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In SDNY Trial of Slip and Fall Fraud Doctor Bryan Duncan Sentencing Pushed to July 27

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon, Periscope

SDNY COURTHOUSE, June 28 – The U.S. government began a trial against three menon May 7 for staged slip and fall accidents and fraudulent lawsuits. But from its first day the trial raised issues about Bloods gang culture, the prosecutors' propensity to use conflicted criminals as witness to go after low hanging fruit, and the potential of having witnessed the 9/11/01 attacks to sway a jury.  

  And on May 16 after a three day break, Doctor Peter Kalkanis, more responsible for the scheme than the drivers, was being walked though his testimony by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexandra Rothman. He explained how the unneeded surgeries cost $18,000.

This money was lent by finance companies at terms he called predatory - but he too took his fee. Those getting the unneeded surgeries were paid $1000. Kalkanis estimated he made some $2 million from the scheme.

 On May 17 under cross examination by Duncan's lawyer Ikiesha T. Al-Shabazz, Kankanis starting naming finance companies: Fast Track, Golden Pair, Sunset Management Funding." Ms. Al-Shabazz asked him to distinguish patients, which Duncan was in 2012, from drivers which he became, from what Kalkanis called "runners." Kalkanis said that Raymond Christmas was a patient who was later paid $50 to $100 for referrals, on a matrix. Christmas referred his cases to Rasul a/k/a Reginald Dewitt, the government's witness. Kalkanis remembered the name Victor Faison and even how to spell it - but not if his case was fake or not. He offered to start naming "troublemakers." We'll have more on this, and on this: why is it the drivers being prosecuted? Inner City Press will continue to follow this trial.

 In open arguments before U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Sidney H. Stein the lawyer for defendant Robert Locust, Mitchell Dinnerstein, told the jury to expect to see on the stand a well dressed doctor who had led the scheme, Peter Kalkanis. (Judge Stein retorted that Dinnerstein himself was well dressed.)

  On May 9 there was a dapper gentleman out in the hall outside Courtroom 23A. Inner City Press was told he was none other than Kalkanis, but that he will only go on the stand late on Friday, with the jury then not sitting early next week by the judge's decision. Some joked, it is a try-out of Kalkanis as a witness? Will he appear dressed down in a sweat suit?

  At day's end Inner City Press spoke with defendant Locust, who shaking his head said the government had just made sh*t up about him, and tried to entrap him into committing some violence. A lawyer in the case told Inner City Press it was unclear if "Bloods witness" Reginald Dewitt is in fact in custody; two government agents appears to be assigned to him. More and more questions are arising.

   On May 7 the lawyer for incarcerated defendant Bryan Duncan, Ikeisha T. Al-Shabazz, argued that U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman's office is going after the "low hanging fruit."  She might have added, "using a Bloods member to do it."

 On May 8 Reginald Dewitt a/k/a Rasul was on the stand for cross examination. Dinnerstein asked Dewitt about the time he got maced by the mother of his 10 year old daughter, who he brought home late after drinking, he said, three beers. He later evaded a question by saying, I was drunk and fishing a lot.

  Dewitt proceeded to say he earned only $10,000 to $15,000 dollars from sixty fake slip and fall cases, and that he didn't remember agreeing in writing with the government in June 2017 to wear a wire. Judge Stein did not allow Dinnerstein to show Dewitt the 3500 material, saying Dewitt had already denied it. Falsely?

  Dinnerstein made a point of getting Dewitt to name the prosecutor and FBI agent he had met with -- "Nick and Rick" -- then emphasizing how close Dewitt had gotten with them. Judge Stein then made a point of telling "Mitch" to proceed. It's that kind of trial. And this kind: the government is seeking to use as Witness-9 a man who worked as a pimp including for a prostitute who was a minor." And the government wants to limit cross examination on this, as opposed by Ryan Rainford's lawyer Calvin H. Scholar. So the US is using a Bloods member and a pimp of a child to go after drivers for a slip and fall fraud scheme?

 Back on May 7, Berman's Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexandra Rothman objected to the phrase, or perhaps only the word "hanging." Judge Stein sustained the objection, saying "I don't even know what that means," and told Ms. Al-Shabazz to move on.    

Likewise when Dinnerstein asked of one of the lawyers involved in the slip and fall lawsuit, "Where's George?" Judge Stein stopped him and told the jury, "What law enforcement does is not of concern to this case." 

Later Judge Stein told Dinnerstein, with the jury out on a ten minute break, "You are not in the good graces of the court. I'm surprised at you." He told the group of seven lawyers that it had been a "very sloppy opening" and then asked why the witnesses mentioned in motions filed with him were not named.   

One of the witnesses whose WhatsApp messages with Duncan will be admitted into evidence has a pattern, Ms. Al-Shabazz argued, of replacing all c's with k's. She filed with Judge Stein a copy of a New York City Police Department "General Gang Rules" for the Bloods, which lists as Rule 26 "Always cross out your C's" - because Crips begins with C. Judge Stein said he will allow it.   

Another witness with mental issues relates those back to what he saw on September 11, 2001. The defense says this will sway the jury to the witness' side. On these and other questions, Judge Stein said the scope of cross examination will be decided as the trial goes forward.

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                        SDNY courthouse, Worth St entrance, (c) Inner
                        City Press

Judge Stein told the jury not to read press coverage about the case, while predicting there would be no press coverage of it. But why then are there three separate Assistant U.S. Attorneys on the case, two marshals shepherding Duncan in and out of the courtroom even during breaks, and rulings to keep out information about the lawyers and funding companies behind this slip and fall fraud scheme? Inner City Press said it would continue to cover this trial. More on Patreon, here.

Now in late June 2020, this: " United States v. Bryan Duncan l :18-CR-289 Dear Judge Stein: I have been retained to represent Bryan Duncan in the above-referenced matter. I write to respectfully request that the hearing currently scheduled for June 30, 2020 be continued to July 27, 2020 at 11 :00 a.m. It appears from the docket that this is the second request to continue this particular hearing, the first being filed on May 26, 2020 by Mr. Duncan's trial counsel. I make this request to allow me time to consult with my client and prepare for the hearing so that I can represent him properly. I have conferred with AUSA Nicholas Folly, who has no objection to this request. Should Your Honor require any additional information, I will be happy to provide the same. Thank you. USA Nicholas Folly VIA CM/ECF The sentencing is adjourned to July 27, 2020, at 11:00 am."

The case is U.S. v. Bryan Duncan, et al., 18-cr-00289 (Stein).


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