On September 12, 2011, David P. Rosen, the 63 year old head of MediSys Health Network, was convicted of Honest Services Fraud in a non-jury trial before the Honorable Jed S. Rakoff in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. Specifically, Rosen was convicted of providing several hundred thousand dollars in bribes to 3 New York State legislators.
Honest Services Fraud is part of a federal statute enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1988 under 18 U.S.C. Section 1346 which defines this crime as a: “Scheme or artifice to defraud [includes] a scheme or artifice to deprive another of the intangible right of honest services.”
The three legislators are Democrats Anthony Seminerio of Queens, William F. Boyland of Brooklyn, and Senator Carl Kruger of Brooklyn, who received bogus, no-show contracts worth close to six hundred thousand dollars. Further, in the case of Mr. Kruger, he allegedly received proceeds from a lucrative contract with a hospice care company. Supposedly, Mr. Seminerio received almost $400,000 and Mr. Boyland received approximately $177,000.
MediSys is a non-profit sponsor of hospitals, nursing homes, and neighborhood health centers in Queens and Brooklyn. In exchange for the monies Rosen provided to the three legislators, they were charged with lobbying the State on MediSys’ behalf, and delivering State money to MediSys. Federal agents had taped conversations of Mr. Seminerio, who had supposedly bragged that “…Rosen kisses my feet…they all do; without me, they wouldn’t be in business.” Evidence like this led Seminerio to plead guilty to Honest Services Fraud in 2009. The original charges against Rosen, Boyland and Kruger were filed in March of 2011, which returned the issue of widespread corruption in Albany to the forefront. This corruption resulted in the conviction and removal of former New York State Senate leader Joseph Bruno in December of 2009 for mail and wire fraud.
Assemblymen Boyland and Senator Kruger pled not guilty and are headed to trial, with Boyland scheduled for a non-jury trial before Judge Rakoff on November 1, 2011 and Kruger electing to have his case heard by a jury beginning on January 17, 2012. Mr. Seminerio was convicted of fraud in an earlier case and died earlier this year while in prison. Other defendants in the case include a well known lobbyist, a hospital executive, a health care consultant and a real estate developer, who all pled not guilty and will also have their cases heard in Federal Court.
Mr. Rosen decided to “waive a jury” and proceed in a non jury trial before Judge Rakoff. He faces as much as 70 years in prison, but under federal sentencing guidelines, it is likely that Judge Rakoff will sentence Rosen to considerably less than that. For example, former Illinois Governor George Ryan was sentenced to six and one half years on similar charges, and former Enron executive Jeffrey Skilling was originally sentenced to 24 years and 4 months on similar charges. The conviction was then nullified by the U.S. Supreme Court, which sent the case back to the lower Court for further proceedings, since Skillings’ conduct did not involve bribes to public officials.
Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney in the Southern District, said of the Rosen conviction: If there were any doubt about the pervasive nature of public corruption in Albany, today’s multicount conviction of David Rosen should put it to rest once and for all…while this verdict is a very sad comment on the state of affairs in Albany, it also should send a clear message that we will pursue those who violate the public trust.” Judge Rakoff called Mr. Rosen’s conviction a “sad, even tragic case.”
If you or a loved one is charged with any criminal offense, contact the Westchester County Criminal Defense Attorneys online or toll free at 914-224-3086 for a free initial consultation to discuss your case in specific detail, your legal rights, and options.