United States v. Bertram

259 F. Supp. 3d 638 (2017)

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United States v. Bertram

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky
259 F. Supp. 3d 638 (2017)

Facts

Drs. Robert Bertram, Bryan Wood, Brian Walters, and two others (defendants) were charged with healthcare fraud. At trial, the United States (plaintiff) presented evidence, including emails exchanged among the doctors and emails between the doctors and Kris Kaiser, an employee of the doctors’ laboratory. During Kaiser’s testimony at trial, the government attempted to introduce emails exchanged between Walters and Wood. The emails reflected Walters’s email address as [email protected], which referred to Walters’s first name and where he worked. The emails reflected Wood’s email address as [email protected], which referred to the fact that Wood was an emergency-medicine doctor and had 11 children. The emails from Wood were signed “bw” and were also auto-signed “Bryan S. Wood, MD.” The doctors objected to the government introducing the emails through Kaiser, claiming that Kaiser was not copied on the emails and could not authenticate them. The court overruled the objection and admitted the emails. Kaiser testified that Walters and Wood used the [email protected] and [email protected] email addresses in their previous communications with Kaiser. She also explained Walters’s and Wood’s email addresses to the jury and testified that she knew that Wood usually signed his emails with the lowercase initials “bw.” The court subsequently issued a written decision explaining its reasons for admitting the emails into evidence.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Van Tatenhove, J.)

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