A man filed an appeal from a judgment convicting him of insurance fraud in the first degree, grand larceny in the third degree, offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree, bribing a witness, criminal solicitation in the fourth degree, conspiracy in the fifth degree and a violation of judiciary law.
The charges against the man were the conclusion of a lengthy investigation instituted after the committee discovered widespread improprieties with regard to the man’s law practice.
The investigation revealed that the man had a network of individuals who referred automobile accident victims to his law office. In return, the man will give $100 to $200 for each case they referred, depending upon the type of injury. After the man interviewed the clients, he would determine the type of medical treatment the client would allegedly receive so as to meet the threshold for recovery under the law.
Subsequently, after the man received the requisite medical information, it will be submitted to the insurance company for possible settlement. Sources revealed that representatives from various insurance companies testified that they relied upon the special damages in determining whether or not to settle the claim. For each of the criminal cases for which the man was convicted of insurance fraud, the medical information was shown to be false.
Once the case was settled, the client would be notified to come into the man’s office to sign the release and endorse the settlement check.
The complainant established, through the use of the man’s office files and closing statements, that he withheld more of the settlement proceeds than he was entitled to receive under the rules governing contingency fee cases.
The clients were always given less than the man indicated they had received on the closing statements he filed with the court administration. The man also altered on the agreements he was required to file with the court administration the source of the referral for the client and the date on which he was retained.
Subsequently, the complainant presented evidence that the man, upon learning of the investigation into his activities, prepare his former clients to give false testimony. He also retained attorneys to represent some of the clients while they testified.
Consequently, the court find the evidence sufficient to support the man’s convictions for conspiracy, violation of judiciary law, insurance fraud, grand larceny, offering a false instrument for filing, and criminal solicitation.
With respect to the bribery counts, the evidence presented was legally deficient to establish that the benefit conferred upon the former clients, was based upon an agreement that their testimony would thereby be influenced. In opposing it, the witnesses testified that they were never told they had to testify in a certain way in order to receive the money for the attorney’s fee. Another attorney also testified and particularly stated that he simply told the witness to tell the truth, and never discussed her testimony with the man.
With regards to the man’s contention that his convictions for offering a false instrument for filing should be reversed is without merit. The court stated that the retainer and closing statements were properly adduced into evidence and the court’s charge with respect thereto was correct.
Moreover, equally without merit is the man’s argument that the court should not have granted the jury’s request to have certain statement read back during deliberation. The man’s remaining contentions was also considered and found to be without merit.
Consequently, it was ordered by the court that the decision will be modify by reversing the convictions of bribing a witness, vacating the sentences imposed and dismiss the counts of the indictment.
Countless allegations are presented in court almost every day but not all are truthful. Whenever you need legal assistance because of wrongful accusation, you can hire the Kings County Criminal Attorney. It is important to be properly represented in court that is why you can avail of the services of the Kings County Grand Larceny Lawyer at Stephen Bilkis and Associates.