Wednesday, September 03, 2008

From the Palfrey trial transcript, April 9th, 2008: The testimony of Treasury agent Troy Burrus

Washington D.C.--There's an interesting passage in here where IRS agent Troy Burrus and AUSA (Assistant US Attorney) Daniel P. Butler "misspoke," down towards the bottom hinting accidentally that there could be issues of Palfrey misreporting her income, a tax issue, not one of simple "money-laundering."

No worries
, Judge Roberston let them off-the-hook, but he appears to be covering his ass as when he quit the FISA court.

It's a potentially telling exchange, and could mean something about what Palfrey actually made, and what the government was actually able to find regarding all of her assets/money.


1 (TROY BURRUS, GOVERNMENT witness, having been duly sworn,

2 testified as follows:)



5 Q. Would you state your name please, and spell your last name?

6 A. Troy Burrus, B-U-R-R-U-S.

7 Q. And Mr. Burrus, what's your occupation?

8 A. I'm a special agent with the Internal Revenue Service.

9 Q. How long have you been an agent with the IRS?

10 A. For almost nine years.

11 Q. And what is your back ground for that job?

12 A. I have a bachelor's of science degree in accounting from

13 Auburn University, and I spent 10 years working as a public

14 accountant, and I'm a certified public accountant.

15 Q. And did you work in the field as a public accountant?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. For you said how long?

18 A. Approximately 10 years.

19 Q. And after that you went to the IRS?

20 A. That's correct.

21 Q. As part of your duties with the IRS, were you involved in an

22 investigation of Pamela Martin & Associates?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. And did there come a time when charges were brought in that

25 case?


1 A. Yes, they were.

2 Q. A case against Pamela Martin & Associates?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. And were you involved in processing the defendant on that

5 case at that time?

6 A. Yes, I was.

7 Q. And the name of the defendant was what?

8 A. Deborah Jeanne Palfrey.

9 Q. And do you see Ms. Palfrey in the courtroom today?

10 A. Yes, I do.

11 Q. Would you identify --

12 MR. BURTON: We'll stipulate.

13 THE COURT: She's identified. Go ahead.


15 Q. How did you get involved in this case?

16 A. We received a call, my supervisor received a call from the

17 United States Postal Inspection Service in approximately March

18 of 2004. They said that they needed some assistance on an

19 investigation, some financial analysis assistance.

20 Q. After you became involved, what particularly did you do?

21 A. My role in this investigation was to analyze all the

22 financial records, whether they be bank records, brokerage

23 records, any records related to money and money transfers.

24 Q. And what financial records did you review, generally

25 speaking?


1 A. I reviewed bank records, I reviewed brokerage account

2 records, and all the different items that go into the bank

3 records themselves.

4 Q. And these were bank records for whom?

5 A. For Deborah Jeanne Palfrey.

6 Q. And what type of financial documents did you review?

7 A. We also reviewed the tax return information, plus the

8 brokerage account information with Charles Schwab.

9 Q. And that was whose account?

10 A. Deborah Jeanne Palfrey.

11 Q. This jury has heard about money orders. Were money orders

12 reviewed in this case?

13 A. Yes. Postal money orders, money orders from other sources,

14 whether they be 7-11, Western Union. Those were all reviewed.

15 Q. Bank records?

16 A. Bank records, and not only the bank statements but the

17 deposit items, whether they be the postal money orders, whether

18 they be personal checks or traveler's checks. All the check

19 items -- in other words, checks that she wrote to pay for bills

20 or expenses, any kind of money transfers between accounts or to

21 other accounts.

22 Q. And from where did you get the bank records?

23 A. The bank records were subpoenaed from Wells Fargo Bank.

24 Q. And any other financial institutions?

25 A. Charles Schwab was also subpoenaed, and records were


1 received from them.

2 Q. And why Charles Schwab and Wells Fargo?

3 A. The postal money orders that the U.S. Postal Inspection

4 Service had identified, we traced those as being deposited into

5 both the Wells Fargo account, and some were deposited into the

6 Charles Schwab account.

7 Q. And in terms of the financial documents you reviewed, are

8 those documents here in court?

9 A. Yes, they are. They're on the table.

10 Q. And that's the binders that are in front of the jury here?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Which have been marked as BNK-17, 18, 19, 20, 21, and 22.

13 Is that correct?

14 A. That's correct.

15 Q. Did you review tax returns?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. For which years?

18 A. We received tax returns from the Internal Revenue Service

19 through an ex parte order for the years 2000 through 2005.

20 We also reviewed tax returns from 1991 through 2005,

21 that were found at the defendant's home when we executed the

22 search warrant.

23 Q. Did you compare those two sets of tax returns in terms of

24 the ones that you obtained from the IRS versus the ones you

25 obtained from the search?


1 A. Yes.

2 Q. And what did the comparisons show?

3 A. The comparisons showed that for the years 2000 through 2005

4 they were exactly the same.

5 Q. And did you take steps for the years that were prior to

6 those years, take steps to compare the tax returns that you

7 obtained during the search warrants?

8 A. Yes, but we were unable to get those older tax returns.

9 Q. Why is that?

10 A. The Internal Revenue Service only keeps tax returns going

11 back for a certain amount of years.

12 Q. So you reviewed the ones you did have?

13 And in terms of the Wells Fargo records, for what years

14 did you have those?

15 A. I looked at records starting approximately January 1st of

16 2000 through June of 2006.

17 Q. And again, why not before or after that?

18 A. Banks only keep records going back so many years. And due

19 to the statute of limitations on the various charges we were

20 looking at, we didn't go back further than 2000.

21 Q. And in terms of the money orders, you reviewed those; did

22 you add up the dollar figures over the years that you had?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. And how much money was involved there?

25 A. For the time period 2000 through 2005, it was approximately


1 $880,000 or somewhere around there.

2 Q. And did you prepare a chart of those amounts?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. And I would like to at this time -- can you see that?

5 A. Yes, I can see it.

6 Q. That's a chart you prepared, and that's BNK-23. Is that

7 correct?

8 A. That's correct.

9 Q. And just walk the jury through that document, please.

10 A. This spreadsheet --

11 THE COURT: You want the jury to see it?

12 MR. BUTLER: I'm sorry.


14 Q. This is from the review of your bank records, the bank

15 records -- I'm sorry, the money orders you reviewed in this

16 matter. Is that correct?

17 A. This spreadsheet shows not only money orders, but also

18 personal checks that were received, and traveler's checks

19 relating to the business activity of Pamela Martin & Associates.

20 MR. BUTLER: I would move to admit BNK-23, Your Honor.

21 MR. BURTON: No objection.

22 THE COURT: Received, and you may show it to the jury.

23 (Government Exhibit BNK-23 was moved into evidence.)


25 Q. Could you walk the jury through what that document shows,


1 please?

2 A. The document shows in the columns the years 2000 through

3 2005, with the final column being the total. And then the

4 receipts per the bank records, and the asterisk indicating it

5 includes all money orders, checks, traveler's checks deposited

6 into the accounts related to the business activity of PMA,

7 including both Wells Fargo Bank and Charles Schwab.

8 And then you have the individual amounts per year, to

9 total up to the $882,649.48.

10 Q. And just for the record, would you read off the years, the

11 individual years in terms of what the amounts are, please?

12 A. For 2000, it is $185,265.25; for 2001, it's $177,098.17;

13 2002, $124,605; 2003, $142,341.06; 2004, $158,835; and 2005,

14 $94,505.

15 Q. And in lay terms, what does this diagram show? What is the

16 purpose of this diagram?

17 A. This diagram just shows only the business receipts that were

18 deposited into her account. So it's an analysis of seeing how

19 much income she was receiving for the business over this period

20 of time.

21 Q. And when you say she, to whom are you referring?

22 A. Deborah Jeanne Palfrey.

23 Q. Did you do another diagram or another graph of that same

24 information, to show it in a different format?

25 A. Yes, I did a graphical column bar chart to show the same


1 amounts.

2 MR. BUTLER: I need to show this to the witness but not

3 the jury for one moment.

4 THE COURT: All right.


6 Q. This is BNK-24.

7 THE COURT: It's just the same numbers in a bar chart?

8 MR. BURTON: Yeah, it's just cumulative.

9 THE COURT: It's not very edifying. Why don't we move

10 on? I think the jury can handle those numbers.

11 MR. BUTLER: Is there any objection to its admission?

12 MR. BURTON: Objection.

13 THE COURT: It's been objected to as cumulative. The

14 objection is sustained.


16 Q. Would the chart that you already talked about show all

17 postal money orders, or just those that were deposited?

18 A. It would only show those that were deposited. If the postal

19 money order had been cashed, it would not be included on that

20 chart.

21 Q. You mentioned earlier a search warrant that was done at the

22 residence of Deborah Jeanne Palfrey?

23 A. That is correct. A search warrant was done on the 4th of

24 October 2006.

25 Q. And was there a search warrant obtained for that search?


1 A. Yes.

2 Q. From where?

3 A. It was obtained from the magistrate judge in Sacramento,

4 California.

5 Q. And when was that search?

6 A. The search was actually on October 4th, 2006.

7 Q. Were you involved in that search?

8 A. Yes, I was.

9 Q. What was recovered during that search generally,

10 category-wise?

11 A. The search of the defendant's residence in Vallejo, we

12 uncovered all types of financial records: Binders containing

13 information on the individuals who were working for the

14 organization, phone records, utility records, tax returns,

15 checks, appointment books. Just a lot of different

16 correspondence information.

17 Q. And those are the tax returns that you already testified

18 about, that went beyond the ones the IRS had. Is that correct?

19 A. That's correct. We found tax returns from 1991 through

20 2005.

21 Q. And did you review those earlier returns as well?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. And did they show how far back Pamela Martin & Associates

24 went?

25 A. Yes. The 1993 tax return indicates that that is the


1 beginning year for Pamela Martin & Associates.

2 Q. I'm sorry, you said which year?

3 A. 1993.

4 Q. Let me also have you take a look at -- not to the jury at

5 the moment, but the --

6 I would like you to take a look at what's been marked

7 as TAX-310 through 334. You've reviewed these documents before.

8 Is that correct?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. These are the ones you talked about?

11 A. Yes. I'm waiting for it to come up on the screen.

12 Q. And what is the first page of TAX-310? What is that?

13 A. It is a copy of Deborah Jeanne Palfrey's form 1040, page

14 one, for 1993.

15 Q. And in terms of the -- if we flip through the pages of that,

16 would the entire tax return be there?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. And I would like to take a look at TAX-285 through 309.

19 What is that?

20 A. 285 is a copy of Deborah Jeanne Palfrey's form 1040 for

21 1994, page one.

22 Q. And if we flip through the pages, would we have the rest of

23 the tax return?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. I would like to review TAX-271 through 284.


1 A. 271 --

2 THE COURT: I think I know where we're going with this,

3 counsel. Is there a stipulation?

4 MR. BURTON: That's why I'm taking a look at the hard

5 copy, judge. I think we'll be able to arrive at one pretty

6 quickly.

7 MR. BUTLER: That's fine, Your Honor.

8 THE COURT: Why don't you take a second and see if you

9 can? Because nobody can really see these things as they go by,

10 anyway.


12 MR. BURTON: We don't object to these returns coming

13 in. We can expedite this.

14 THE COURT: Just give us the TAX numbers of the

15 earliest and latest, tell us briefly what they are, and they'll

16 all be offered in a lump.

17 Don't take this personally, Mr. Burrus.

18 MR. BURTON: I'm sure he gets it all the time.

19 MR. BUTLER: Your Honor, you want just the first number

20 of the different years of returns?

21 THE COURT: Just do it the fastest way you can.

22 MR. BUTLER: Okay. The numbers are all -- the first

23 number, it's in sort of a reverse order. Well, let me start it

24 this way, Your Honor:

25 TAX-9 through TAX-334 are the tax returns in reverse


1 order of the years; in other words, going 2005, 2004, 2003,

2 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999 --

3 THE COURT: All the way back to 1993?

4 MR. BUTLER: Yes, Your Honor.

5 THE COURT: Offered into evidence?

6 MR. BUTLER: Yes, Your Honor.

7 THE COURT: Received. Thank you.

8 (Government Exhibits TAX-009 to TAX-334 were moved into

9 evidence.)

10 MR. BUTLER: And I would also like to offer the binders

11 as well, Your Honor, the ones I previously referred to.

12 THE COURT: 17 through 22?

13 MR. BUTLER: BNK-17 through 22, yes.

14 THE COURT: Now, are these going to be the subject of a

15 Rule 1006 summary?

16 MR. BURTON: Yes, Your Honor.

17 MS. CONNELLY: I have a stipulation.

18 THE COURT: I don't think all those documents have to

19 be in evidence if they're made available under Rule 1006.

20 There's no point in sending all that back to the jury room and

21 letting the jury think they have to go through all that if

22 they're just getting a summary.

23 MR. BUTLER: That's fine, Your Honor. I believe we

24 have a stipulation that will cover it.

25 MR. BURTON: We entered a stipulation that these are


1 financial documents, so...

2 THE COURT: Okay. Moving right on.

3 MR. BURTON: Your Honor, could I read this stipulation

4 at this time?


6 MR. BUTLER: Thank you. "The United States and

7 defendant Deborah Jeanne Palfrey, after consultation with her

8 counsel, stipulate and agree that: The government has

9 established the authenticity and admissibility of the financial

10 business records, documents, records, reports, and data

11 compilation under Federal Rules of Evidence 803.6; and has

12 produced declarations conforming to Federal Rules of

13 Evidence 902.11 from a custodian of records for business records

14 relating to accounts maintained on behalf of the defendant by

15 the following businesses:

16 Wells Fargo & Company, and Charles Schwab & Company

17 Incorporated, a subsidiary of the Charles Schwab Corporation.

18 The parties agree that the defendant may still object

19 to such records on the basis of relevancy, Federal Rules of

20 Evidence 402, and any improper prejudice, Federal Rules of

21 Evidence 403."

22 THE COURT: Very well.


24 Q. If I could just pull out the -- and this might be easier,

25 Agent Burrus. I'll hand you TAX-0096 through 138. What is


1 that?

2 A. This is a copy of the 2002 form 1040 filed by Deborah Jeanne

3 Palfrey.

4 Q. And would you go to the Schedule C -- I'm sorry, the line C

5 on that document? Is that for an individual or for a business?

6 A. Form 1040 is for an individual filing.

7 Q. For what? I'm sorry --

8 A. The form 1040 is a U.S. individual income tax return.

9 Q. Would you go to line C on that document?

10 A. Line C of -- you mean Schedule C?

11 Q. I mean Schedule C. Thank you.

12 A. (Witness complies.) All right.

13 Q. What is a Schedule C in a tax return?

14 A. A Schedule C that's attached to the form 1040 is to report

15 profit or loss from a business of a sole proprietorship or a

16 single-member L.L.C.

17 Q. And was that Schedule C filed by Ms. Palfrey in this matter?

18 A. Yes, she did file a Schedule C.

19 Q. For what business?

20 A. For the business listed as Pamela Martin & Associates.

21 Q. And is there a Schedule A in there, too?

22 A. Yes, there is a Schedule A.

23 Q. And what is a Schedule A?

24 A. A Schedule A is where you report your itemized deductions,

25 which includes taxes you may have paid, interest on your home,


1 gifts to charity, casualty/theft losses, and other miscellaneous

2 expenses.

3 Q. And does the tax return say what type of business Pamela

4 Martin & Associates was?

5 A. It lists it as a "Service/Personal business."

6 Q. And what document within the tax return is that?

7 A. That is listed on Schedule C, line A.

8 Q. And does the tax return say the accounting method that was

9 used for that business?

10 A. Yes. On line F she selected or chose accounting method as

11 "cash."

12 Q. On the Schedule C?

13 A. That's correct.

14 Q. And what does that mean?

15 A. A cash basis method of accounting means that when you

16 receive income, you report it in the year that you actually

17 receive it. And when you incur expenses or actually pay the

18 expenses, you can take those as expenses.

19 Q. And is that on a gross receipt, net receipt? How was that

20 done?

21 A. I'm not sure I understand the question.

22 Q. Does Ms. Palfrey's return show gross receipts or net

23 receipts?

24 A. It shows gross receipts.

25 Q. And where does it show that?


1 A. On line one, under part one for the income, it shows the

2 gross receipts.

3 Q. And what is gross receipts, just to make sure?

4 A. Gross receipts in this instance would be all the income that

5 was received by the business during that year.

6 Q. So that would include Ms. Palfrey as well as her employees.

7 Is that correct?

8 A. Actually, it should include the monies that she actually

9 received, that was sent to her.

10 Q. And did you compare the tax returns to the bank records for

11 Ms. Palfrey? [Ed.--Emphasis added.]

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And what did that show?

14 A. The comparison of the bank records for this year, 2002, show

15 that there was a greater amount of gross receipts than was

16 reported on this line. [Ed.--Emphasis added.]

17 MR. BURTON: Can we approach, Your Honor?

18 THE COURT: Yes.


20 MR. BURTON: I don't know where this is going.

21 MR. BUTLER: I'm not going to any tax discrepancy, or

22 anything to that effect. [Ed.--Emphasis added.]

23 THE COURT: You just saddled her with basically what is

24 false reporting. [Ed.--Emphasis added.]

25 MR. BUTLER: Well, I don't think it's gone that far


1 yet, Your Honor. I'm not going any further with this line of

2 inquiry.

3 THE COURT: Well, now you've put the defense in the

4 position where they have to respond to this. How are they going

5 to do that?

6 MR. BUTLER: Well, Your Honor, that was not the intent

7 of my question, but I appreciate what the Court is saying.

8 THE COURT: What was the intent of the question?

9 MR. BUTLER: My intent of the question, Your Honor, was

10 directed at the gross receipts that were deposited into this and

11 comparing it with the bank records that we have. It was a

12 poorly phrased question. That's all I can say about it. I

13 don't know anything more than that.

14 THE COURT: Well, where are you going next?

15 MR. BUTLER: Your Honor, I'm going next with -- can I

16 just have a moment, Your Honor?

17 Your Honor, there's another chart in terms of -- I just

18 need to grab it, just to answer the question more explicitly, if

19 I can have a moment.

20 THE COURT: How much more do you have with this guy?

21 MR. BUTLER: Not very much at all, Your Honor.

22 MS. CONNELLY: I think there's a bunch more documents.

23 MR. BUTLER: Well, there's other documents we need to

24 admit through him, yes.

25 THE COURT: Can he come back in the morning?


1 MR. BUTLER: We can do that, Your Honor.

2 THE COURT: I think I want to instruct the jury that

3 there was no tax charge, no tax claim in this case.

4 MR. BUTLER: That's fine, Your Honor.

5 THE COURT: Maybe I'll even instruct them they are to

6 disregard that last answer because it's not relevant to your

7 case. ...