Chapman Law Group Secures Deferral for Federal Defendant, Scheduled for Prison, Due to COVID-19

In the wake of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, many defendants who are required to report to prison — such as those convicted of health care fraud — are understandably nervous that they may be unnecessarily exposed to Coronavirus.

This is certainly true for defendants who are older and experiencing health concerns — and are at high risk under the CDC guidelines.

Prison is a communal environment. It is in stark contrast with the recommendations for “social distancing” and quarantine. For some inmates, this climate could turn a short prison term into a literal death sentence.

No defendant, whether convicted or facing trial, should suffer or die because of our public health system’s failure to adequately protect them from COVID-19 — or any disease — while in custody.

Fighting to make sure every defendant is kept safe while incarcerated is just one of many things criminal defense attorneys do for their clients.

A True-Life Example of Fighting to Protect a Life

Chapman Law Group’s criminal law practice was contacted recently by a client who had been convicted of health care fraud and was due to report for his sentence. 

The client, a 69-year-old in ill health, had co-owned a home health care company. He was indicted on multiple counts of Medicare fraud and ultimately pleaded guilty. His cooperating with the government resulted in the conviction of the co-defendant, who also owned the home health care venture.

In defending our client, we were able to substantially minimize his sentence for the health care fraud. Our argument was that his cooperation with the government should result in a reduced sentence, and that his limited culpability in the health care fraud was a basis for the reduced sentence.

As our client’s date for reporting to prison approached, he was understandably concerned that, given his health and the Coronavirus pandemic, he would not survive if he were to be incarcerated. Taking swift action, Chapman Law Group filed an emergency motion in federal court in Detroit before the Hon. Gershwin Drain.

The motion argued that our client was in ill health and at risk of severe disease or death if exposed to COVID-19. We also contended that a delay in reporting for custody was appropriate, given that jails are struggling with how to handle social distancing in overcrowded institutions.

Within 24 hours, the judge issued an order delaying the reporting date for our client until July, with the expectation that public health officials may be able to safely protect federal inmates by that date.

We Are Here to Fight for Your Health and Safety

If you or a loved one are facing a mandatory federal prison sentence, or if you are currently incarcerated as a federal inmate, and you are concerned about the Coronavirus, contact Chapman Law Group today.

Our criminal law attorneys will discuss your options, and we will fight for your health and safety in the criminal justice system.

Need an Attorney? Contact us now!

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Ronald W. Chapman II LL.M.
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Chairperson of White Collar Defense & Government Investigations

Michigan Office
1441 West Long Lake Rd., Ste. 310
Troy, MI 48098
Phone: (248) 644-6326

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