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Last updated 7:17PM ET
April 22, 2021
Alabama
Alabama
Prosecution Rests in Bobo Medicaid Trial
(2007-08-03)
(APR - Alabama Public Radio ) - An FBI agent testified that Dr. Phillip Bobo gave false information to agents who paid an early morning visit to his home to question him about a Medicaid contract at the center of a fraud investigation.

Special Agent Vicki Davis, testifying Wednesday in Bobo's federal court trial on charges including fraud, witness tampering and lying to federal agents, said she went to his house at 6 a.m. in June 1999 with an investigator and assistant U.S. attorney. They waited outside, hoping to catch Bobo leaving for the gym, she said.

Davis said that at 7 a.m., they knocked on Bobo's door, sat down with him inside the house and were told by Bobo that he had never spoken with Capstone Medical Center administrator John Maxwell or a center doctor about bids for a Medicaid contract.

The government presented testimony earlier from Maxwell, including a taped conversation in which Bobo said he wanted a Medicaid maternity care contract for his business, Neighborhood Health Services, and said other money would be available for Capstone Medical if it left the contract for Bobo.

Davis said Bobo answered questions for about 20 minutes before refusing to have the conversation tape-recorded and saying he wanted to call his lawyer.

On cross-examination, defense attorney Bill Clark asked Davis if they went to Bobo's house early in the morning to make sure he did not have a lawyer present or someone who could verify what he said.

Davis said it is typical to try at first to interview someone away from his lawyer.

In other testimony Wednesday, Nick Bailey, an aide to then-Gov. Don Siegelman, said he took a private charter flight from Montgomery to Tuscaloosa in spring 1999 to show Bobo information on the bid process. He said he had received the information earlier in the day in a meeting with four other Siegelman staff members and advisers, and that he regarded it as confidential.

Bailey, a government witness who pleaded guilty to bribery and is to serve an 18-month sentence, did not indicate that Siegelman or other administration staff knew what he was doing.

Two lobbyists hired by Bobo, Amy Herring and Boolus Boohaker, also testified.

Herring said she spoke with Bobo within 24 hours after the investigation had begun, and he told her there was no reason to discuss her conversations with Bailey or Siegelman.

Boohaker, who was also in-house counsel to Neighborhood Health Services, said it was a good organization with solid contracts. Boohaker said he did not think anything done had been illegal.

Clark has argued that Bobo's group was best qualified to offer the maternity care and that prosecutors are trying to criminalize business negotiations for the contract. Prosecutors say Bobo, 63, tried to pay off his competitor with help from the Siegelman administration.

The prosecution has now rested its case. Bobo's defense attorneys are expected to begin calling witnesses when the trial resumes at 9 a-m today (Friday).
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