Thursday, June 3, 2010 | 3:06 p.m.
Las Vegas attorney Noel Gage was sentenced Thursday to three years of probation following his guilty plea to felony obstruction of justice charges, the U.S. Attorney of the District of Nevada Daniel Bogden announced.
In addition to probation, U.S. District Judge Justin Quackenbush sentenced Gage to 90 days of home confinement and ordered him to pay a $25,000 fine. He must also return $702,600 in attorney’s fees to former client Melodie Simon, the U.S. attorney’s office said.
The 72-year-old lawyer pleaded guilty in February to one count of obstruction of justice.
Gage and medical consultant Howard Awand were originally charged with conspiracy and fraud in 2007 and accused of being part of a network of Las Vegas physicians and lawyers who allegedly defrauded clients by protecting doctors from malpractice lawsuits and sharing kickbacks from legal settlements.
Gage was also charged with one count of obstruction of justice for allegedly concealing documents from the grand jury investigating the case.
According to Gage's plea agreement, the government maintained it would prove at trial that a federal grand jury issued a subpoena to Gage’s law firm in September 2006 for documents relating to any agreements or fee arrangements between Gage and Awand in connection with a particular case. The court found that Gage intentionally obstructed justice by not disclosing documents called for by the subpoena, the U.S. attorney’s office said.
Consistent with the plea agreement, the court dismissed the conspiracy and fraud counts against Gage.
In March 2009, Dr. Mark Kabins was also charged with fraud and conspiracy for his role in the scheme. He was sentenced in January to five years of probation, six months of home confinement, 250 hours of community service and was ordered to pay $3.5 million in restitution.
Awand pleaded guilty in March to misprision of a felony, and is scheduled for sentencing on June 25.