June 18, 2013
PDT Staff Writer
The trial of Dublin, Ohio attorney Steven Hillman has been continued. Hillman was to go on trial with other defendants in an illegal drug trial on June 24, in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati, but now that date has been changed. In the case titled U.S. vs. Bias et al, Hillman is charged with money laundering of at least $6,750,000.
At a hearing Monday afternoon in the courtroom of Judge Michael R. Barrett, Barrett granted the motion to appoint a new counsel for Hillman and continue the trial date. Barrett set the new trial date for July 15, 2013 at 2:30 p.m. Representing the United States Attorney’s Office were Tim Oakley and Emily Glatfelter, while James Johnson represented the defendant, and Robert Krapenc was appointed to represent Hillman.
The motion read in part, “Although this defendant is a licensed attorney, licensed to practice in the federal court system, he is not a criminal attorney and have virtually no experience in federal criminal practice. It was originally believed by this defendant that criminal practice must mimic civil practice, but nothing could be further from the truth.”
The motion went on to say, “My hesitancy to submit an affidavit to the U.S. Attorney has to do with my observation that he would only use this information to allege perjury and give this defendant only more charges to defend. I have already been advised that if my defense is successful, I will continue to be harassed until I am broken. I am a civil litigator and have always enjoyed an excellent reputation as such. These allegations against me are false but the mere existence of them has rendered me insolvent.”
The motion says Hillman was given an affidavit to complete regarding his financial status, and that his financial status is different now that he has been indicted from what it was when he filled out the affidavit prior to any legal proceedings because, “since being indicted the normal flow of clients has disappeared and the defendant’s current income has so diminished that he cannot pay his mortgage, car payments, office rent, utilities, and other financial obligations.
“It is highly embarrassing for this counsel after 40 years of practice to find himself virtually destitute,” Hillman said in his motion. “Never before has this defendant had to seek help and to be forced to recognize that I need help is not an easy thing to do.”
Hillman then asks the court to appoint Krapenc as his counsel, which was granted minutes after the hearing began.
Courtroom Deputy Barbara Crum said the hearing began at 12:08 p.m. and ended nine minutes later. Barrett ruled the case was to proceed to trial on July 15 and that there was to be a follow-up final pre-trial hearing set to be done by phone on June 20 at 2:30 p.m.
The trial centers around the case of Tracy Bias, 48, of West Portsmouth, who was in Judge Michael Barrett’s court two weeks ago for a change of plea hearing. The results of that hearing have apparently been sealed.
At one time, Bias operated two pain clinics, Southern Ohio Complete Pain Management and Portsmouth Medical Solutions in Portsmouth and Trinity Medical Care in Columbus. Hillman is known in this area as the attorney for several of the pain clinics, including a pain clinic in Wheelersburg.
The federal indictment said Bias and six doctors, conspired to write prescriptions for powerful pain medications outside the scope of legitimate medical practice, and that their conspiracy resulted in the death of at least one customer, and that Hillman laundered millions.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.