Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Roundup

A weekly tab of what’s going 
on in the courts.

By Logan Beck

A family services worker was responsible for transporting and supervising court-ordered visits between a young mother and her son, according to Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino.

He allegedly used this position to have sex with the young mother in March and April 2016.

Lamont King, 39, of Trenton, N.J. is being charged with official misconduct and has been suspended without pay after an investigation by the New Jersey State Police Official Corruption Bureau South Unit and the Division of Criminal Justice Corruption Bureau.  

Thursday, June 23, 2016

O'Brien Plays Trump Card In Pill Mill Defense

By George Anastasia

Dr. William O'Brien compared himself to Donald Trump today while challenging bankruptcy fraud and money-laundering charges that are part of his ongoing pill mill trial.

O'Brien, who is representing himself, was in the midst of a heated exchange with retired FBI agent Kevin Kane this afternoon when he used a Trump reference to try to put his own financial situation in perspective.

 O'Brien seemed to be contending that while his medical practice was in bankruptcy back in 2012, other companies he controlled were not and earnings from one could potentially offset losses from another.

"Do you know Donald Trump, who is running for president right now?" O'Brien asked, referring to the presumptive Republican Party nominee. "Some of his companies were in bankruptcy and others were not in bankruptcy. Did you know that?"

Kane, who withstood nearly three hours of pointed cross-examination without appearing flustered, brushed the question aside.

"I didn't investigate Donald Trump," he replied.

While Hillary Clinton supporters might wish he had, Kane said his focus during the nearly three-year probe was O'Brien, the 53-year-old doctor who authorities say turned his pain management medical practice into an illegal and highly lucrative drug dispensing operation.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Verdict On Chaka

By Ralph Cipriano

The jury filed into Courtroom 16A at 12:20 p.m.

The staff had ordered lunch, but none of the jurors wanted to stay. Instead, they preferred to read the verdict and get out of the courthouse as fast as possible.

The jury foreman, a middle-aged male, stood and read the results of the 19-page verdict form.

On Count 1, Congressman Chaka Fattah was unanimously found guilty of conspiracy to commit racketeering. The foreman kept reading the verdicts on six more charges under Count 1 for Fattah, including: guilty of mail fraud, guilty of wire fraud, guilty of bank fraud, guilty of bribery, guilty of obstruction of justice, and guilty of money laundering.

Fattah stared straight ahead and showed no reaction. When co-defendant Herb Vederman was found guilty of conspiracy to commit racketeering, however, his sister started crying.

"No outbursts," Judge Harvey Bartle 3d warned spectators. While the jury foreman continued to read five more guilty verdicts for Vederman under Count 1, his sister left the courtroom still crying.

Doctor Vs. Doctor At Pill Mill Trial

By George Anastasia

It was a second opinion that Dr. William O'Brien 3d didn't want to hear.

Dr. Stephen M. Thomas, a Stanford Medical School trained pain management clinician called as an expert witness by the prosecution in O'Brien's ongoing pill mill trial, systematically ripped apart O'Brien's prescription practice, repeatedly telling the jury that his analysis indicated the drugs O'Brien prescribed were not "medically legitimate."

At one point during his day-long stint on the witness stand, Thomas referred to what O'Brien did in his office as "drug dealing."  At other times, he read from the charts of O'Brien's "patients" and then commented on the drugs prescribed.

"This combination will scramble your brain," he said of a combined prescription for oxycodone, methadone, Xanax and Adderall. "And at these doses it's dangerous."

Of another, he said, "Not consistent with legitimate medical diagnosis . . . Not medically necessary."

And of a chart that showed continual increases in the dosages, he added, "This is a pattern for addiction or diversion (selling the pills)." Still later, of a similar situation, he said, "Something else, that is non medical, is driving that."

The clash of the two doctors, which included sharp verbal exchanges and lengthy philosophical ruminations, is expected to continue when the trial resumes Wednesday morning.

The prosecution hopes to use Thomas' testimony to undermine O'Brien's now beleaguered defense. Despite a half dozen witnesses who have testified to the contrary, including O'Brien's own office manager, O'Brien has continued to argue that he was practicing legitimate medicine and had no idea some of his patients were selling the pills he prescribed.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Another Dancer Details Sex With Pill Doctor

By Ralph Cipriano

She was a former strip club dancer, dark and slender, with waist-length, jet-black hair.

From the witness stand, Kathleen Reeves, 31, told a story about being a young mom who became addicted to prescription painkillers under the care of Dr. William O'Brien 3d.

When the pill doctor ran out of medical reasons to keep treating her, Reeves said, the doctor suggested a business arrangement.

"He said that if I gave him a blow job," she told the jury, "He would continue to prescribe" oxycodone and methadone for her.

"I was so sick, I couldn't function without them," she said about the pills. In the throes of her addiction, "I did things that I would never normally do."

That included providing oral sex to the pill doctor on several occasions.

"I had no choice," she told the jury. " I couldn't get the medication" without a prescription. "I was in too deep."

Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Roundup

A weekly tab of what’s going on in the courts.

By Logan Beck

U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey:

Sexual assault can happen anywhere at anytime as evidenced by current events, even in the most unlikely places . . . such as on an airplane.

A New York man faces charges after being accused of sexually abusing a woman on an airplane flying from Tel Aviv, Israel to New York according to the United States Attorney’s Office.

Yoel Oberlander, 35 was seated next to a woman and her mother on a plane on May 29. Oberlander allegedly placed his hands on the woman’s thighs and breasts without her consent, resulting in a criminal complaint with one count of abusive sexual contact.

However, this is not Oberlander’s first offense.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Heroin Addict Says She Gave Sex For Script

By George Anastasia

She was six months pregnant with the ugly track marks of her heroin addiction running down both her arms.

She said she wanted methadone to help break her habit.

He said he'd write a script . . . for a blow job.

She agreed.

In some of the grittiest and personally damaging testimony to date, former strip club dancer Deanna Lane told a federal jury yesterday how she exchanged a "sexual favor" for medication in the office of  William O'Brien 3d, the pain management doctor now on trial for conspiracy and drug dealing in what authorities say was a multi-million dollar pill mill operation.

"He locked the door," Lane, 28, said of the office visit late one afternoon back in September 2014.

Lane said previous visits for medications that included oxycodone and Xanax had come with a $200 co-pay. But on this day, O'Brien had a different currency in mind.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Witness: "Everybody And Their Mother Knows You Did Wrong"

By Logan Beck

Much like a teacher becoming suspicious of school children cheating on their spelling tests, pharmacies began to question the legitimacy of Dr. William O’Brien’s narcotics prescriptions. 

That's the story Bernard Varallo, a cooperating witness for the government, told a jury yesterday during the ongoing "Pill Mill" trial of Dr. O'Brien in federal court.

According to Varallo, a co-conspirator who has already pleaded guilty, patients were unable to “cash the scrips” or “fill the prescriptions” without other prescriptions such as anti-constipation and anti-inflammatory medication to offset the narcotics.


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