SELYA, Circuit Judge.
Defendant-appellant William A. Dietz pled guilty to twenty-eight counts of fraud, conspiracy, and the like, implicating, inter alia, 18 U.S.C. §§ 2, 371, 1001, 1341 (1988) and 42 U.S.C. §§ 408(g)(2), 1383a (1988). The district court computed the guideline sentencing range (GSR) and sentenced Dietz within it.
Inasmuch as the underlying conviction resulted from a guilty plea, we draw the facts necessary to place this appeal into perspective from the uncontested portions of the Presentence Investigation Report (PSI Report), see U.S.S.G. § 6A1.2, and the transcript of the sentencing hearing, see United States v. Iguaran-Palmar, 926 F.2d 7, 10 (1st Cir.1991).
During the latter part of this time frame, Dietz also exercised his considerable talent for cozenage by masterminding another scheme, this time defrauding not only the federal government, but seven state employment security agencies as well. In the course thereof, appellant, his wife, and their son, Christopher, filed false unemployment claims. Christopher and his brother, Kenneth, assisted in retrieving the benefit checks from a network of post office boxes, many rented under pseudonyms. Dietz's daughter-in-law, Lisa, who was employed from time to time by different banks, used her position to help in cashing the checks. In all, the unemployment insurance scam netted a total of $158,717.
II. ROLE IN THE OFFENSE
Appellant's first assignment of error concerns the district court's enhancement of his offense level based on the pivotal role he played in spinning the web of familial fraud. Because role-in-the-offense determinations are necessarily fact-specific, "considerable respect [must] be paid to the views of the nisi prius court." United States v. Ocasio, 914 F.2d 330, 333 (1st Cir.1990). Hence, absent mistake of law, we review such determinations only for clear error. See United States v. Akitoye, 923 F.2d 221, 227 (1st Cir.1991); United States v. McDowell, 918 F.2d 1004, 1011 (1st Cir.1990); United States v. Diaz-Villafane, 874 F.2d 43, 48 (1st Cir.), cert. denied, 493 U.S. 862, 110 S.Ct. 177, 107 L.Ed.2d 133 (1989). Careful perscrutation of the record below reveals no error, clear or otherwise; to the contrary, the district court was fully justified in rewarding the appellant's manipulative genius by conferral of the enhancement.
U.S.S.G. § 3B1.1(a) provides for an increase of four levels "[i]f the defendant was an organizer or leader of a criminal activity that involved five or more participants or was otherwise extensive...." See, e.g., McDowell, 918 F.2d at 1011; United States v. Preakos, 907 F.2d 7, 9 (1st Cir.1990) (per curiam). At the sentencing hearing in the instant case, Dietz did not contest the characterization of his role as that of an organizer/leader. Rather, while admitting that the circumstances at bar "technical[ly] fit" within the language of U.S.S.G. § 3B1.1(a), he contended that the provision was inapposite because his criminal
At the root of appellant's objection are two problematic contentions: (1) that there must be at least five persons involved before a criminal scheme can be deemed "extensive," and (2) that only those individuals who are active participants in the scheme may be aggregated for purposes of U.S.S.G. § 3B1.1(a). In mounting these contentions, the appellant relies almost exclusively on United States v. DeCicco, 899 F.2d 1531 (7th Cir.1990). While we have no quarrel with Judge Flaum's well-reasoned opinion in DeCicco, that opinion, like a wobbly lamppost with a burnt-out bulb, furnishes neither support nor illumination for Dietz's position. DeCicco stands for the unremarkable proposition that, in order for U.S.S.G. § 3B1.1 to apply, the defendant, who himself is to be counted as a criminally culpable participant, see Preakos, 907 F.2d at 10, must have "organize[d] at least one [other] criminally responsible individual." DeCicco, 899 F.2d at 1537.
U.S.S.G. § 3B1.1, comment. (n.2). Furthermore, once the irreducible minimum of two (the defendant and some other criminally responsible participant) has been met, the extensiveness of a criminal activity is not necessarily a function of the precise number of persons, criminally culpable or otherwise, engaged in the activity. Rather, an inquiring court must examine the totality of the circumstances, including not only the number of participants but also the width, breadth, scope, complexity, and duration of the scheme.
This is not to say that a head count is either irrelevant or unimportant. In most instances, the greater the number of people involved in the criminal activity, the more extensive the activity is likely to be. Thus, while we do not feel any compulsion to determine the number of participants in
III. AMOUNT OF LOSS
Appellant's second ground for appeal concerns the eight-level upward adjustment which the district court imposed because more than $200,000 was extracted from public coffers through the appellant's machinations. See U.S.S.G. § 2F1.1(b)(1)(I) (in respect to fraud crimes, add eight levels for losses ranging from $200,000 to $350,000). We need not reach the substance of the appellant's argument because his right to appellate review has not been preserved. We explain briefly.
In his written objections to the PSI Report and at sentencing, Dietz contested the loss calculation on the basis that, if the money legitimately obtainable from the SSA on Gregory's behalf were subtracted from the money fraudulently obtained, the net amount of the loss would be less than $200,000. He did not, however, proffer any reliable calculation of the benefits that Gregory might lawfully have been eligible to receive. See supra note 2. The district court rejected Dietz's asseveration, ruling that the loss calculation need only be approximate, given the available information; that the methodology followed in the PSI Report (which did not differentiate between fraudulently obtained and legitimately obtainable benefits) was satisfactory; and that the Report's estimate of the loss was sufficiently accurate to be relied upon for sentencing purposes. See U.S.S.G. § 2F1.1, comment. (n. 8) (sentencing court "need only make a reasonable estimate of the range of loss, given the available information"); see also U.S.S.G. § 6A1.3 (sentencing court may consider pertinent information possessing "sufficient indicia of reliability to support its probable accuracy"). In his appellate brief, Dietz failed to renew this objection. He thereby waived it. See United States v. Zannino, 895 F.2d 1, 17 (1st Cir.), cert. denied, 494 U.S. 1814, 110 S.Ct. 1814, 108 L.Ed.2d 944 (1990).
In lieu of the point previously presented and abandoned, Dietz now seeks to challenge the district court's loss computation on two new bases. First, he argues that, when his wife fed the SSA false information concerning his whereabouts and level of support, she embarked on a scheme distinct from his own fraudulent conduct; thus, Dietz theorizes, the profit accruing from her "separate" scheme should not be counted against him. Second, he asserts that the funds which his son, Christopher,
IV. CRIMINAL HISTORY CALCULATION
Dietz's final lamentation focuses upon the addition of three points to his criminal history score. The district court assessed one point based on Dietz's prior conviction for nonsupport, see U.S.S.G. §§ 4A1.1(c), 4A1.2(c)(1), and two more points because Dietz was in the midst of a period of probation on the nonsupport conviction and, therefore, "committed the instant offense while under [a] criminal justice sentence." U.S.S.G. § 4A1.1(d); see generally United States v. Gallego, 905 F.2d 482, 483 (1st Cir.1990) (explaining operation of two-point enhancement). On appeal, Dietz contends that his conviction for nonsupport was constitutionally invalid because it was uncounselled and, moreover, analogizing to Baldasar v. Illinois, 446 U.S. 222, 222-24, 100 S.Ct. 1585, 1585-86, 64 L.Ed.2d 169 (1980) (per curiam), that an uncounselled misdemeanor conviction cannot be used to enhance a defendant's sentence in any manner. The record, however, forecloses the appellant from pursuing the possible applicability of Baldasar.
In his written opposition to the PSI Report, Dietz objected to the probation officer's description of his conviction for nonsupport, stating that "at the time [he] entered a plea of guilty ... he was not represented by counsel.... [and] that ... entry of that plea was done under duress and by threat of immediate incarceration." In response to this objection, the PSI Report was revised. The amendment asserted that "[t]he defendant waived his right to counsel and represented himself." The inclusion of this statement in the PSI Report cloaked the stated fact with a sufficient indicium of reliability to support its accuracy and warrant reliance by the sentencing court. See United States v. Figaro, 935 F.2d 4, 8 (1st Cir.1991); see also U.S.S.G. § 6A1.3(a). Put another way, the statement met the government's threshold burden, requiring Dietz, at the very least, to put the waiver-of-counsel question in issue. See United States v. Unger, 915 F.2d 759, 761 (1st Cir.1990), cert. denied, ___ U.S. ___, 111 S.Ct. 1005, 112 L.Ed.2d 1088 (1991). Despite the district court's probing, the appellant did not take up the gantlet. He neither denied that he had waived the right to counsel nor challenged the voluntariness of the waiver. Rather, he responded to this new datum by conceding that the prior conviction came within U.S.S.G. § 4A1.2(c)(1) (cataloging, inter alia, misdemeanor convictions which may be counted in computing criminal history scores),
On appeal, Dietz wisely abjures any complaint anent the district court's failure to depart downward. See United States v. Harotunian, 920 F.2d 1040, 1044 (1st Cir. 1990) (defendant may not challenge district court's discretionary decision not to depart downward from the applicable GSR); Ocasio, 914 F.2d at 333 (same). He argues instead that his conviction was "uncounselled" because he did not freely waive an attorney's services. But, having eschewed any objection to the modified version of the PSI Report, it is too late for Dietz to claim on direct appeal, for the first time, that his waiver of counsel in the nonsupport case was constitutionally deficient. A defendant who disputes the factual premises relied upon by the government at sentencing must voice his disagreement then and there, or else forfeit the opportunity to challenge those facts at a later date. See Iguaran-Palmar, 926 F.2d at 10 (appellant has a responsibility to bring to the district court's attention any facts recited in the PSI Report that are in dispute); see also cases cited supra p. 55.
We need go no further. Inasmuch as the appellant has failed to show any cognizable impropriety in the district court's construction of the GSR, his conviction and sentence must be