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United States v. Miller

decided: August 28, 1986.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
RALPH MILLER, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern division. No. 84 CR 728--William T. Hart, Judge.

Author: Flaum

Before CUMMINGS, Chief Judge, FLAUM, and EASTERBROOK, Circuit Judges.

FLAUM, Circuit Judge.

The defendant Ralph Miller was a chiropractor, and owner of a clinic in Chicago, who was convicted of devising a scheme to defraud several insurance companies by submitting false and inflated medical reports and bills for people treated at the clinic. There are two questions on appeal. The first is whether the trial court erred in denying the defendant's motion to suppress a group of business and medical records the government seized from the clinic. The second question on appeal concerns the prosecution's allegedly unfair and improper cross-examination of a defense witness. We find no merit in either of the defendant's allegations and thus affirm the rulings of the district court.

I.

The only facts relevant to this appeal concern the business records of the Associated Physicians Clinic, which was owned solely by the defendant Ralph Miller, and the cross-examination of the witnesses at Miller's criminal trial.

At various times the Associated Physicians Clinic had offices at three different locations in Chicago. While Miller kept business records at all three locations, the records were frequently moved between offices. Those records consisted of patient medical history and treatment cards, medical bills, medical reports prepared from the treatment cards, patient sign-in log books, X-rays, and bank records (including employee payroll receipts, check stubs, and deposit slips). The district court found that all of the employees of the clinic had access to all of these records. None of the records were maintained in private or restricted areas.

The district court made the following findings of fact concerning Julio Rodriguez's use of those business records:

5. Julio Rodriguez was employed by Miller to work at the 63rd Street Clinic from 1972 through 1980. Rodriguez worked as an X-ray technician but also performed the following duties with Miller's knowledge and consent:

Shared supervision of the patient sign-in log book;

Prepared and stamped the medical cards;

Performed examinations, blood tests, X-rays, EKG's, pregnancy tests;

Deposited and cashed checks at the bank;

Moved records from 505 North LaSalle Street to ...


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