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United States v. Semrau

2010 WL 6845092

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United States v. Semrau

United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee

2010 WL 6845092

Facts

Lorne Semrau (defendant), a licensed psychologist, was indicted in a scheme to defraud various government health-care programs, including Medicare and Medicaid, by submitting false claims for payment. Semrau’s attorney contacted Steven Laken, the president and CEO of Cephos Corporation, a developer of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) for use in lie-detection testing. Semrau submitted to two fMRI tests, the results of which indicated that he had not acted with intent to defraud the government. Laken claimed that the technology was a completely reliable means of truth verification. The United States (plaintiff) moved to exclude Laken’s testimony under Federal Rule of Evidence 702 and the Daubert standard. Scientific literature on the matter suggested that fMRI technology was not yet ready for use as a means of lie detection or truth verification. Similarly, the error rate for fMRI-based lie detection was not known.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Pham, J.)

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