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United States v. Nasher-Alneam

United States District Court, S.D. West Virginia, Charleston

July 23, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
MUHAMMED SAMER NASHER-ALNEAM, M.D.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          David A. Faber Senior United States District Judge.

         This matter is before the court on two motions in limine, one filed by defendant and the other filed by the United States. See ECF Nos. 238 and 247. Those motions are ripe for decision.

         I. Background

         Defendant Muhammed Samer Nasher-Alneam, M.D. (“Dr. Nasher) is a medical doctor licensed to practice medicine in the State of West Virginia. See ECF No. 223 at ¶ 1 (Third Superseding Indictment). From on or about July 2013 through February 2015, Dr. Nasher owned and operated a medical practice called "Neurology & Pain Center, PLLC," which, during that time, was located at 401 Division Street, Suite 202 in South Charleston, Kanawha County, West Virginia. Id. at ¶¶ 2-3. From about March 2015 through about February 2018, the defendant's medical practice was located at 4501 MacCorkle Avenue SE, Suite A, in Charleston, Kanawha County, West Virginia. See id. at ¶ 3. The defendant leased the office spaces described above and was the only practicing physician at Neurology & Pain Center, PLLC. See id. During the relevant time period, Dr. Nasher had an active Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registration number that allowed him to prescribe controlled substances, including Schedule II, III, IV, and V controlled substances. See id. at ¶ 8.

         On July 26, 2018, the grand jury returned a 15-count indictment against Dr. Nasher arising out of his activities in connection with Neurology & Pain Center, PLLC. See ECF No. 1. A second superseding indictment was returned on November 21, 2018, charging defendant with illegal drug distributions, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1); illegal drug distributions resulting in death, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(C); maintaining a drug-involved premises, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 856(a)(1); and international money laundering, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956(a)(2)(B)(ii).

         Trial on the second superseding indictment began on April 16, 2019. A mistrial was declared on May 7, 2019.

         After the declaration of a mistrial, on June 12, 2019, Dr. Nasher was charged in a forty-seven count third superseding indictment charging him with various offenses related to operation of his medical practice. Specifically, defendant was charged with the following:

1) health care fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1347 and § 2 (Counts One through Eleven and Fifteen through Twenty-four);
2) health care fraud resulting in death, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1347 and § 2 (Counts Twelve through Fourteen);
3) illegal drug distributions, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) (Counts Twenty-five through Thirty-eight);
4) illegal drug distributions resulting in death, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(C) (Counts Thirty-nine through Forty-one);
5) maintaining a drug-involved premises, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 856(a)(1) (Counts Forty-two and Forty-three); and
6) international money laundering, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956(a)(2)(B)(ii) (Counts Forty-four through Forty-seven).

See ECF No. 223. The court granted defendant's motion for judgment of acquittal as to the money laundering counts and the corresponding counts in the third superseding indictment were dismissed. See ECF No. 231.

         There has been and continues to be considerable disagreement between the parties as to the evidence that is admissible in this case. That disagreement is highlighted in several motions currently pending before the court: 1) defendant's motion in limine to preclude the government from offering evidence of his overall practice; and 2) the government's motion in limine to prohibit defendant from offering evidence of his noncriminal conduct. (ECF Nos. 238 and 247). The government has stated that its decision to seek a third superseding indictment arose out of adverse evidentiary rulings in the prior trial that are addressed in these motions in limine. See ECF Nos. 248 and 215-2. (noting ...


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