colorado in November 2011. The indictment consisted of nineteen counts of mail fraud. Defendant was arrested in January 2012; in August 2012, a superseding indictment was filed asserting the same nineteen counts of mail fraud. The superseding indictment alleged that Defendant's purported weight-loss studies were part of an "advance fee scheme" in which Defendant made false representations to induce participants to submit deposits which he had no intention of refunding. Defendant's residence was searched pursuant to a warrant. Law enforcement seized two hard drives, a computer, two binders, and two folders during the search. Prior to trial, Defendant unsuccessfully moved to suppress the evidence seized at his residence. After a trial, the jury convicted defendant to seventeen of the nineteen counts of mail fraud. Defendant appealed the district court's denial of his pretrial motion to suppress the evidence seized at his home, challenging whether the warrant established probable cause that the items seized would have been located at the residence. Defendant also argued the affidavit failed to establish a nexus between the criminal acts and the residence to be searched. Furthermore, defendant argued the list of items to be seized in the search warrant was impermissibly broad. Upon review, the Tenth Circuit held that even if evidence seized pursuant to the warrant was admitted in error, that admission was harmless and did not warrant reversal of defendant's conviction.