You Gotta Know When to Hold ‘Em and Know When to Fold ‘Em

playing%20cards.jpgIt 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!
So, what do we know? We know that according to statistics kept by the U.S.Sentencing Commission and Department of Justice, 93.6% of federal criminal defendants plead guilty. Of the remaining 6.4% of defendants who go to trial, more than three out of four (75.6%) are convicted. In other words, 97% of all federal criminal defendants are sentenced and 82.8% actually serve time in prison. So, there it is. Cut and dried. Black and white. Hey! Are you hearing me? I’m talking to you! Pay attention! Let me say it again: only 3% (.03%) of all the defendants accused of committing a crime in federal court walk out Scot free. I would venture to say that the statistics for those charged with Medicare fraud are even more lopsided in favor of the government and will report on that once my analysis is completed.
freighttrain.jpgIs your case that good that you should go to trial? It better be! And one thing for sure, so long as your attorney told you flat out how overwhelming the government’s case is and how the odds are against you, don’t say, “I didn’t see it coming” when your attorney comes to visit you at the Federal Detention Center to prepare for sentencing.
The art of sentencing advocacy is a required skill of all criminal defense attorneys but is especially crucial in federal cases. I stay informed of changes in sentencing procedures, and practice innovate sentencing strategies.
While it is essential to confront criminal charges head-on, it is of no less vital importance to be mindful of developing a possible sentencing strategy throughout the duration of each case.
My firm aims to provide the most effective and result-producing sentencing advocacy through exhaustive research, the filing of academically superior briefs, motions, and the vigorous pursuit of successful negotiations with the power of full engagement. We take our client’s freedom seriously and litigate passionately to achieve the lowest possible sanction.
If you or someone you know has been arrested for Medicare fraud, and is looking for serious legal representation from an expert criminal lawyer, call me. I’ll tell you plain truth –You’ve got to know when to hold ’em, Know when to fold ’em, Know when to walk away, know when to run.