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Medicare Forfeitures in Criminal Cases Curbed

Last month, the US Supreme Court decided the case of Luis v. United States, a case involving Federal Law Enforcement's freezing and forfeiting a Defendant's assets in a Medicare Fraud case. Prior to the ruling, the Government used a specific statute in the United States Code to freeze and forfeit all of a Medicare Fraud Defendant's assets.

The Court in Luis found that the Sixth Amendment prohibited this practice under certain circumstances, indicating that a Defendant has a right to hire counsel of his or her choice, and that is impossible where the Government puts a universal freeze for forfeiture purposes on all of a Defendant's available money. Instead, the Court ruled that the Government could not freeze access to a Defendant's "untainted" funds, where they were needed to hire an attorney to defend that action.

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