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August 29, 2010

"Prosecutors seek to revoke swindler's bond for lying about cancer"

The title of this post is the headline of this amusing (though still serious) story from last week's Chicago Tribune.  Here are the details:

The government is asking a federal judge to revoke the bond of David Hernandez, saying he attempted to delay his sentencing on a fraud conviction by fabricating a letter from a doctor that said he was starting treatment for cancer.

Hernandez, of Downers Grove, pleaded guilty in January to a Ponzi-style scheme that bilked more than 200 people of their savings.  The swindle allegedly garnered $6.3 million for Hernandez, who bankrolled a now-defunct Chicago sports-talk radio station and made personal purchases.

Federal prosecutors say the fake letter indicates Hernandez is a flight risk, citing a previous case against Hernandez in which he threatened to flee.  In addition to the letter, which indicated that he would undergo several months of cancer treatment, including radiation, chemotherapy and surgery, Hernandez failed to show up in court for a status hearing Aug. 19 after his wife claimed he had a stroke, according to court documents.

A pretrial services officer said they were able to verify that Hernandez was in the hospital but not that he had a stroke, court documents indicate.  Hernandez said test results were negative and no follow-up appointments were scheduled, according to the officer....

Umang Patel, a doctor at the Woodridge Clinic who had allegedly signed the letter saying Hernandez had cancer, told a federal agent his signature had been forged and that Hernandez did not have cancer.

August 29, 2010 at 09:48 PM | Permalink


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Normal people might regard faking a letter like this as pretty low down, and you'd have to sympathize with that. But normal people probably don't realize the extent to which this is just the logical extension of today's favorite defendant game, i.e., turn yourself into a "victim" and blame everyone else for lacking "compassion."

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