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    Post: Lawyer Sentenced For Obstruction Of Justice

    Posted by Sharon on 6/04/10

    Department of Justice Press Release

    For Immediate Release
    June 3, 2010 United States Attorney's Office
    District of Nevada
    Contact: (703) 388-6336
    Lawyer Gage Sentenced for Obstruction of Justice

    LAS VEGAS—Local lawyer Noel Gage was sentenced today by
    Senior U.S. District Judge Justin L. Quackenbush to three
    years probation, 90 days of home confinement, and ordered
    to pay a $25,000 fine, following his guilty plea to felony
    obstruction of justice charges, announced Daniel G. Bogden,
    United States Attorney for the District of Nevada. Gage
    must also pay $702,600 to former client Melodie Simon.

    Gage, 72, pleaded guilty on February 23, 2010, to one count
    of obstruction of justice. According to the plea agreement,
    the government maintained that it would prove at trial that
    a federal Grand Jury issued a subpoena to Gage’s law firm
    in September 2006 for documents relating to any agreements
    or fee arrangements between Gage and Howard Awand in
    connection with a particular case. Today, the Court found
    that Gage intentionally obstructed justice by not
    disclosing documents called for by the subpoena.

    Gage and Awand were originally charged with conspiracy and
    fraud in 2007 and accused of being part of a network of Las
    Vegas physicians and lawyers who allegedly defrauded
    clients by protecting doctors from malpractice lawsuits and
    sharing kickbacks from legal settlements. Gage was also
    charged with one count of obstruction of justice for
    allegedly concealing documents from the grand jury
    investigating the case. In March 2009, Dr. Mark Kabins was
    also charged with fraud and conspiracy for his alleged role
    in the scheme.

    Consistent with the plea agreement, the Court today
    dismissed the conspiracy and fraud counts against Gage, and
    Gage is required to return to Melodie Simon his attorney’s
    fees in the amount of $702,600.

    The plea agreement allowed Gage to plead guilty under a
    provision of law that allowed him to maintain his innocence
    while simultaneously pleading guilty to obstruction of
    justice. The so-called Alford plea is named after the 1970
    United States Supreme Court decision of North Carolina v.
    Alford, which allows a defendant to enter a plea of guilty,
    and to be found guilty, while maintaining innocence to a
    criminal charge.

    Mark Kabins M.D. pleaded guilty on November 23, 2009, to
    one count of misprision of felony, and was sentenced on
    January 14, 2010, to five years of probation, six months of
    home confinement, 250 hours of community work service, and
    ordered to pay $3.5 million in restitution.

    Howard Awand pleaded guilty on March 8, 2010, to misprision
    of a felony, and is scheduled for sentencing on June 25,
    2010, at 9:00 a.m.

    The case was investigated by the FBI, IRS Criminal
    Investigation, and the Nevada Attorney General’s Office,
    and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Steven
    W. Myhre and Daniel R. Schiess.

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