Dr. Roy S. Shelburne of Virginia
A federal judge on Tuesday overturned all seven money laundering convictions against a Pennington Gap, Va., dentist, which could set a precedent for how the government prosecutes such cases.
In his order, James P. Jones, chief judge for the Western District of Virginia, upheld three convictions of Roy Silas Shelburne for racketeering, structuring a financial transaction and defrauding Medicaid. Jonesâ€™ reversal of the juryâ€™s verdict on the money laundering convictions comes on the heels of a decision last month by the U.S. Supreme Court interpreting the statute, which set a higher burden for prosecutors alleging the offense.
A juryâ€™s convictions are evaluated in the light most favorable to the government, and Jonesâ€™ decision to vacate them underscored a substantial shift in the legal grounding of the case.
â€œTo say that Iâ€™m pleased with Judge Jonesâ€™ opinion in this matter would be an understatement,â€ said Dennis Jones, Shelburneâ€™s attorney, who previously described the juryâ€™s verdict as the â€œgreatest miscarriage of justiceâ€ he had seen in his legal career.
The judgeâ€™s order, he said Tuesday, â€œis significantly in keeping with what my understanding of the law was. Heâ€™s right on.â€
Dr. Shelburne continues to face considerable jeopardy with the three remaining felony convictions when he is sentenced on July 10th. He is considering an appeal.
Undoubtedly, there will be new motions to set aside the three other convictions and to allow Dr. Shelburne bail pending appeal.
However, even if the judge allows bail while the appeal is considered, Dr. Shelburne would have his dental license revoked during the appeal process.
Flap bets there is a plea deal before the 10th which would allow Dr. Shelburne to continue to practice dentistry but under financial supervision for a period of time and the payment of a fine.
The case appears thin and the federal prosecutors have definitley been slapped by the judge.
Technorati Tags: Dr. Roy S. Shelburne