Indictment prediction proves to be premature

You’re only as good as your sources. Looks like my source was wrong, so I was wrong when I wrote confidently in mid-November  that Las Vegas surgeon Mark Kabins might be indicted by a federal grand jury before the end of 2008.

True confession: Dr. Kabins has not been indicted.

But in government documents filed Tuesday in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a related case against Las Vegas attorney Noel Gage, prosecutors said, “Kabins was and remains a target of the fraud and conspiracy investigation.”

That doesn’t exactly sound like Kabins can breathe easier. However, I’m hearing the case, once on the verge of indictment, is languishing in the U.S. attorney’s office. Should we? Shouldn’t we?

The legal issue that links Kabins with Gage is whether or not Senior U.S. District Judge Justin Quackenbush could require prosecutors to grant immunity to Kabins so he could testify on Gage’s behalf. When prosecutors refused, Quackenbush dismissed the indictment against Gage. Prosecutors allege Gage and Kabins were part of a larger conspiracy to protect certain local doctors from malpractice lawsuits if they cooperated with personal injury attorneys, to the detriment of the patient/client.

You always take a risk when you predict an indictment is imminent, because delays do happen. Can’t help but wonder if there is hesitation due to the change in administrations. Maybe U.S. Attorney Greg Brower wants to get a sense of the Obama administration’s priorities, especially since he was asked to stay on the job for now. You’d think defrauding people who have been injured seems like something President Barack Obama would find objectionable, if true.