Florida eye surgeon faces difficult strategic decisions in federal cases

Back in April, we wrote about the indictment of Senator Robert Menendez on corruption charges stemming from his friendship with Florida eye surgeon Salomon Melgen. As we noted, Menendez is accused of giving the eye surgeon gifts in exchange for political favors. Menendez maintains his innocence, and is set to head to trial on the charges.

Melgen also faces bribery charges in connection with the case, as well as numerous federal fraud charges. The charges are quite serious and quite extensive as well, including a total of 46 charges of health care fraud and 30 related offenses. Melgen, who also maintains innocence, has been declared a flight risk, and the federal judge handling his case denied his request to be released on bond. 

One interesting thing that commentators have pointed out is that the health care fraud charges against Melgen could make it more difficult for Menendez to beat his corruption charges. In addition, it is not unlikely that prosecutors will attempt to have Melgen testify against Menendez in his corruption trial. It remains to be seen what strategy prosecutors will pursue and how Melgen will build his own defense in the cases against him, but we’ll keep readers updated.

When it comes to federal fraud charges, it is very important to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney, particularly when the consequences of the charges are as serious as they are in the cases of Menendez and Melgin. Deciding what strategy to pursue in building a strong defense is not always easy, especially when the strategy used in one case could impact another criminal case. Defendants facing such circumstances need to have solid guidance and zealous advocacy in pursuing a defense in such cases.

Source: Breitbart, “Federal Judge Denies Bond For Dr. Salomon Melgen, He Remains In Florida Jail,” Michael Patrick Leahy, May 10, 2015.

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