The attorney representing former Rancho Mirage plastic surgeon David Morrow says if a petition expected to be filed with the Israeli Minister of Justice is denied, he will consider taking the case to the Israel Supreme Court.
Reached overseas on Friday, Nick Kaufman added that his client, “helped many. Judge Josephine Stanton (Morrow’s sentencing judge in the U.S.), we believe, was influenced in sentencing by wholly irrelevant factors concerning the alleged and totally denied harm caused to patients. The only crime imputed to him has been one of medical insurance fraud and NOT gross medical negligence.”
The statement followed an appearance by Morrow in Jerusalem on Thursday, in which an Israeli judge considered, then denied the extradition request made by Kaufman on his behalf.
Kaufman said “David Morrow will be petitioning the Israeli Minister of Justice and seeking to persuade him to condition his return to the U.S. on resentencing.”
Kaufman specializes in criminal Law, regulatory law and arbitration before International Tribunals. He served as a prosecutor in the Office of the District Attorney in Israel, and now serves as defense counsel, representing clients such as Saadi Gadhafi, son of former Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi.
“We feel that the maximum penalty imposed on him was legally erroneous since it punished him for fleeing – a charge for which he remains innocent until proved guilty,” continued Kaufman. “Furthermore, the maximum sentence was unduly cruel given various mitigating factors which Judge Josephine Stanton failed to take into account.”
Kaufman added, “David Morrow is facing a contempt charge for allegedly fleeing the US. Judge Stanton sentenced him as if he we were convicted of this offense. Since he is innocent until proved guilty he will reserve his defense and any comment on this for trial – hopefully before a different judge.”
Morrow was sentenced to 20 years in prison in absentia, after he accepted a plea deal in federal court to charges including fraud.
According to federal prosecutors Morrow bilked insurance companies out of tens of millions of dollars by charging them for tummy tucks and other cosmetic surgery by calling them “medically necessary procedures.”
Weeks before his scheduled sentencing in 2017, authorities were alerted that Morrow and his wife Linda had moved out of his multimillion dollar home in Beverly Hills, and was no longer responsive to requests of the court.
In June of 2019, the Morrows were apprehended at their home in Ashkelon, Israel.
“Ms. Morrow entered Israel with a forged (Mexican) passport and remained in Israel illegally. Subsequently, she was deported back to the U.S.” said Efrat Oran, spokeswoman for the Jerusalem District.