According to MeisterSeelig & Fein LLP, in a lengthy written opinion issued on April 20, 2021, United States District Judge John G. Koeltl ruled that federal prosecutors utterly failed to make their case that MSF’s client, an interventional cardiologist and the head of a Queens private medical practice, "directly or indirectly obtained the proceeds" of charged federal healthcare fraud.
The government sought more than $6.8 million in proceeds from the doctor, but the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York rejected the entirety of the prosecutors’ claims. The Court emphatically found that "[t]here is no evidence that [the defendant] could have siphoned off the $6,871,176 for his personal use," and concluded that "the Court will decline to impose an order of forfeiture." In ruling against the government and ordering that no money be forfeited against the medical doctor, the federal district Judge found that the facts presented in an in-person evidentiary hearing held during the COVID-19 pandemic, were favorable to the defendant. The court agreed with the MSF defense team that "the government failed to show that [the defendant] used [his medical practice] as his personal piggy bank." The MSF defense team won both the factual and legal arguments and saved their client nearly $7 million in personal assets.
The Court’s published opinion can be found at United States v. Hameedi, 17 Cr. 137 (JGK), U.S. District Court, S.D.N.Y., April 20, 2021 (ECF Doc. 455).
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