Representative Criminal and Civil Cases
Description of Representative Criminal Cases Handled as Lead Counsel for Various Clients:
The United States of America v. Eleazar (Eli) Garcia, et al., Cause No. C-09-236 (SS) (4), in the United States District Court, Southern District of Texas, Corpus Christi Division. This case consisted of a twenty (20) count indictment charging four (4) defendants with conspiracy to defraud health care programs and substantive counts of health care fraud involving Medicare, Medicaid, and an insurance company health care benefit program. Result: After a two week trial in the United States District Court (February 2010), the case resulted in a not guilty on all counts as to the defendant represented by Paul Kratzig.
The United States v. Corpus Christi Day Cruise, Ltd., in the United States District Court, Southern District of Texas. This case involved representing the operator of an ocean-going vessel charged with obstruction of justice arising out of a U.S. Coast Guard inspection of the vessel for environmental violations. Result: According to separate plea agreements, the vessel's chief engineer, represented by other counsel, entered a plea of guilty to making false statements to federal agents (18 U.S.C. 1001), and the vessel operator, represented by Paul Kratzig, entered a plea to obstruction arising out of the conduct of Chief Engineer. The plea was entered under terms satisfactory to the vessel operator, and the General Counsel for the vessel operator is available for reference if desired.
Conspiracy, Mail Fraud, Wire Fraud, Money Laundering
The United States v. Isaac Anthony, in the United States District Court, Southern District of Texas. This case involved a 55 count indictment of a CPA alleged, among other things: mail fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to defraud the United States, money laundering, obstruction of justice, and theft from the United States in connection with the defense department contracts. Result: After a three (3) week jury trial before the Honorable Hayden W. Head, Jr., the defendant was found not guilty on all counts.
The United States of America vs. James T. Hickey and Bradford M. Condit, in the United States District Court, Southern District of Texas, Corpus Christi Division. This case was a high profile multi-count prosecution involving the county sheriff and his attorney alleging conspiracy (18 U.S.C. 371); allegations of theft relating to the handling of drug forfeiture funds (18 U.S.C. 666(1)A)). Result: After a three-week jury trial before the Honorable Hayden W. Head, Jr., both defendants were found not guilty on all counts.
Bribery and Theft By Government Official
The United States of America v. Ramon Navarro, Jr., in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Corpus Christi Division. This was a multi-count indictment with allegations of bribery by a government official connected with his approval of disaster relief payments. Result: After a one-week jury trial before the Honorable Janis Jack. The defendant was found not guilty on all counts.
The United States of America vs. Freddie Richard Martinez, Freddie Richard Martinez, Jr., Lee S. Martinez. in the United States District Court, Southern District of Texas, Corpus Christi Division. This case involved a multi-count indictment alleging conspiracy and violations of felony tax statutes. Result: case dismissed as to all counts against all defendants within a week of the scheduled trial date after Kratzig and counsel for other defendants made a calculated presentation to the prosecution of defects in the Government's case.
Conspiracy, Mail Fraud, Violations of Marine Mammal Protection Act, Endangered Species Act, and Lacey Act
The United States v. Jerome Knap and Halina Knap, in the United States District Court, Southern District of Texas. The defendants were each charged in a five (5) count indictment alleging felony conspiracy (18 U.S.C. 371), mail fraud (18 U.C. 1341), violations of Marine Mammal Protection Act, Endangered Species Act, and violations of the Lacey Act (16 U.S.C. 3372). Result: After a two to three-week trial, both clients (one represented by other counsel and one by Paul Kratzig) were acquitted on the felony counts but convicted on the misdemeanor statutes-a victory under the circumstances.
Thomas v. the State of Texas, 65 S.W.3 rd 38 (Tex. Crim. App. 2001): Paul Kratzig handled the appeal only in this case after the defendant had been convicted of felony securities fraud in district court, Dallas County. The case involved preparing appellate briefs and arguments in the Court of Appeals and before the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals after the State was granted its petition for discretionary review. After two reversals of conviction before the Dallas Court of Appeals and one remand by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the Court of Criminal Appeals finally ruled in favor of the defendant. It upheld the reversal of conviction-i.e., the defendant was effectively acquitted. The case resulted in an amendment to the Texas Securities Statutes.
Investigations where allegations of environmental criminal laws were made that did not result in an indictment.
Paul Kratzig has provided representation to owners and operators of ocean-going vessels and companies (both American and foreign-owned) and their officers connected with investigations by U.S. Coast Guard officials and other governmental agencies (e.g., the Texas General Land Office and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality).
These situations typically have included allegations by the Government officials of violations of various environmental statutes and regulations (e.g., the many statutes and related treaties designed to protect the marine environment). Such matters often include allegations of violations of the many record-keeping requirements and the related criminal penalties for properly maintaining such records.
It is also characteristic of such investigations that the Government agents/attorneys target employees to make false statements or obstruct justice. The investigations frequently have involved, among other things, the detention of vessels and crew (as material witnesses) and the requirement for criminal bonds to secure the release of vessels.
In most of these situations, the allegations were resolved without criminal charges being filed. Virtually all of these matters required the study and comprehension of mechanical and/or chemical configurations relating to the investigation's subject matter. When needed, Kratzig assembled a team comprised of other counsel and qualified technical experts to marshal the needed defenses and refute the allegations. Civil counsel for these clients is available for reference if desired.