Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Two NECC Defendants Don't Want Jury Trial
By Walter F. Roche Jr.
Two of the defendants in the criminal case stemming from a deadly fungal meningitis outbreak don't want their case to go before a jury because of the widespread adverse publicity surrounding the case.
In one of several motions filed this week in U.S. District Court in Boston, Mass. the lawyer for Douglas and Carla Conigliaro waived their right for a jury trial, stating that the publicity surrounding the case would make it impossible to get a fair trial before a jury.
A federal judge already has agreed that the two will be tried separately from the other 12 defendants in the case.
In the 14-page brief, the couple asked that a non-jury trial be held even if federal prosecutors objected.
In another motion filed Monday, attorney David Meier asked that three of the charges against the two be dismissed. Those charges stem from some 776 banking transaction by the couple over a four year period. The withdrawals totaled nearly $600,000.
The two are charged with three counts of structuring the withdrawals to evade reporting under a federal law covering transactions over $10,000.
The motion argues that the withdrawals from three different banks were the "normal cash withdrawal patterns and money use of high net worth individuals."
Rather than an attempt to evade the reporting requirement the facts "show two wealthy individuals who made withdrawals from their bank accounts for ordinary household living expenses."
The other defendants in the case, all employees or owners of the defunct New England Compounding Center, are facing charges ranging from mail and wire fraud to second degree murder.
NECC triggered the deadly 2012 outbreak of fungal meningitis by shipping thousands of vials of fungus loaded steroids to health facilities across the country.
The outbreak sickened 778 patients, killing 77.