A mistrial has been declared in the case of Dr. Demian Naguib, a doctor formerly practicing in Port Huron, Michigan. Dr. Naguib’s trial began on Monday, in the Ingham County Circuit Court. But by mid morning the very next day, the presiding judge declared a mistrial, citing juror misconduct as the reason.
Naguib’s offices were housed in the Neurology Clinic of Michigan, which was raided by authorities after an investigation revealed some potentially disturbing facts. According to information provided by the Attorney General’s Office, the investigation was a joint effort conducted by the Attorney General, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.
The indictment reveals that Naguib is accused of billing Medicaid, Medicare, and Blue Cross Blue Shield for a number of costly procedures that were either not done, or were completely unnecessary. The reason cited for these actions, according to the indictment, was for financial gain. As a result, the doctor is now facing charges for allegedly Conducting a Criminal Enterprise, nine counts of Medicaid Fraud, and nine counts of Health Care Fraud, all of which are felonies under Michigan law. In addition to these felony charges, Naguib was sanctioned by Michigan’s Licensing and Regulatory Affairs officials.
Very little information is available about what happened that led to suspicions of juror misconduct in this case. However, for those of you who may not be sure of what juror (or jury) misconduct even means, let’s break it down: Juror misconduct is when the law of the court is violated by one or more members of the jury while a court case is in progress, or after a verdict has been reached. Misconduct can refer to several different things, including:
- Communication with outside non-jurors during deliberations
- One or more jury members attempting to intimidate others into voting a certain way
- Jurors discussing the case outside of the jury room
- Jurors bringing in outside information not given to them at the trial
- Jurors listening, reading or viewing news reports about the case
We don’t know what the individual or individuals on the jury in this case are accused of doing that was in violation of acceptable court procedure, but as you can see, the duties of jurors are taken very seriously indeed. There are many things that could count as jury misconduct, and any one of them could get the entire case thrown out.
It is important to mention here that jury misconduct is not the same thing as jury tampering. Juror misconduct refers to unacceptable actions made by members of the jury itself, while jury tampering refers to someone on the outside attempting to influence the jury in their decisionmaking process. It can also refer to retaliation against jurors for performing their civic duty is prohibited by law. Jury tampering is illegal in Michigan and can result in serious penalties.
Join us next time, as we take a look at the issue of juror misconduct, and discuss whether or not this serious issue happens more often that we realize during trials. Until then, if you or a loved one are accused of a crime in Michigan, whether it’s Jury Tampering, or something unrelated like drugs, sexual assault or weapons, we are here to help. The skilled defense attorneys at The Kronzek Firm have decades of experience defending the people of Michigan. We can help you too!