Despite claims by Melgen’s attorneys that he had no intention of fleeing to his native Dominican Republic, U.S. Magistrate James Hopkins denied their request to allow the 60-year-old doctor to post a sizable bond, secured by property worth millions, so he can help them prepare for his trial, now scheduled for Feb. 22.Seems hard to imagine that Melgen should be detained. He's a 60-year old doctor with no criminal history. I would expect that he gets bail from the district judge, especially since he already got bond in New Jersey where the judge found that he was not a risk of flight.
“There are no combination of conditions that will reasonably assure the appearance of the defendant,” Hopkins ruled. “I will order that he be detained as a risk of flight.”
Not only does Melgen face a possible life sentence if convicted of 76 charges of health-care fraud but he, along with his longtime friend Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., is charged in New Jersey with operating a bribery scheme, Hopkins noted.
Further, he said, an extradition treaty between the U.S. and the Dominican may not cover health-care fraud. If Melgen decides to flee to his island homeland — where he has luxury homes, bank accounts and links to top government officials — prosecutors may never be able to bring him back to stand trial, he said.
Melgen, who federal prosecutors said earned $1 million a month treating patients at clinics in West Palm Beach, Wellington, Delray Beach and Port St. Lucie, smiled weakly at his wife, son and daughter as he was led from the courtroom in shackles. His wife, Flor, collapsed against the couple’s daughter Melissa in tears.
Monday, May 11, 2015
Salomon Melgen denied bail
From the Palm Beach Post: