Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Friday, April 03, 2015

Sosa: Defendants knew of government cooperator

In U.S. v. Sosa, No. 13-14141 (April 3, 2015), the Court rejected the argument of Medicare fraud defendants that their guilty pleas were not voluntary because the government did not disclose until sentencing that the government could have stopped the fraud, but instead allowed the loss to grow for months with the participation of a government cooperator. Had they known of the government’s inaction, the defendants would have contested the amount of forfeiture. Rejecting this argument, the Court found that the defendants “knew that the doctor involved in their four-month long conspiracy was a government cooperator.” Defendants also claimed that the plea agreement only agreed to forfeiture of two houses, not cars. The Court found that placed in context, the agreements did not state that the house-forfeiture would fully satisfy the money judgment.