It never ceases to amaze me when I am hired to represent a client at sentencing who has just been found guilty of Medicare fraud when they say to me, “You know Mr. Malove, I just didn’t see this coming.”
I don’t know what to tell these clients. At this stage of the game, I must admit that in my mind I wonder how they didn’t at least consider the possibility that a jury wouldn’t believe their version. Almost always I know their trial attorneys, who are among the best of the best. I am sure that these fine lawyers reviewed all of the government’s evidence with their clients and fully laid out the government’s theory of the case.
Yet, despite their attorney’s unequivocal advice to enter into a plea bargain with the government, you have got to wonder why most of these clients went to trial? Was it because the client was so much in denial (not the river in Eqypt) that they simply couldn’t grasp what the government was prepared to prove? Or that that they just couldn’t bring themselves to admit to themselves or to their families that they had fraudulently obtained money from the government that they didn’t legitimately earn? Is it more than just denial? Bravado? Machismo? Whatever it is, one thing for certain – the decision to go to trial in many, if not most, of these cases flies in the face of the statistics. We’ve all heard it before: numbers don’t lie!