Friday, February 12, 1999

Lawyer agrees to plead guilty




BY BEN L. KAUFMAN
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A semiretired Northern Kentucky lawyer agreed Thursday to plead guilty to mail fraud in a dispute over prorating payments to his client's physicians.

        Laurence W. Grause, in his late 50s, is to enter his plea before U.S. District Judge Herman J. Weber on Feb. 22.

        “The United States feels that Larry's statements overstepped the bounds for lawyers in the negotiations,” defense attorney Robert W. Carran said.

        A charge filed by U.S. Attorney Sharon Zealey said Mr. Grause and another lawyer, unnamed, won a $318,000 settlement for Randall T. Diem in a Cincinnati medical malpractice suit.

        Ms. Zealey said the lawyers shared $68,000, and $25,000 was allocated to pay Mr. Diem's medical bills.

        Rather than compensate Mr. Diem's medical-care providers fully, Ms. Zealey said, Mr. Grause sent them letters saying $8,915 was available and lawyers took no fees.

        Based on those assertions, Ms. Zealey said, Mr. Grause asked the providers to accept 19 percent of what they were owed.

        Mr. Grause agreed to plead guilty to mailing one of those physicians' letters rather than face a grand jury and the possibility of further charges.

        Defense attorney Carran said Mr. Diem initially allocated $25,000 to pay medical bills, then changed his mind and “authorized only the lower amount.”

        Mail fraud carries a maximum of five years and as little as probation, depending on the amount involved and whether the defendant has a criminal record.

        In the plea agreement negotiated by Mr. Carran and Assistant U.S. Attorney Ralph W. Kohnen, Mr. Grause agreed to aid the government's continuing investigation.

        If Mr. Grause keeps his word, Mr. Kohnen said, he would tell Judge Weber about Mr. Grause's “substantial assistance in the investigation or prosecution of others.”

        To date, no one else has been charged.

        Mr. Grause could not be reached for comment. A brother said Mr. Grause, who has a Covington address, now lives Florida.

       



Residents get pushed out by trash
Dreams of spring end after record 74`
Search for girl enters day 6
Strangers moved by girl's case
Officer recounts gun battle
Paroled killer is arrested
Costs for medicine fluctuate wildly
Know when illness must keep you at home
Love at first sight? You bet
Area Greeks cool to idea of coed siblinghoods
Guns verdict may set precedent
All a drunken mistake, defense lawyer says
Anonymous letters released
Board would ban felons from sports
Convicted rapist claims judge is biased
New 'Lighthouse' focuses on Tristate Christians
Public to get peek at light rail
Airport tower goes to kids
Bike trail to New Richmond previewed
Ex-police workers sue Sharonville
Group wants Taft to spare convict's life
Inmates to be arraigned via video
Kenton inmates sue over jail conditions
- Lawyer agrees to plead guilty
Mason development group rumors
Princeton schools get an earful
Regional planners to meet
Schooldays recorded for quick replay
Second building reflects success
State asked to decide boundary
Storm water issue engulfing N.Ky.
TRISTATE DIGEST
Waterline fight splits neighbors