Billionaire Deemed Competent for Trial in Record Tax-Fraud Case
(Bloomberg) -- Three court-appointed experts determined that billionaire Robert Brockman is competent to stand trial in the largest tax-evasion case in U.S. history, despite his claims of dementia, prosecutors said in a court filing.
If the findings are confirmed by a judge in Houston, the 80-year-old former chief executive officer of software maker Reynolds & Reynolds would be tried on charges that he evaded taxes on $2 billion in income and laundered money. Brockman’s lawyers say dementia has left him unable to aid in his defense.
Prosecutors disclosed the findings of the experts in response to a Brockman filing, which sought an eight-week extension to an Aug. 6 deadline for defense lawyers to file expert reports. Brockman’s lawyers said a geriatric psychiatrist advised that they need time for more medical examinations relating to his competency because of his “recent hospitalizations and current health condition.”
Brockman’s June 30 filing redacted sections, including one that prosecutors revealed in their response the next day. It said the court should view the extension request with skepticism, citing their position: “The court designated three experts to evaluate the claim [of incompetency] and all three found him competent, with two of the three finding malingering.”
Attorneys for Brockman did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Prosecutors have said Brockman may be faking his dementia, noting that he remained the top executive at his multi-billion-dollar firm until November 2020.
In their July 1 filing, prosecutors objected to the position of Brockman’s lawyers that the government is “gratuitously publicizing information” about his medical records. Prosecutors said Brockman put his medical condition at issue by seeking a competency hearing and filing more than 100 pages of unredacted medical records.
“The fact that the experts believe that defendant is faking his alleged incompetency is highly relevant to whether the court should grant his late request to further delay this case with a continuance,” prosecutors wrote in the filing.
U.S. District Judge George C. Hanks Jr. has scheduled a competency hearing for September.
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