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Political overtones in Medicare fraud case

As our regular readers know, we do not share political views in our Ann Arbor criminal defense blog. But so many news items have been politicized in these highly charged times that it’s impossible not to note the political significance of some news reports.

A federal court recently ruled that Florida ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen must remain behind bars as he appeals a conviction in April of last year for Medicare fraud. Melgen was a co-defendant with Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey in a corruption case that ended in mistrial in late 2017.

The eye doctor’s motion for a new trial was rejected by U.S. District Court Judge Kenneth Marra, who also denied his request to be released on bail while he appeals the conviction.

Marra wrote that he’s not convinced that Melgen isn’t a flight risk, noting that the 17-year sentence imposed on the 64-year-old doctor provides “great incentive for Defendant to flee.”

Though Melgen’s fraud trial and his trial with Menendez on corruption charges were not directly related, there was some overlap. Prosecutors in the corruption trial attempted to persuade the court that the senator improperly intervened with the federal government in his friend’s multimillion-dollar Medicare billing dispute.

The jury in the corruption trial deadlocked on the charges, though news reports at the time indicated that most jurors favored acquittal.

There have been recent news reports suggesting that Menendez’s re-election is not assured this year, with voters apparently not convinced that their senator is entirely above-board.

If you are under investigation for Medicare fraud or related matters, contact as soon as possible a criminal defense attorney experienced in white collar defense.

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