Judge Acquits Menendez On Some Charges; Prosecution Drops the OthersFebruary 9, 2018
The prosecution of U.S. Senator Bob Menendez and Dr. Salomon Melgen, which ended in a deadlocked jury last November, was resolved by Judge William H. Walls, who granted a defense motion for acquittal of seven of the eighteen counts of the indictment on January 24, 2018. Those seven counts involved political contributions of $660,000 made by Melgen to benefit Sen. Menendez, in return for Sen. Menendez helping Melgen with Melgen’s investments in the Dominican Republic and a Medicare dispute, according to the government. Judge Walls found no quid-pro-quo bribery, and acquitted defendants of those charges. Unfortunately for the government, bribery in the form of money is the most common form of corruption, and the most familiar to the public, including potential jurors. The only remaining counts for the trial would essentially have been non-monetary gifts such as flights and hotel stays, which may appear less as bribes and more as gifts and courtesies between friends. Moreover, the value of those “gifts” was a small fraction of the monetary payments. Accordingly, on January 31, the prosecution decided to drop the case altogether, despite announcing on January 19 that it would retry both Sen. Menendez and Melgen.
The prosecution of Menendez is illustrative of most white collar crimes, which involve a significant paper trail, including documentation, billing, and correspondence. These cases turn on circumstantial evidence and inferences. Unlike non-financial cases that may involve fingerprints, eyewitnesses or DNA, the direct evidence is generally not in dispute. The prosecution and the defense are cooking with the same ingredients, and each is trying to make something that smells different to the jury. However, when Judge Wall removed $660,000 as a potential ingredient, there was little chance the prosecution could create a recipe that smelled like a crime.
Brach Eichler Welcomes New Partner and Announces Launch of Practice AreaOctober 1, 2013
Riza Dagli Joins Brach Eichler as Chair of Criminal Defense and Government Investigations
October 1, 2013 (Roseland, NJ) – Brach Eichler has announced the launch of its Criminal Defense and Government Investigations practice area which will be chaired by Former Assistant Attorney General, Riza Dagli.
Brach Eichler’s Criminal Defense and Government Investigations Practice will be devoted to aggressive advocacy and counsel in all stages of state and federal investigations and prosecutions from initial inquiries and grand jury subpoenas to trials and appeals, and will cover a broad array of matters including health care and insurance fraud, labor and unemployment fraud, racketeering and money-laundering, and environmental crimes. Brach Eichler recognizes that the states of New Jersey and New York are served by multiple county, state and federal agencies whose goal is to investigate and prosecute fraud committed by health care professionals. As the cost of health care increases, the efforts of these agencies also increases resulting in more scrutiny, investigation, and prosecution of providers. To effectively defend the rights of health care professionals, Brach Eichler brings not only a thorough understanding of the underlying administrative and statutory law, but an understanding of the evolution and development of the law, the agencies that enforce them, and the courts that litigate them.
Riza Dagli has held several key posts within the Office of the Attorney General during his 13 years there, including Director of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit where he supervised investigations and prosecutions of Medicaid and Medicare fraud, kickback, and off-label marketing litigation. In addition, as Deputy Director of the Division of Criminal Justice, he supervised organized crime prosecutions, as well as labor and environmental crime prosecutions. He also ran the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor where he supervised criminal and civil investigation and prosecutions of health care and insurance fraud.
John D. Fanburg, managing member of Brach Eichler, said, “This new practice group will enable us to offer vital services to our health law clients and their highly regulated businesses while presenting a dynamic opportunity for Brach Eichler to grow our client base.”
For more information about Brach Eichler’s Criminal Defense and Government Investigations Group, please visit www.bracheichler.com
About Brach Eichler LLC
Brach Eichler LLC is a full-service law firm based in Roseland, N.J. With 60 attorneys, the firm is focused in the following practice areas: healthcare; real estate; litigation; tax, trusts & estates; and business & finance. Brach Eichler attorneys have been recognized by clients and peers alike in Best Lawyers in America, Chambers USA, and New Jersey Super Lawyers.