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Internal investigations can lead to criminal indictments January 27, 2009

Posted by jefhenningeresq in Uncategorized.
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I think I’ve addressed this issue before, but it never hurts to address it again and again and again.  I have helped many people avoid ever being charged or indicted because they came to me early enough.  When this happens, I can either resolve the case or I can throw a wrench into the prosecutor’s case.  I have done this many times and it significantly reduces the money that I can make.  While I may seem odd for an attorney to say, I am perfectly fine with that.  Any criminal defense attorney knows this is the toughest area of the law with the least financial reward.  You do this because it is your passion and not to become rich.  To me, the best way to win a trial is to never have your client charged to begin with. 

While the press release is vague, I have to think that a good attorney could have helped Mark Darby of the Bronx.  He is charged in New Jersey with Health Care Claims Fraud and Medicaid Fraud.  If convicted, he is looking at 5 to 10 years in prison all for allegedly stealing $4,173!  

Lets assume he is guilty of a second.  5 to 10 years in prison?  Is this really worth our tax dollars of prosecuting this case and then housing this man?  Have you been to Camden lately?  Think our tax money can be better spent elsewhere?  Talk to any New Jersey state workers who have lost their jobs or had their wages frozen?  Think they want this guy to do 5 to 10 years? 

Back to the point of this post.  This case started with an internal investigation by his employer, Innovative Specialists Inspirational Solutions.  Darby was a behavioral services counselor who allegedly submitted false time sheets that indicated he provided services to four Medicaid patients when this did not actually occur. 

Based upon my experience, I just find it hard to believe that there was no way to avoid an indictment in this case.  We are talking about four patients and $4000.  He could have paid this money back with a civil penalty and be done with the whole thing.  I can only guess that he didn’t have an attorney for the internal investigation.  If he did, he could have fought the termination which would have scared the company into a settlement.  I know because I’ve done it before.

Moving on to the case itself.  If you can work out a deal without prison time, he would be wise to take it.  If he refuses and would be willing to risk a trial, I would attack the company itself.  No company wants it dirty laundry exposed in court and if the heat it turned up enough, good things can happen.  My prediction is that this guy will take a plea that calls for 3 years in prison. 

AG’s press release is here.

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