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United States v. Palin

United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

October 30, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee,
v.
BETH PALIN, Defendant-Appellant. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee,
v.
JOSEPH D. WEBB, Defendant-Appellant.

          Argued: September 13, 2017

         Appeals from the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia, at Abingdon. James P. Jones, District Judge. (1:14-cr-00023-JPJ-PMS-1; 1:14-cr-00023-JPJ-PMS-2)

         ARGUED:

          Michael John Khouri, LAW OFFICES OF MICHAEL KHOURI, Laguna Hills, California; Nancy Combs Dickenson, OFFICE OF THE FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER, Abingdon, Virginia, for Appellants.

          Janine Marie Myatt, OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY, Abingdon, Virginia, for Appellee.

         ON BRIEF:

          Larry W. Shelton, Federal Public Defender, OFFICE OF THE FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER, Roanoke, Virginia, for Appellant

          Joseph D. Webb. Rick A. Mountcastle, Acting United States Attorney, OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY, Roanoke, Virginia, for Appellee.

          Before MOTZ, DUNCAN, and WYNN, Circuit Judges.

          DIANA GRIBBON MOTZ, Circuit Judge

         After a bench trial, the district court found Beth Palin and Joseph Webb (wife and husband) guilty of health care fraud and conspiracy to engage in health care fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1347 and 1349. Palin and Webb appeal, principally contending the district court failed to apply the correct standard of materiality and failed to find their misrepresentations were material. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

         I.

         During a two-week trial, the district court considered numerous documents and the testimony of more than twenty witnesses. We briefly summarize that evidence.

         Palin owned Mountain Empire Medical Care ("MEMC"), an addiction medicine clinic, and Bristol Laboratories ("the Lab"), which processed urine drug tests ordered by MEMC doctors, among others. Webb assisted ...


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