TWO CONVICTED KILLERS
High court rules judge did not err by not severing case
Clark County District Judge Valerie Adair did not err when she refused to sever the trial of convicted killers Lee A. Vincent and Ricky J. Vasquez, ruled the Nevada Supreme Court on Monday.
The decision responded to an appeal from Vincent, 26, who is serving two consecutive life sentences with the possibility of parole for his role in the 2006 shooting death of Richard Morris, a Las Vegas man who was shot to death during a robbery on Sept. 10, 2006.
Vasquez, also serving two life sentences, did not join Vincent in the appeal.
Vincent argued the judge should have severed the cases after Vasquez reportedly made damaging statements about him to police, and that the defense theories put forth by each man’s attorney were “antagonistic.”
The high court determined Vincent did not have a right to a new trial and said his arguments failed to show his rights were compromised or that the jury was “prevented from making a reliable judgment to guilt or innocence.”
Vincent also sought a new trial based on contact a juror had with Vasquez. However, the Supreme Court determined the contact, which included sexually explicit notes the juror sent to Vasquez, was made after the two men were convicted.
Two medical diagnostic company execs sentenced
Two medical diagnostic company executives who faced federal charges of billing for unnecessary medical tests were sentenced Monday in Las Vegas.
Todd Stuart Kaplan and Jack Brunk, who had pleaded guilty to tax evasion, both received three years’ probation under a plea agreement with prosecutors.
U.S. District Judge Philip M. Pro called it a “sensible resolution” to the case.
Kaplan, Brunk and their company, California-based SDI Future Health, were indicted in 2005 on more than 100 federal charges, including health care fraud, money laundering and tax evasion.
The company operated two clinics in Las Vegas and three clinics in Henderson among clinics in at least 10 states.
The indictment states that the defendants provided medical diagnostic testing to the medical community. The clinics marketed a test for sleep apnea, a sleep disorder, as well as heart monitoring tests.
According to the indictment, the defendants schemed to defraud health care benefit programs such as Medicaid, Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Sierra Health between January 1999 and January 2002.
The company is alleged to have sought reimbursement for medical tests that were unnecessary, according to the indictment.
Bills for the tests ranged from $1,775 to $5,350.
A news release from the U.S. attorney also alleges the scheme provided kickbacks to local doctors in return for patient referrals. No local doctors were charged.