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
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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