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The case against the Klinefelters

The case against the Klinefelters

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Published by Dean Olsen
Here's a court document filed by federal prosecutors that contains a summary of the government's case against Dr. Vernon Klinefelter and his wife, nurse practitioner Geraldine Klinefelter. The rural Taylorville, Ill., couple were convicted April 29, 2014, on felony charges of wire fraud, concealing information and making a false statement. View coverage of the case at www.sj-r.com.
Here's a court document filed by federal prosecutors that contains a summary of the government's case against Dr. Vernon Klinefelter and his wife, nurse practitioner Geraldine Klinefelter. The rural Taylorville, Ill., couple were convicted April 29, 2014, on felony charges of wire fraud, concealing information and making a false statement. View coverage of the case at www.sj-r.com.

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Published by: Dean Olsen on Apr 29, 2014
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05/02/2014

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD DIVISION UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, ) ) Plaintiff, ) ) vs. ) Case No. 12-30035 ) VERNON KLINEFELTER, and ) GERALDINE KLINEFELTER, ) ) Defendants. )
GOVERNMENT’S MOTIONS IN LIMINE
The United States of America, by its attorneys, James A. Lewis, United States Attorney for the Central District of Illinois, and Timothy A. Bass, Assistant United States Attorney, respectfully submits its motion in limine. The government states the following:
INTRODUCTION
On March 7, 2012, the defendants were indicted in this matter and charged with one count of engaging in a scheme to defraud the Social Security Administration (SSA), in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343, one count of concealment/failure to disclose information, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 408(a)(4), and one count of making a false statement to the SSA, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 408(a)(2), all in connection with Defendant Vernon Klinefelter’s March 2004 application for more than $100,000 in social security disability benefits that were received between 2005 and 2008. As charged in the indictment, each of these offenses focuses on the defendants’ conduct and whether they made false statements and/or failed to disclose material information concerning the application for disability benefits, in which the defendants represented to the SSA,
E-FILED
 Wednesday, 06 November, 2013 04:46:00 PM Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD
3:12-cr-30035-RM-TSH # 48 Page 1 of 16
 
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among other things, that Defendant Vernon Klinefelter, a medical doctor, was disabled and unable to work, did not supervise others, including Defendant Geraldine Klinefelter, a nurse practitioner, and did not receive a level of income that would have disqualified him from receiving such benefits. The defendants have given notice to the government that they intend to call Springfield Attorney Don Hanrahan, who represented the defendants before the SSA concerning the very disability claim that is the subject of the offenses charged and communicated with the government concerning the criminal investigation, to offer “expert” opinions regarding the social security administration claims evaluation process and determination. In addition, the defendants have also advised the government that they intend to elicit evidence concerning the death of their 18 year-old son, Paul, in November 2004 from a drug overdose, more than six months after the defendants initially submitted the disability application. Finally, a part of the government’s evidence in this case involves confidential medical and personal information, including billing information, of the defendants’ patients. In this motion, the government respectfully requests that the Court: (A)
 
exclude the testimony of Attorney Hanrahan as plainly irrelevant under Fed.R.Evid. 402, likely to cause unfair prejudice and confusion of the issues under Fed.R.Evid. 403, and improper and unhelpful testimony from an attorney for the defendant and non-expert witness concerning the mental state of the defendants relating to an element of the offenses charged under Fed.R.Evid. 702 and 704; (B)
 
exclude any evidence relating to the death of the defendants’ son, Paul, as irrelevant under Fed.R.Evid. 402 and likely to cause unfair prejudice and confusion of the issues under Fed.R.Evid. 403, (C)
 
admit summary testimony concerning the defendants’ patient records under Fed.R.Evid. 1006 and Fed.R.Evid. 611, in lieu of admitting the actual
3:12-cr-30035-RM-TSH # 48 Page 2 of 16
 
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patient records into evidence, to protect the confidentiality of medical and personal information of the defendants’ patients.
FACTUAL SUMMARY
At trial, the government will present evidence to establish the following: The federal Social Security Act and related laws establish a number of programs which have the basic objective of providing for the needs of individuals and their families. These programs include the Disability Insurance Benefits Program, which is administered by the SSA. The purpose of the Disability Insurance Benefits Program is to replace part of the earnings lost because of an actual physical or mental impairment, as defined by federal law. Persons seeking disability benefits must file an application with the SSA under penalty of perjury. In sum, to be eligible for disability benefits, a person must be 1) totally (not partially) disabled and expected to be so disabled for a period of at least 12 months; and 2) unable to engage in substantial gainful activity (i.e. unable to work), which includes not earning a certain level of income established by SSA each year. Monthly benefits are paid to eligible disabled persons and to eligible beneficiaries, including children under the age of 18, throughout the period of disability. In determining an applicant’s eligibility for disability insurance benefits, the SSA relies on information provided by the applicants themselves or persons acting on the applicant’s behalf concerning, among other things, their medical condition, their level and extent of work activity, and their income. Defendant Vernon Klinefelter was a licensed physician and surgeon in the State of Illinois. He was married to Defendant Geraldine Klinefelter. Defendant Geraldine Klinefelter was a registered nurse and an advanced practice nurse (nurse practitioner). Both defendants together operated Abundant Life Medical Clinic (Abundant Life) in Taylorville, Illinois. Under Illinois law, in order for an advanced practice nurse (such as Defendant Geraldine Klinefelter) to provide services in a clinical practice (and hence submit bills to patients and insurers), she was required to have a written collaborative
3:12-cr-30035-RM-TSH # 48 Page 3 of 16

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