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United States v. Bell

April 12, 2006

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
MARTHA BELL AND ATRIUM I NURSING AND REHABILITATION CENTER



The opinion of the court was delivered by: McVerry, J.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER OF COURT

Before the Court for disposition are the following:

* MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE FOR PRESERVATION OF ISSUE FOR APPELLATE REVIEW filed by Martha Bell (Document No. 110);

* MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE FOR PRESERVATION OF ISSUE FOR APPELLATE REVIEW filed by Atrium I Nursing and Rehabilitation Center (Document No. 112); and

* THE GOVERNMENT'S RESPONSE TO MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE FOR PRESERVATION OF ISSUE FOR APPELLATE REVIEW (Document No. 113).

After careful consideration of the motions and the relevant case law, the Court will deny the Motions for Reconsideration.

Background

An eleven-count indictment was filed on August 24, 2004 against defendants Martha Bell and Atrium I Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. Both defendants were charged with one count of Health Care Fraud (Count I), in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1347 and 2, and ten counts of False Statements Relating to Health Care Matters (Counts 2 through 11), in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1035(a)(2).

A jury trial commenced on July 19, 2005. At the close of the government's case in chief, each Defendant presented a motion pursuant to Rule 29(a) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure for judgment of acquittal. After hearing extensive arguments of counsel, the Court denied the respective motions.

On August 24, 2005, the jury rendered a unanimous verdict as to each defendant. Defendant Bell was found guilty on Counts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10 and 11 and Defendant Atrium I was found guilty on all eleven count of the indictment.

On August 26, 2004, Defendants filed Motions for Judgment of Acquittal, which were denied by the Court on November 18, 2005.

Defendants have filed the instant Motions in which they request, pursuant to the recent United States Supreme Court decision in Gonzales v. Oregon, 546 U.S. --, 126 Sup.Ct. 904, No. 04-623 (filed January 17, 2006), that this Court enter an Order acquitting Defendants of their convictions of the count brought under 18 U.S.C. § 1347 and grant a new trial on all other counts or, in the alternative, grant a new trial as to both statutes and that these issues be considered preserved and not waived for purposes of appellate review.

Standard of Review

A motion for reconsideration may be filed in a criminal case. United States v. Fiorelli, 337 F.3d 282, 286 (3d Cir. 2003). However, such a motion may only be granted if "the party seeking reconsideration shows at least one of the following grounds: (1) an intervening change in the controlling law; (2) the availability of new evidence that was not available when the court [rendered it's decision]; or (3) the need to correct a clear error of law or fact or to prevent manifest injustice." Max's Seafood Café ex rel. Lou-Ann, Inc. v. Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999). Defendants argue that the United States Supreme Court's recent pronouncement in ...


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