Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Kuhlman: Chiropractor's sentence "substantively unreasonable"

In U.S. v. Kuhlman, No. 11-15959 (March 8, 2013), on a government cross-appeal of a sentence, the Court held that a sentence of probation and community service was “substantively unreasonable,” for a chiroptractor convicted of health care fraud involving close to $ 3 million.

. The advisory Guideline range was 57 to 71 months. After Kuhlman made full restitution of the close to $ 3 million he stole, and performed community service, the district court sentenced him to probation for time served. The Court found that this sentence failed to served the need for general deterrence, an important factor because health care “is so rampant that the government lacks the resources to reach it all.” The Court cited three of its precedents – Livesay, Martin and Crisp – which held that sentences for white collar defendants were too lenient and therefore “outside the range of reasonableness.” The Court added: “The Sentencing Guidelines authorize no special sentencing discounts on account of economic or social status.”