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Ruling that enhanced the sentence of a psychiatrist and his office manager for testifying falsely at their Medicaid and Medicare fraud trial, without a jury having made this factual finding, is reversed and remanded for further consideration.

Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the sentence authorized by a jury verdict could be enhanced by the presiding judge at the sentencing hearing if the judge found that additional facts delineated by the guidelines existed. In United States v. Booker (2005), the Supreme Court struck down these guidelines to the extent that they imposed binding requirements on sentencing judges but were based on facts that had not been determined by a jury.

A number of lower court decisions were vacated and remanded for further consideration in light of this ruling. One such decision involved the conviction of a psychiatrist and his office manager for Medicaid and Medicare fraud.

The defendants had been convicted of billing for services provided by others but declaring that the psychiatrist had provided the services. The challenged services included the use of unlicensed individuals to co-direct a therapy group for the survivors of sexual abuse. After a jury had found the defendants guilty, the presiding judge concluded that both defendants had testified falsely at their trial, and imposed a two-level obstruction of justice enhancement under the federal guidelines.

By vacating and remanding this decision, the Supreme Court requires that these defendants be re-sentenced. United States v. Mitrione, 357 F.3d 712 (7th Cir. 2004), vacated & remanded for further consideration in light of United States v. Booker (2005). United States v. Booker, 125 S. Ct. 738 (2005), at http:// www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/04pdf/04-104.pdf.

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Title Annotation:Cases in the United States Supreme Court
Publication:Developments in Mental Health Law
Date:Jul 1, 2005
Words:239
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