United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER IMPOSING RESTITUTION AWARD
Paul S. Singh is a former medical doctor who was convicted of
fraud in relation to his scheme insertion of over 120
non-Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) approved
copper intrauterine devices (“IUDs”) while
reporting to his patients and their insurance companies that
the IUDs were FDA approved. On June 8, 2016 the United States
submitted briefing on restitution and evidence detailing the
victim statements that it received. On June 20, 2016, this
Court found that the United States had not shown, by a
preponderance of the evidence, the dollar value appropriate
to make restitution to the vast majority of the victims. Doc.
49. This Court ordered the United States to submit a
supplemental memorandum providing additional detail, a status
update informing the Court of its efforts in ascertaining an
appropriate restitution amount, or notice of its intent to
not to submit further briefing and evidence supporting an
award of restitution to the victims. The United States has
submitted additional briefing detailing its investigation
into the victims’ injuries and amending the total
amount sought in restitution based on two additional victim
impact statements received. Defendant has filed a response.
following reasons, a restitution award will be entered in the
total amount of $66, 799.92.
Mandatory Victims Restitution Act (“MVRA”)
requires restitution to identifiable victims of fraud who
have suffered a physical injury or pecuniary loss. 18 U.S.C.
§§ 3663A(a)(1), (c)(1)(A)-(B). The goal of
restitution is to make the victim whole. United States v.
Beecroft, __ F.3d __, 2016 WL 3240304, *3 (9th Cir. June
13, 2016). As a result, “any award is limited to the
victim’s actual losses.” Beecroft, 2016
WL 3240304 at *3 (citation and internal quotation marks
omitted). Specifically, the MVRA requires a defendant to pay
restitution to victims who suffered bodily injury in an
amount: “equal to the cost of necessary medical
… services and devices relating to physical,
psychiatric, and psychological care…, [and] reimburse
… victim[s] for the income lost by such victim as a
result of such offense.” 18 U.S.C. § 3663A(b)(2).
The MVRA creates an exhaustive list of categories of injury
for which district court may award restitution. United
States v. Hicks, 997 F.2d 594, 601 (9th Cir. 1993)
(“[A] court may only award restitution for the
categories enumerated in section 3663.”)
determinations regarding a restitution order must be
supported by a preponderance of the evidence. 18 U.S.C.
§ 3664(e); In re Her Majesty the Queen in Right of
Canada, 785 F.3d 1273, 1276 (9th Cir. 2015) (citation
omitted). “The burden of demonstrating the amount of
the loss sustained by … victim[s] as a result of the
offense shall be on the attorney for the Government.”
18 U.S.C. § 3664(e).
over 120 individual patient victims, approximately 20 are
detailed in the United States’ restitution memoranda.
Docs. 41 at 4-8, 51 at 6-13. Of those, the Unites States
requests that only the 13 who have submitted requests for
restitution in a specified amount be compensated. Doc. 51 at
6. Of those 13, only six have submitted evidence sufficient
to support an order of restitution. The amount sought in
restitution on behalf of those six patient victims is $7,
536.98. Doc. 51 at 13.
United States also seeks restitution on behalf of nine
insurance company victims. Each of those claims is detailed
and supported by documentation. The amount sought in
restitution for those nine insurance company victims is $59,
262.94. Doc. 51 at 13.
total amount of documented injury to the individual and
insurance company victims is $66, 799.92. See Doc.
51 at 13. Defendant Singh does not oppose the Court’s
imposition of a restitution award in that amount. Imposition
of the $66, 799.92 figure outlined by the United States in
Attachments A and B to its Amended Sentencing Memorandum,
see Doc. 51 at 13, is supported by the evidence and
the parties’ agreement.
the United States “requests that restitution be
awarded” to a third class of victims: those individual
patient victims who have submitted specific but undocumented
claims for restitution. Doc 51 at 5. The Court made clear in
its last order that the unsubstantiated claims were
insufficient to support a restitution award. Doc 49 at 4. The
United States informs the Court that prior to filing its
original restitution memorandum it had sent three rounds of
requests for Victim Impact Statements. Doc. 51 at 2-3. The
victims simply did not submit documentation for their
injuries. In response to the Court’s order for
additional briefing, the United States “sent a fourth
set of requests to victims for information about their
claimed losses. This fourth set included[-apparently for the
first time]-additional instructions to Dr. Singh’s
victims, detailing the type of documentation that would
support an award of restitution.” Doc. 51 at 3.
Apparently, only two victims responded to that additional
round of requests for information, neither of whom included
supporting documentation. Doc. 51 at 4.
that foundation in mind, the United States again requests
that the Court award restitution to the victims who have not
substantiated their losses. In the same breath, the United
States recognizes that “one-page, conclusory victim
declarations” are insufficient to establish a
restitution amount by a preponderance of the evidence. Doc.
51 at 4-5 (citing United States v. Waknine, 543 F.3d
546, 556 (9th Cir. 2008). As the Court previously noted, it
is the United States’ burden to “demonstrat[e]
the amount of loss sustained by [the] victims…”
by a preponderance of the evidence. Doc. 40 at 4 (citing 18
U.S.C. § 3664(e)). However, the United States cannot
force victims to submit evidence to substantiate their
losses. 18 U.S.C. § 3664(g)(1) (“No victim shall
be required to participate in any phase of a restitution
order.”) As a result, the United States appears to
believe that its investigation has obtained all of the
information that it can obtain. Despite the United States
additional effort to substantiate victim losses, the fruit of
its investigation remains insufficient to support the
requested victim restitution now set forth in Attachment C to
its amended sentencing memorandum. Because of that lack of
evidence to substantiate the injuries to the victims the
Court cannot award restitution to the patient victims named
in Attachment C to the United States’ Amended
Restitution Memorandum. Doc. 51 at 11-12.
the Court has considered Defendant’s ability to pay.
Based on that ability and the amount of restitution to be
imposed, the Court will order the restitution amount payable