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Federal Defense Attorney continues analysis of cross-examination of Government witnesses in Medicare Fraud and Anti-Kickback Not Guilty Jury Verdict

by | Jan 29, 2023 | Firm News

Federal Defense Attorney continues analysis of the cross-examination of the Government witnesses in Medicare fraud and Anti-Kickback not guilty jury verdict. As noted in prior blogs, I tried this case to a complete not guilty jury verdict on all Counts in the Northern District of Illinois (Chicago). The jury returned its verdict in my client’s favor on January 19, 2023. We continue to analyze the Government’s witnesses and the points of emphasis that were able to be made of their testimony during cross-examination – which were then of course highlighted during closing argument. The Government called another standard witness, an Agent who was solely tasked by the prosecution/prosecution team with “analyzing” purportedly relevant bank records. Neither the direct examination nor the cross-examination of this witness was lengthy. However, this Agent’s testimony served to bolster and corroborate a sub-theme of my client’s defense, i.e., that the Government was selectively presenting “evidence” with respect to my client and that, in any event, that evidence offered no proof of her guilt in terms of the key elements of the crimes charged. As an initial matter, the Agent admitted on cross-examination that he was merely engaged to perform an isolated task; that he had nothing to do with the investigation of the case; and that the only work that he performed was what the prosecution team asked of him. He also admitted that he had no basis to testify that my client, or her co-Defendant, had engaged in any wrongdoing. Moreover, with respect to my client, the Agent testified that he was asked to prepare, and prepared, certain charts reflecting nothing more than the salaried income that my client received as an employee of the company she worked for during the relevant time period of the Indictment. Those figures were, on their face, completely reasonable and non-astronomical. More importantly, the Agent – despite admitting to expending approximately 100 hours on his assignment of creating charts for the jury based upon the bank records – had not invested any time in creating charts representing the salaries and wages of the other employees and 1099s of the company. I was able to gain the Agent’s admission during cross-examination that the prosecutors/prosecution team had not asked him to prepare any such analysis. Therefore, in my closing, I was able to argue that the Government had failed to present any evidence that my client made even a penny more than any other employee or 1099; that the Government had failed to tie or connect my client’s salary to any wrongdoing by the company, including its large increases in Medicare billing; and to emphasize the fact that this Agent’s testimony represented proof of nothing with respect to my client. Finally, I was able to argue in my closing that the Government simply did not want the jury to see how much the other employees and 1099s were paid. The testimony of this Government witness once again underscores the fact that seemingly innocuous witnesses that the Government puts on the stand can provide important cross-examination and closing arguments gains for the defense.

Written by Michael Leonard

Leonard Trial Lawyers

January 29, 2023