An Orlando doctor accused of covering up payments to a friend and employee who was receiving disability benefits has been acquitted of conspiring to defraud the government.
A federal court judge on Wednesday granted a motion to acquit Dr. Miguel Burgos and dismiss the charge against him. Burgos was indicted in June on the conspiracy charge.
Prosecutors had claimed that Burgos funneled more than $43,000 to Jose Figueroa, an employee and "personal friend," through Figueroa's wife, beginning in May 2003.
At the time, Figueroa was an office manager at Burgos' company, Integrated Health Centers of America Inc., prosecutors said. Authorities say he was also receiving disability.
Burgos' lawyer, former federal prosecutor Rick Jancha, at the time described Burgos as the victim of a disgruntled employee looking to shift blame from himself to the doctor.
In a statement after his client's acquittal, Jancha said the state had failed to prove its case.
"Dr. Burgos is extremely elated as are his family and many supporters," Jancha said Wednesday, calling Burgos a "cornerstone of the local Hispanic community."
"He is so gratified that he will be able to continue his work," Jancha said.
Source: Orlando Sentinel