ATTORNEY GENERAL, DIRECTOR OF EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE U.S. ATTORNEYS AND U.S. ATTORNEY OF THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA RECOGNIZES ASSISTANT U.S. ATTORNEY KELLY UEBINGER
LAFAYETTE, La. – United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today that Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelly P. Uebinger was recognized by Attorney General Eric Holder and Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys (EOUSA) Director H. Marshall Jarrett, with a 2013 Director’s Award.
Each year the Executive Office of the United States Attorneys recognizes the exceptional work, dedication, and distinguished achievements of the men and women of the Department of Justice, the Offices of the United States Attorneys, and partners of the law enforcement community nationwide. The recipients provide support in the United States Attorneys’ Offices, investigate and prosecute the most heinous criminals, and represent the United States in significant criminal and civil cases. All of the recipients continue to make major contributions to the Offices of the United States Attorneys and to the mission of the Department of Justice. The Superior Performance award recognizes Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSAs) who have distinguished themselves through the outstanding performance of their duties in criminal matters. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Director’s Award.
H. Marshall Jarrett and U.S. Attorney Finley presented the award to AUSA Uebinger today at a gathering at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Lafayette. Because of sequestration, the awards presentation at the Justice Department in Washington, D.C., was canceled, but Jarrett was able to attend by video teleconference.
AUSA Kelly Uebinger received the Superior Performance as an Assistant U.S. Attorney award recognizing her exceptional work in the case of United States v. Dr. Mehmood M. Patel, a practicing cardiologist in the Lafayette area for more than 25 years.
AUSA Uebinger coordinated a joint investigation by the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, and the FBI which revealed that Dr. Patel had falsified patient symptoms in medical records, falsified findings on medical tests, and performed unnecessary coronary procedures such as deploying angioplasty balloons and stents, and used radiation in coronary arteries that had little or insignificant disease. In the first criminal case of its kind in the country, Dr. Patel was indicted on 94 counts of health care fraud. During the three-year period covered by the indictment, he billed Medicare and private insurance companies more than $3 million for unnecessary cardiology services, performing procedures at two area hospitals and eventually opening his own catheterization laboratory at his private office.
Uebinger presented the government’s case to a jury during a 3 ½ month trial. Through months of pre-trial preparation, and after more than 100 witnesses and nine expert witness presentations, AUSA Uebinger accurately and effectively presented complex testimony to the jury. The jury deliberated for six days and returned a guilty verdict on 51 counts of health care fraud. Dr. Patel was sentenced to 10 years in prison, received a $175,000 fine, and was ordered to pay $387,511 in restitution.
In a personalized letter to the recipient, Attorney General Holder told the awardee that the Director’s Award for Superior Performance as an Assistant U.S. Attorney was “a significant achievement that recognizes your exceptional efforts to promote the fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.”
Jarrett also explained that only 155 out of nearly 800 nominees from across the United Stated were selected, and only 29 received an Award for Superior Performance as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the criminal category.
“There is no doubt that Kelly’s performance was outstanding and moreover met these lofty requirements to earn her a Director’s Award,” Jarrett added.
“It is Kelly’s tireless work and dedication to justice on this case and throughout the years that garnered this award,” Finley stated. “Her efforts have righted wrongs in our community and continue to bear fruit. I am honored to present this award to such an outstanding member of our office.”
AUSA Kelly Uebinger joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office in August of 1992 and worked in the Shreveport office as an OCDETF AUSA until 1997. While working with the OCDETF program, she received a Director’s Award for her role in the prosecution of the Bottoms Boys, a notorious Shreveport street gang. In 1997, she transferred to the Lafayette office where she prosecutes a variety of complex white collar cases, to include health care fraud, investment fraud, embezzlement fraud and tax fraud. Ms. Uebinger currently serves as the Criminal Health Care Fraud Coordinator for the District. She received the Inspector General’s Integrity Award for the Patel prosecution.
Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, AUSA Uebinger clerked for Magistrate Judge John F. Simon in the Alexandria Division. Ms. Uebinger has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree and graduated with a double major in Finance and International Business from Loyola University in New Orleans in 1988, and was chosen as the Outstanding International Business Graduate. In 1991, she received her Juris Doctorate from Tulane Law School.
H. Marshall Jarrett was appointed Director for the Executive Office for United States Attorneys by Attorney General Holder on April 13, 2009. The Executive Office, created in 1953, provides general guidance and supervision to the 94 United States Attorneys’ Offices and its nearly 12 thousand employees.
From left, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Kelly Uebinger and U.S. Attorney, Stephanie A. Finley