Zuckerman Spaeder Obtains Dismissal of All Charges Against Client in a Federal Anti-Kickback Case
Just weeks before trial was set to begin, a federal judge ordered the dismissal of all charges in an indictment against a group of defendants, including a Zuckerman Spaeder LLP client who was the former founder, a Board Member, and the Chief Executive Officer of one of the nation’s largest spine and pain management practices. The ruling ends a painful six-year investigation and prosecution of all defendants, who were facing conspiracy and kickback charges. The successful resolution of the case was recognized by The American Lawyer, which named the defense team runners-up for Litigators of the Week.
In August 2021, government prosecutors brought charges alleging a kickback scheme involving a number of executives and physicians, including the firm’s client, three other physicians affiliated with the pain management organization, the founder and CEO of a biotechnology company, and one of its sales representatives.
The case, which was being heard in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, was set for trial on January 24, 2023. In recent weeks, Zuckerman Spaeder attorneys, along with attorneys representing other defendants, brought a series of coordinated motions exposing serious problems with the government’s theory of the case as well as significant problems with conduct during discovery, conflicts within the U.S. attorney’s office, and the invasion of attorney-client privilege. The issues raised led Judge Josephine L. Stanton to order the government to file affidavits of several FBI agents and prosecutors involved in the case. Instead of complying with the order, prosecutors filed a motion to dismiss all charges, which Judge Stanton signed on December 22, 2022.
“The government’s decision to voluntarily dismiss the entirety of its indictment against all defendants on the eve of trial is an exceptional outcome,” said Zuckerman Spaeder partner and firm chair Dwight P. Bostwick. “This complete victory could not have been achieved without the strong and disciplined efforts of a large group of talented attorneys both inside and outside of our firm. It was an incredibly effective joint defense group.”