Lenamon's Client, Last Defendant in $200 Million Medicare Fraud Trial, Faces Guilty Jury Verdict

This was a big deal: a $200 Million Medicare Fraud operation where around 40 people have been sentenced to prison time for doing things like submitting false invoices to Medicare for mental health services that never happened.

This week, a federal jury came back with a verdict on the last 2 defendants in this big Department of Justice investigation into this South Florida Medicare Fraud enterprise involving seven American Therapeutic Clinics scattered in different cities and lots of players.

The big guns have already been dealt with by the justice system and are behind bars.

Terence Lenamon represented one of the last two defendants in the sting — Roger Bergman, a 65 year old physician’s assistant, and Mr. Bergman was found guilty by the jury this week. Bergman and his co-defendant, a 55 year old patient recruiter named Rodolfo Santaya, will be sentenced by a federal judge at a sentencing hearing in the future.

SInce this is an ongoing case, Terry Lenamon’s position on Mr. Bergman’s situation in this complicated, immense fraud can best be described by language taken from Terry Lenamon’s Closing Statement in the trial (p. 1242):

Because what's really going on here is Roger Bergman is a physician's assistant trying to make a living. And when he's working day in and day out, he's not thinking about committing Medicare fraud or falsifying information, he's thinking about, you know, my car broke down this morning and I may not be able to make it in. And I got to make up for those files so I can dictate those files because what I do is very simple. This is what Roger Bergman does.

And don't let the government fool you about his responsibility. He's a physician's assistant. He takes the place of a physician legally. He interviews them. He does two things. He does a note and he does an initial evaluation. He gets paid $30 for the initial evaluation and $15 for a note. It may take him five minutes to do a note, it may take him ten, it may take him 15 to do an initial evaluation, it may take him 20.
But when he is done, he writes it on a yellow pad. Those yellow pads are kept, were kept and destroyed by the government. And then he dictates that information and it's supposed to be madeinto a chart. …

Prediction: Win on appeal.

 

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Death Penalty by US County: HuffPo Infographic

 

Florida Supreme Court Changes Rules for Death Penalty Appeals (Read Order)

The Florida Supreme Court  has issued its Order that changes the Florida appellate process in death penalty cases. 

 

The changes include what is required before a Florida attorney can represent someone in a capital case.  approved a series of changes Thursday aimed at improving the death-penalty appeals process.

Read the complete Order here: 

 

Florida Supreme Court Overturns 30-Yr Death Penalty Conviction Orders New Trial for Paul Hildwin

Paul Hildwin resides on Florida’s Death Row, having been sentenced to death for the 1985 killing of Vronzettie Cox who had been raped before she was strangled to death and her body left to be found in the trunk of a car.

 
For three decades, Mr. Hildwin has lived behind bars as a man awaiting execution — until now.
 
The Florida Supreme Court has ordered a new trial for Paul Hildwin and it’s not clear if the Florida prosecutor is going to re-try the case, given the language of the High Court’s opinion.  
 
 
 
 
DNA Evidence and FBI Expert’s Flawed Trial Testimony
 
What’s happened here?  New DNA evidence has been presented that absolutely guts the evidence that was presented by the state’s prosecutors at Hildwin’s criminal trial.  
 
During his 1985 trial, an FBI expert testified that fluids collected at the Hernando County crime scene matched with Mr. Hildwin  — and he also testified that these fluids could not have come from the victim’s boyfriend.  
 
Now, DNA evidence establishes the exact opposite is true.  The fluids could not have originated with Paul Hildwin:  they match the boyfriend, a man already behind bars on two sexual assault convictions.
 
 
In light of the evidence presented at trial, and considering the cumulative effect of all evidence that has been developed through Hildwin’s postconviction proceedings, we conclude that the totality of the evidence is of “such nature that it would probably produce an acquittal on retrial” because the newly discovered DNA evidence “weakens the case against [the defendant] so as to give rise to a reasonable doubt as to his culpability.

In sum, newly discovered evidence now establishes that the DNA found on the victim’s underwear and on the washcloth at the crime scene belong to Haverty.  The fact that the DNA on the washcloth was saliva that matches Haverty is significant because it supports Hildwin’s story that he saw the killer wipe his face with a “white rag.”  In other words, the jury had to decide between two suspicious  people—both of whom had a motive.  
 
Erroneous scientific evidence presented at  trial, in addition to the newly discovered evidence identifying the DNA on both items as Haverty’s, is significant evidence.
 
In considering the evidence at trial, the newly discovered evidence at issue now, as well as admissible evidence previously  discovered in prior postconviction proceedings, we conclude that this newly  discovered evidence “weakens the case against [the defendant] so as to give rise to  a reasonable doubt as to his culpability.”  Jones II, 709 So. 2d at 526.”
 
 
 
  
 

Movie "Dead Man Walking" Now Available on Netflix

 

The movie "Dead Man Walking" is now available for streaming on your smartphone, tablet, computer, or TV, via Netflix.  If you are interested at all in the death penalty or capital punishment issues, then this is a Must See Film.

Click here for details.  

 
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