A federal judge’s decision to suppress evidence in a case involving Las Vegas doctors accused of health care fraud and conspiracy was reversed by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday and remanded back for further review.
In 2007, the federal government was set to go to trial in a case involving five Las Vegas doctors investigators believed accepted kickbacks from owners of sleep clinics in exchange for prescribing unnecessary medical tests.
But a ruling by U.S. District Judge Philip Pro abruptly halted the case. Pro suppressed the evidence seized during the investigation, leaving nothing for the government to use during trial.
The appeals court ruled that evidence was improperly suppressed and ordered the court to review the search warrants and evidence seized from SDI Future Health, a diagnostic testing company that operated clinics in Las Vegas. Charges were filed against the company and its owners, Todd Kaplan and Jack Brunk, both of California.
The Las Vegas doctors alleged to have been involved in the conspiracy had not been indicted and were not named.
The decision by the appeals court could potentially put the trial back on track.
“The Ninth Circuit shows the District Court improperly decided the motion to suppress,” U.S. Attorney Gregory Brower said Tuesday. “As a result, we’ll have a chance to relitigate that issue.”
A Southern California magistrate judge reviewed and approved the search warrants in 2002. But when the defendants argued in 2007 that the warrants were vague and unconstitutional, Pro agreed.
A new evidentiary hearing has not yet been scheduled.
Contact reporter Adrienne Packer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-384-8710.