I have an interesting legal situation in which I'm not at risk

I received a letter from USDOJ today, inviting me to attend and/or testify at a sentencing hearing. If I testify it will be in the form of a victim impact statement. An honest statement will say that this crime has no known impact on me or my family, because I’ve never heard of Robert Kolbusz, arrested for Medicare fraud in 2012 and convicted about a year later. Apparently my uncle Owen was one of his victims and when Owen died I administered his estate.

My first question is this – does the fact I got such a letter mean the government convicted the guy of a crime that is explicitly tied to my uncle’s name? Or might the government have a big list of people who they think maybe might be victims, and invited everyone for a big shaming party?

The reason I ask is that Uncle Owen died in 2008, which makes it unlikely though not impossible that he was a victim (personally) of the guy’s Medicare fraud.

I’m thinking of going because … why not? It would be interesting to attend a Federal sentencing hearing

There’s also a very very small chance that my uncle’s death date might affect Kolbusz’s chances if there is an appeal. For instance, if my uncle is noted in the court record as a victim at a time he was already dead. And I know the estate wasn’t defrauded because I know where the money went.

OTOH, maybe Kolbusz was convicted of just throwing my uncle’s name on some phony bills he ginned up and submitted to Medicare.

Anybody know if/where I can get a trial transcript or some kind of conviction summary to look at this a little more closely?

Which leads me to another question – if uncle Owen had been defrauded by someone, and then Owen died, could the estate pursue a civil suit against the perp?

  1. Most likely (based on percentages) the guy plead guilty. If so, the plea documents are probably available on PACER. Even if there was a trial, you can get a lot of information about the case from PACER.

  2. Yes probably. If within the Statute of limitations, and if the chance of recovering anything made it worth the effort. Court ordered restitution is an easier route.