Dentistry

The Case of Dr. Roy S. Shelburne – Convicted and Sentenced to Two Years in Federal Prison But U.S. Attorney Wants More

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Dentist Dr. Roy S. Shelburne, D.D.S. of Virginia

The federal prosecutors are NOT satisfied sending Virginia dentist, Dr. Roy S. Shelburne, D.D.S. to the POKIE for two years.

A U.S. attorney is appealing a federal district court judge’s decision to vacate a dentist’s convictions for money laundering, setting up a legal battle over a federal statute that was recently interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court.

A notice of appeal has been filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. The appeal from Acting U.S. Attorney Julia C. Dudley indicates the government is pushing back against an ambiguous Supreme Court decision that in some money laundering cases holds prosecutors to a higher burden of proof.

Let’s see:

  • Dr. Shelburne will be sent to federal prison for two years and/or a fraction thereof.
  • Dr. Shelburne has lost his dental license, his dental practice and his livelihood.
  • Dr. Shelburne more than likely has forfeited alot of his assets in legal fees fighting the government.

Yet, the federal prosecutors want more.

The question to ask at this point is why?

Previous:

The Case of Dr. Roy S. Shelburne – Convicted and Sentenced to Two Years in Federal Prison

The Case of Dr. Roy S. Shelburne – 7 of 10 Counts Thrown Out of Court – Part Two

The Case of Dr. Roy S. Shelburne – 7 of 10 Counts Thrown Out of Court

The Case of Dentist Dr. Roy S. Shelburne – Sentencing Postponed


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Dentistry

The Case of Dr. Roy S. Shelburne – Convicted and Sentenced to Two Years in Federal Prison

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Dentist Dr. Roy S. Shelburne, D.D.S. of Virginia

Flap has been away from this story for a few weeks. So, let’s catch up.

On July 10, 2008, Pennington Gap, Virginia dentist Dr. Roy S. Shelburne, D.D.S. was sentenced to two years in prison for three felony convictions of racketeering, defrauding Medicaid and structuring a financial transaction.

Judge James P. Jones sentenced Roy Shelburne to two years for each of the felony counts, which will run concurrently. Shelburne was also fined $75,000, and must pay nearly $18,000 in restitution to state Medicaid.

The sentence comes a week after the judge threw out all seven of Shelburne’s convictions for money laundering, based on a recent interpretation of the statute by the U.S. Supreme Court. Previously, Shelburne had faced up 120 years in prison and a $1.25 million fine.

ShelburnOffice

The dental office of Roy S. Shelburne, D.D.S.

At the sentencing hearing, the federal prosecution led by U.S. Attorney Tony Giomo, presented a computer-generated statistical estimate that Shelburne likely bilked Medicaid of about $263,000.

The actual amount of money, as well as the number of patients overbilled, remains unknown.

But Giorno’s team claimed to have filled in the gaps with a statistical model based on the files of patients known to have been overcharged.

Judge Jones said he would need more information than readily available to accept the estimate.

Giorno said after the sentencing that Shelburne could face as much as $700,000 in restitution if the U.S. Attorney General’s Office decides to pursue a civil case.

An in-depth post-sentencing interview with Dr. Shelburne is here.

In the meantime,

  • Dr. Shelburne has surrendered his Virginia dental license. A conviction, plus sentencing means it is revoked/forfeited anyway.
  • An appeal of his conviction has not been initiated, nor a decision made whether to appeal.
  • The United States Department of Justice will be appealing Judge Jones dismissal of seven federal felony money laundering counts against Shelburne to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
  • As far as Flap can discover, where Dr. Shelburne will spend his two years in prison and when he begins his sentence has not been announced.
  • Supporters and friends of Dr. Shelburne have created this site in order to support him.

Stay tuned……

Previous:

The Case of Dr. Roy S. Shelburne – 7 of 10 Counts Thrown Out of Court – Part Two

The Case of Dr. Roy S. Shelburne – 7 of 10 Counts Thrown Out of Court

The Case of Dentist Dr. Roy S. Shelburne – Sentencing Postponed


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The Case of Dr. Roy S. Shelburne – 7 of 10 Counts Thrown Out of Court – Part Three

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Dr. Roy S. Shelburne of Virginia

Flap yesterday reported that the money laundering convictions of Virginia dentist, Dr. Roy S. Shelburne, involving Medicaid fraud had been set aside by a federal judge.

Now, Flap has the link to the opinion and order of federal district judge, James P. Jones.

Some key graphs:

  • The government also called four local dentists, who characterized Dr. Shelburne’s work as subpar.
  • At trial, both the government and the defendant relied on retained dental experts who had extensively reviewed Dr. Shelburne’s records, as well as personally examining and evaluating some of his patients. Both experts were well-qualified but their opinions were dramatically different. Dr. Marquetta Poynter, the government’s expert, found that Dr. Shelburne had performed unnecessary procedures; Dr. Susan Phillips, the defense expert, found Dr. Shelburne’s work to be acceptable and any incorrect billings to DMAS shown by the record to be only the normal errors produced in any dental office. Dr. Shelburne testified on his own behalf and denied any intent to defraud.
  • The defendant argues that the evidence showed that he acted in good faith in his dental practice, with no intent to defraud.5 Similarly, he contends that he acted with a “legitimate medical purpose and within the bounds of accepted medical practice.” (Mem. Supp. Mot. J. Acquittal or New Trial 11.) I agree that his evidence supported such a defense, but there was substantial evidence to the contrary. A verdict in Dr. Shelburne’s favor certainly would have been plausible and equally supportable. Under our system of justice, however, the jury’s view of the evidence cannot be set aside where, as here, there was substantial evidence to support it.
  • In summary, I find that all of Dr. Shelburne’s money laundering convictions must be set aside. I will otherwise affirm all of his remaining convictions. It thus appearing proper, it is ORDERED as follows:
  • 1. The Motion for New Trial (#284) is denied;
  • 2. The Motion for Judgment of Acquittal (#284) is granted in part and denied in part;
  • 3. Judgment of acquittal is entered as to Counts Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, and Nine of the superseding Indictment; and
  • 4. The Motion for Judgment of Acquittal is otherwise denied.

The Bristol Herald Courier quotes Tony Giorno, the U.S. assistant attorney who prosecuted the case, as saying that his team may appeal the decision. He described the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the money laundering statute as a “sea change” in the law, saying “we knew we would have problems with that…..”“We have to decide, in-house or at the Department of Justice, if we’re going to live with that interpretation in future cases.”

Dr. Shelburne is considering whether to appeal the other three remaining convictions. Shelburne’s dental license will be revoked after he is sentenced on July 10.

However, now after reading the judge’s opinion, Flap is pessimistic that there will be a plea deal to spare Dr. Shelburne jail time and the loss of his dental license. The three remaining convictions are federal felonies and the judge denied the remaining motion(s) to set aside the verdict of the jury.

Dr. Shelburne can appeal and request bail while the case is under appeal but this may only postpone the inevitable if he loses in the appellate court. His dental license will be revoked, in any case.

Stay tuned……

Previous:

The Case of Dr. Roy S. Shelburne – 7 of 10 Counts Thrown Out of Court – Part Two

The Case of Dr. Roy S. Shelburne – 7 of 10 Counts Thrown Out of Court

The Case of Dentist Dr. Roy S. Shelburne – Sentencing Postponed


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