DEFENSE PREVAILS, AGAIN, IN PHYSICIAN SENTENCING

Headshot.jpgMIAMI (July 11, 2008). Yesterday the Bureau of National Affairs first reported another case rejecting the government’s methodology of computing “loss” in health fraud cases under the federal sentencing guidelines in the Southern District of Florida.
BENSON WEINTRAUB, the nationally renown federal sentencing expert National sentencing expert, a former full-time professor of law, persuaded US District Judge Cecilia Altonaga to reduce the government’s overarching figure of $14 million down to less than $400,000. The sentence of 41 months was about half of what the government claimed should be applied under the sentencing guidelines.
This ruling adopted the legal rationale of Judge Adalberto Jordan reported earlier in this blog when he declared that he didn’t care whether the government proved the “submitted” amount as “intended loss” when the law actually requires calculation of the “allowed amount” minus 80 percent.
The defendant was a physician, Ana Caos, MD who, after a mistrial and retrial, was convicted of dual conspiracies to file false Medicare claims and receive kickbacks.
Weintraub also argued that before, during, and after trial/sentencing, the defendant suffered from significantly reduced mental capacity which materially impacted her cognitive and volitional functions to mitigate the extent of her mens rea.
The case is legally significant as setting precedential loss rulings for health care fraud.
Dr. Caos was also represented by trial attorney Robert Josefsberg.