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|Aspen Medical Resources Trial Set For April 24th 2015 In Orange County, California. Benjamin Gluck Now Representing Majority Aspen Owner, Abraham Khorshad, As Defense Counsel. |
By Lonce LaMon - November 5, 2014
The Aspen Medical Resources case of egregious overbilling for a particular type of durable medical equipment to workers’ compensation claims payers was heard for its final arraignment hearing and then pretrial proceedings in Orange County Superior Court on October 24th and October 31st 2014, the two past Fridays in a row.
Abraham Khorshad, the more mature owner of Aspen Medical and member of the foursome of defendants, did not appear in court on October 24th. His lawyer had filed a 977 Waiver of Defendant’s Personal Presence, allowing him to not have to appear at hearings when his presence isn’t required.
However, Jeffrey Campau, the younger, second Aspen owner, handsomely appeared in a very fine grey suit; and the third owner, Landon Mirallegro, wearing a dark blue suit was there also and so was his attorney, Kay Rackauckas. The defendant who served as the collector who was not an owner, Ryan McCracken, was there in a brown jacket and a tan tie sitting in one of the seats in the section nearest the wall with the doorway. His attorney is David Swanson. Paul Meyer is Jeff Campau’s lawyer.
But what was the notorious Benjamin Gluck doing there? There he was, in his small figure with his beard and glasses, before court came to session on October 24th, chatting away with the bailiff. This writer was confused. He wasn’t representing any of the defendants in this case. Was he there on some other case? Or has there been a change of counsel with one of the Aspen defendants?
Orange County D.A. investigator Louis Martinez was sitting in the back of the court room in a seat flush against the wall next to SIU investigator from American Claims Management, Jennifer Conner. Curiosity was consuming this writer so I got up from my seat close to the court room bench area and walked back to Louis and asked him why Benjamin Gluck was there. Well, Louis filled me in. Gluck is now representing Abraham Khorshad. Oh, my… Obviously Jack Early is no longer Khorshad’s defense counsel.
The insurance industry of Southern California is never safe from Benjamin Gluck. He’s seemingly ubiquitous. He’s always got some doctor or service provider he’s defending for fraud at any given time and he loves to go after the Media. Stymieing the Press is his way of suppressing information so it can’t get out to the public. He tried to buy this writer off once in order to extract the ink out of my pen, and he went about it surreptitiously and with stealth before he got thrown out at first base. He’s a threat to the First Amendment.
Corrections were made to the Indictment. On Count 1, the language has been corrected to read “conspiracy to commit insurance fraud.” Centre Insurance and Sparta Insurance have been taken out. Stipulations were made. Discussions transpired on stipulating about the issue of the receivership, and money that should come back to the estate at the end of the case.
All four defendants then pled not-guilty.
Then came the defense Motion to Quash the Search Warrant. The argument led by Paul Meyer, counsel to Jeffrey Campau, led up to his claim that the foundation for the search was defective. The Motion was denied by the court.
Paul Meyer cited that the investigative officer came in and asked the Magistrate to sign the Warrant insisting that it was a violation of the statute to bill above the fee schedule. In other words, the investigator's statement and belief was then, and later on continued under oath, that billing above fee schedule for one unit as two units, double billing, or simply over-billing, in general, was against the law. And, of course, egregious overbilling above the fee schedule is what Aspen did.
But it turns out to be untrue that there’s a statute that prohibits billing above fee schedule. One legally can bill above the fee schedule. So, Paul Meyer argued that now that this has been conceded by both sides and the court, there is no probable cause that there was any wrong doing inside of Aspen to justify them having their privacy violated and being served with that Search Warrant. All probable cause has been stripped out of the warrant, and there is nothing left to justify the Warrant.
Judge Conley replied that although the defense had a good point, that a part of the warrant implies that it’s a statutory violation to bill above the schedule and they all know that’s not true, it’s still not a “freebie”. Judge Conley said, “So, does that mean it’s a freebie? Since there’s no statute involved, you can go for it? I don’t think it does. We still have basic theft and fraud.”
On October 31st, the Honorable John D. Conley, after meeting with all counsels in his chambers, said to the lawyers towards the end of the proceedings to see if the receivership can be terminated. The issue is of one corporation having assets being transferred to another.
The trial date for this case was then set for April 24th 2015.
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