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Medicare Forfeitures in Criminal Cases Curbed

May 6 | 2016  by

By Beth Florkowski of Fausone Bohn, LLP posted in Criminal Law on Friday, May 6, 2016.

Last month, the US Supreme Court decided the case of Luis v. the 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.