Civil suit complicates defense for Montrose doctor in federal probe
A civil lawsuit against a Montrose doctor who also is the subject of a criminal investigation has ground to a halt as the doctor faces two stark legal choices, attorneys said in recent court filings.
Dr. Sam Jahani can either assert his constitutional rights, refuse to answer questions and essentially give up efforts to fight a lawsuit from a former employee turned whistle-blower. Or he can answer questions in the civil case, although the answers might be used against him by federal law enforcement in its investigation.
The legal pickle has Jahani’s attorneys asking a federal judge for a stay — an unspecified delay — in the civil case against him. Jahani was named in a lawsuit filed earlier this year in U.S. District Court in Denver by a woman who once managed his clinic in Delta. The woman claims she was fired when she threatened to report fraudulent Medicare billing practices.
Jahani was to give a deposition in the civil case Nov. 11. That deposition had been scheduled before the Oct. 13 raid by federal agents on his clinics in Grand Junction, Delta and Montrose.
Federal agents removed “a large quantity of patient medical records and various other business documents” and have provided no timetable for their return, Jahani’s attorneys wrote.
“... There is a high likelihood of overlap between this civil proceeding and any potential criminal proceeding,” his lawyers said in a court filing.
Jim Colling, a Grand Junction lawyer who represents Jahani in the civil case, said the Nov. 11 deposition was postponed as they wait for the judge to rule on their request to stay the civil case.
“Nobody really knows what’s going on with the criminal investigation,” Colling said.
Colling said Jahani has hired another attorney for a possible criminal case, but Colling declined to identify that person.
Jahani has not been charged with wrongdoing in connection with the Oct. 13 raids.