criminal conduct. On Thursday, December 7, 1995, Counts Six, Seven, and Nine of the superseding indictment were dismissed pursuant to the Government's oral motion. In the remaining counts, Defendant is charged as follows: (1) In Count I, Defendant is charged with violating 18 U.S.C. § 286 for conspiring to defraud the United States by aiding the obtaining of the payment of fraudulent tax refunds; (2) in Count II, Defendant is charged with violating 18 U.S.C. §§ 287, 2, for presenting and causing to be presented a false tax refund claim to the IRS with Lawrence Madoch and Larry Buckingham; (3) in Counts III, IV, and V, Defendant is charged with violating 18 U.S.C. §§ 152, 2, regarding false statements in a bankruptcy proceeding; and (4) in Count VIII, Defendant is charged with violating 18 U.S.C. §§ 152, 2 for fraudulently concealing property from her creditors and the bankruptcy trustee in a personal bankruptcy proceeding.
In May 1995, more than one year after Defendant was indicted, Defendant sought a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation. That evaluation was conducted at the Isaac Ray Center, by psychiatrist Linda Gruenberg, D.O. ("Gruenberg"). Gruenberg tendered a report to the Court dated July 10, 1995, in which she sought "to assess any psychological factors that may impact upon [Defendant's] alleged criminal activity and her state of mind at the time of the offense." On November 22, 1995, the Government filed a motion in limine to bar Defendant from arguing to the jury that Defendant's alleged criminal conduct is excused by virtue of the affirmative defense of coercion. At a pre-trial conference on November 28, 1995, Defense counsel revealed that Defendant did not contemplate using the alleged abuse evidence in connection with a defense of coercion or duress, but, instead, intended to use the evidence in connection with the issue of specific intent. In light of this new information, the Government agreed to file a supplemental brief regarding its motion in limine to bar evidence.
On the morning of December 4, 1985, the parties appeared for trial, but the trial was rescheduled on the motion of Defendant because of the critical medical condition of one of Defendant's family members. Also, on December 4, 1995, a letter was faxed to the Court which revealed that Gruenberg had conducted a second examination of Defendant on November 29 and 30, 1995, without notice to the Court or the Government. The report dated December 4, 1995 stated that a new examination was conducted to adduce Defendant's "mental state around the time of the alleged offenses and whether [Defendant's] mental state around the time of the alleged offenses would have impacted upon her ability to formulate the necessary specific intent for these alleged offenses."
The Court found that the scope of the proposed evidence was not clearly articulated in the reports dated July 10, 1995 and December 4, 1995 from Gruenberg. Accordingly, on January 12, 1996, the Court ordered Defendant to submit a written proffer of the trial testimony of Gruenberg so that the Court could determine what testimony could properly be elicited from Gruenberg at trial. An eight page written proffer, dated February 29, 1996, was submitted by Defendant to the Court on March 1, 1996.
In the proffer, Gruenberg first provides information on her background, including her qualifications to testify as an expert in the case. (Proffer, pp. 1-3). Gruenberg testifies that she examined Defendant on four different dates, and that she took a history on Defendant. Id. at 3. Gruenberg states that the history revealed that Defendant "was raised in an abusive environment, which included sexual and emotional abuse, and continued a pattern of abusive relationships in her marriages." Id. at 4.
Gruenberg next states that she performed a psychiatric evaluation of Defendant, and, in doing so, she used the diagnostic and statistical criteria and guidelines outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition ("DSM-IV"). Id. Gruenberg asserts in a cursory fashion the information upon which her evaluation was based, including the psychological testing conducted by Orest Wasyliw, Ph.D. ("Wasyliw"). Id. at 4-5. Gruenberg lists the five tests conducted by Wasyliw, without articulating Defendant's score on each test or the meaning of that score. Id. at 5. Gruenberg asserts that her diagnosis on July 10, 1995 was "Axis I: Major Depressive Disorder; Dysthymic Disorder, Physical Abuse of Adult" and "Axis II: Personality Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified with Dependent and Avoidant Traits," and that these diagnostic categories are taken from DSM-IV. Id. at 6-7. Gruenberg then defines the characteristics of Major Depressive Disorder, Chronic Dysthymic Disorder, and Physical Abuse of Adult. Id. As to the Dysthymic Disorder, Gruenberg asserts that the disorder manifested itself in Defendant's case as follows:
[Defendant] has been in abusive situations throughout her life. The chronic sexual abuse of her step-father, the emotional abuse of her family of origin, and the physical abuse of her husband caused her to feel despondent, hopeless, and worthless, and left her with generally low capabilities and chronically depressed. Through years of being demoralized and being constantly told she was 'stupid' and incapable of independent thoughts or decisions, her chronic depressive feelings were re-enforced which are characteristics of a Dysthymic Disorder.
Id. at 6. Gruenberg also defines "Personality Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified with Dependent and Avoidant Traits," and then she describes what the symptoms of this disorder were in Defendant's case. Id. at 7.
Next, Gruenberg proffers that she did a follow-up evaluation of Defendant on November 29 and 30, 1995 to "evaluate [Defendant's] mental state around the time of the offense and whether [her] mental condition around the time of the offense would have affected her ability to formulate the necessary specific intent for the alleged offenses." Id. at 8. Following this assertion, Gruenberg does not proffer any specific information concerning whether Defendant suffered form the previously described mental disorders at the time of the offenses. She only states that at the evaluation, Defendant's husband was incarcerated, and so Defendant talked more freely about their relationship. Gruenberg proffers that "this further information amplified how it would be possible for her to have the lack of knowledge of her husband's purpose for demands upon her behavior which subsequently led to the crimes she is charged with." Id.
On April 9, 1996, the Government responded to the Defendant's proffer with a Motion in Limine and with the proffer of its own expert witness. The Government argues that this Court should preclude Defendant from introducing at trial the testimony of Gruenberg because (1) Gruenberg does not diagnose Defendant as suffering a severe mental disease or defect at the time of the alleged offenses sufficient to diminish her capacity to behave in a knowing and purposeful fashion, (2) her testimony does not offer specialized knowledge about an issue that is outside the ability of the ordinary juror, and (3) the proffer of the Government's expert witness, Daniel A. Martell, Ph.D. ("Martell"), makes manifest that Defendant did not suffer a severe mental disease or defect at the time of the alleged offenses sufficient to diminish her capacity to behave in a knowing and purposeful fashion. On April 26, 1996, Defendant responded to the Government's Motion, and on May 3, 1996, the Government replied.
Because the Government had understood that all of the testimony that Defendant sought to admit at trial from Dr. Gruenberg would be included in the proffer dated March 1, 1996, the Government states that it did not address the reports dated July 10, 1995 and December 4, 1995 in its Motion. In her Memorandum in Response to the Government's Motion, Defendant disregarded the Court's purpose in requiring Gruenberg's proffer by quoting large portions of Gruenberg's earlier reports and stating that the reports were incorporated by reference into the proffer. Defendant quoted the following excerpts from Gruenberg's reports:
[Defendant] suffered cognitive difficulties (poor concept formation and poor ability to understand or judge situations) and emotionally driven decision making. Her impaired mental condition impacted upon and influenced her thought patterns and behaviors during the period of time preceding, during and after the alleged offenses. Her impaired mental condition impacted upon and influenced her thought patterns and behaviors during the period of time preceding, during and after the alleged offenses. Her impaired mental condition which included a Dysthymic Disorder (chronic depressive disorder) and a severe personality disorder was compounded by an abusive environment which resulted in impaired insight, poor judgment, and distortions in the motives of others. Due to [Defendant's] personality traits, which adaptively cause her to choose to know, she became unknowingly involved in acts which were planned by her husband (or others.)