Skip to comments.Dentist awaiting trial claims government conspiracy
Posted on 09/10/2001 9:44:43 PM PDT by the808bass
(KSDK) -- It's been four years since Doctor Tom Sell, a Town and Country Dentist, was arrested for Medicaid Fraud. Since then, no trial, only long periods of solitary confinement at the U.S. Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, Missouri.
Sell was a successful dentist for more than 20 years. But in May of 1997, his world came crashing down outside his Town and Country office.
FBI agents forcibly arrested Sell in the parking lot and records show he had to be treated at St. John's Mercy Medical Center before being locked up.
Sell has been indicted by a Grand Jury for Medicaid Fraud. The Government claims he was charging to fix damaged teeth rather than pulling them. "While it may be true it would have saved money by pulling the teeth," said Sell, "in the long run, it would have cost the government more money to replace the teeth instead of saving the teeth."
Sell says, the charges are a cover for the real reason the Federal Government wants him off the streets. "I know that they cremated alive, innocent children, at that Mt. Carmel, 19th April, 1993."
Sell is referring to the Branch Davidian Compound in Waco, Texas that burned to the ground during an FBI raid. Sell watched the tragedy unfold on closed circuit television at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, where he was called to active duty as a Major in the Army reserves.
Sell says his commanding officer told him to report to the Medical Center's burn unit the morning of the raid. "He advised me it was a high security alert and that under no circumstance was I to travel in uniform and to use a different air carrier than normal."
Sell's conclusion - he would use his background in forensic dentistry to identify possible casualties from the raid.
Government officials dispute the story, and government doctors say he's delusional. "I'm not delusional, and I'm certainly not incompetent to stand trial."
Assistant US Attorney Howard Markus disagrees, saying, "He has been examined by two sets of experts. The government expert and his own experts and they all conclude, they have a remarkably similar conclusion that he is not competent to proceed."
What the two sides don't agree on, is how Sell should be treated. The government wants to forcibly medicate Sell and two Federal judges have agreed. But Sell and his attorneys say the drugs are dangerous and have appealed the rulings to the 8th Circuit Court of appeals in St. Louis.
"Why should I take the drugs and risk going into a comma or death or totally incapacitated for the rest of my life."
Sell's attorneys argue he should be treated by therapy in a nurturing environment. They also maintain, that being locked up in solitary confinement for long periods of time is aggravating his condition. A claim backed up by Dr. Gary Vickar, who has no ties to the case. "If one is prone to develop a delusion disorder, certain extreme stresses, one of which could be isolation, one of which could be depression from food or shelter could all lead to this disorder."
Sell says, if it's a choice between prison and the drugs, he'll stay where he is. "My own conscious comes first so that I can not plead guilty to crimes I did not commit or take drugs that I know would damage by brain. Just because I think it would get me out of this dilemma quicker."
A Federal Appeals Court Judge could decide this month whether Sell will be forcibly medicated. A grand jury has also indicted sell for conspiracy to commit murder, relating to a witness and FBI agent involved in the case. Sell maintains, it's part of the government's conspiracy.
Yeah, I used to be a big law and order guy. Now, just not really sure.
As a side note, the prison where he's serving time is no Club Fed. Lots and lots o' bad dudes. I'm not sure many others are there for Medicaid fraud. I'm sure that's related to the alleged plot against a Feeb.
Medicaid fraud for fixing teeth rather than pulling them
Court orders to force the taking of psychotropic drugs
Claims insider knowledge of USG forewarning of likely/possible burn victims at Waco
Now charged with conspiracy to commit murder (an afterthought?)
For a fraud charge?
Where's Babs Walters? I want to hear this guy interviewed.
The feds say he was illegally "fixing" teeth rather than simply pulling them? So... it's official Medicaid policy to pull teeth but not to repair them? And it's illegal - and deserving of solitary confinment in a federal prison - if the doctor chooses, say, to repair them? Is that it?
And the doctor says he examined the torched remains of the Davidians and that they were incinerated by the same government that's now put him in solitary confinement for illegally *fixing* teeth?
What's next? Will the government decide that Medicaid doctors should be put in solitary confinement for fixing broken bones or repairing fractured skulls? Maybe they'll issue a pogrom against Medicaid doctors who scrub up! Maybe they'll throw them into gulags so the Soviet doctors can work their magic.
I don't think the web site it too high tech so a streaming bit with him is probably out of the question, but he was on camera tonight on the evening news. Didn't come off as a nut job. It wasn't given a lot of time or priority, but it was interesting.
Expanding its investigation, the FBI secretly taped six hours of conversations between the Sells and the other couple that winter. A St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter who later listened to those tapes described them as "incriminating." The Sells were indicted for murder conspiracy in April 1998, and Mary Sell later pled guilty and implicated her husband in the alleged plot.
More than two years after his indictment, however, Tom Sell has yet to come to trial. During most of that time he has been held in a federal prison hospital in Springfield, Mo. The U.S. attorney in St. Louis says that psychiatric examinations of the dentist show that he is mentally ill and therefore unfit to stand trial.
But Dr. Sell, who insists he is both innocent and sane, has refused medication with anti-psychotic drugs that the government believes would make him fit for trial. During this lengthy legal standoff, Dr. Sell and his supporters have accused prison guards of "torturing" him with beatings, scalding water and long periods of shackling.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
DENTIST ACCUSED OF MURDER PLOT WANTS TRIAL AFTER 3 YEARS IN JAIL;
BUT PROSECUTORS ARGUE
HE IS TOO MENTALLY ILL
A Town and Country dentist has been behind bars for three years -- one in solitary confinement -- even though he has never been convicted of a crime.
The dentist, Dr. Charles "Tom" Sell, stands accused of Medicaid fraud and plotting to kill an FBI agent. Sell maintains his innocence and is pleading for his day in court.
"I'm not guilty," Sell said from the St. Clair County Jail in Belleville last week in his first interview since his arrest in May 1997. He's there awaiting another mental evaluation to determine whether he's fit to stand trial -- the issue that has continually delayed his trial. "I want a trial," he said. "They don't want to give me a trial, so there is no way I can prove I'm not guilty, get out of prison and restore my dignity."
Sell says that being in jail has cost him his dental practice, $ 250,000 in equipment, his $ 250,000 Creve Coeur home and $ 200,000 in retirement funds.
He has spent most of his three years at the federal prison hospital in Springfield, Mo., where he will return to solitary confinement after he leaves the Belleville jail. The Springfield facility has had its own share of controversy. A "60 Minutes" report nine years ago alleged that the hospital's treatment of inmates caused "unnecessary death and disfigurement."
Federal authorities moved Sell to Springfield after they tagged him mentally ill. That status has kept Sell from being tried.
The government's contention that Sell suffers from a "delusional disorder" stems in large part from Sell telling a prison psychiatrist that Sell was a major in the Army Reserve and was called to active duty on April 19, 1993 - the day of the deadly fire at the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas.
But a review of military records shows that Sell was activated as a major that day.
Over time, Sell's family and friends began to seek news media attention. By Dec. 27, Sell's commitment had expired, yet Sell was held anyway. On Jan. 31, Sell's lawyers filed papers seeking to have Sell released from jail. There have been no court hearings since then.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
On Sept. 22 at Spirit of St. Louis Airport in Chesterfield, then-Sen. John Ashcroft met for 10 minutes with two local supporters of Dr. Charles "Tom" Sell, a dentist from Creve Coeur who has been in federal custody for three years.
| What's fired up Ashcroft's critics are the ties of Sell and many of his supporters to the Council of Conservative Citizens, a Bridgeton-based group that long has been accused of advocating white rights. The group denies being racist.
A commentator in the latest issue of the New York Observer points out the council link as he questions why Ashcroft would be interested in Sell's case. In recent days, the council has signed a nationally distributed petition that supports Ashcroft's nomination.
Gordon Baum, the council's chief executive, and others say Ashcroft was unaware of the council ties because it has nothing to do with their effort to free Sell. "It's irrelevant," Baum said. "I don't think he even knows about our group."
Local pro-Sell activist Tom Bugel and Mark Sell, Sell's brother, had sought the meeting with Ashcroft at the airport. They sought the senator's help in obtaining videotapes that they believe exist and that they say document Sell's allegations of mistreatment while in custody at a federal prison hospital in Springfield, Mo.
Tucker, who was speaking on behalf of Ashcroft, said Thursday: "The meeting lasted approximately 10 minutes. The people he met with were insisting that he take action. He had his staff look into it. No action was taken."
If he's locked up he's not a threat. So why does the government need to medicate him into silence?
Answer - TO SHUT HIM UP!
Some of them can appear perfectly "normal" and spin elaborate and grandiose stories of being FBI ops or DEA plants, complete with factual but very obscure information that you know to be true. The more intelligent of these people can spin very believable stories based on fact and research they've gleaned from their voracious reading habits, usually from the internet.
But with all that said, this next one got my attention...
Not for commercial use. Solely to be used for the educational purposes of research and open discussion.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
COURT RULES THAT U.S. MAY DRUG IMPRISONED DENTIST AGAINST HIS WILL; COUNTY MAN, HELD FOR NEARLY 4 YEARS, HAS YET TO BE TRIED
A federal judge has ruled that the government can forcibly drug Dr. Charles "Tom" Sell so that he's fit to stand trial for charges of fraud and conspiracy to commit murder.
| "If I have to publicly denounce any of that, I will," Sell said. "I just want to be tried."
Sell has been held at the U.S. Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, Mo., since 1999, when his bond was revoked after he allegedly threatened a potential witness who worked in his dental office by pointing his finger at her. He had been free for several months after posting bond. Prior to bond, Sell was held in county jails around the area on the charges.
Sell also faces the conspiracy to commit murder charge on allegations that he and his wife, Mary, tried to hire a hit man to kill a former dental office employee, Jane Alderman, and FBI Special Agent Anthony Box.
Mary Sell pleaded guilty to conspiracy on Sept. 24, 1998, and in January last year was sentenced to two years in prison. [see correction below; this is wrong]
Documents obtained by the Post-Dispatch show that the FBI placed Alderman in Sell's office. Alderman cooperated with authorities in hopes the government would go easier on her for allegedly lying at a workers' compensation hearing and allegedly obtaining controlled drugs.
Alderman said that Sell threatened her while he was out on bond by pointing his finger at her. Sell says he never saw Alderman while he was out on bond.
Federal prosecutors Howard Marcus and Dorothy McMurty were unavailable for comment. They have argued that Sell is incompetent to stand trial and that he is dangerous.
Lawless, Sell's public defender, said that it was usually the defense lawyers who try to argue incompetence. His argument is that the government has no right to forcibly medicate Sell.
"It's highly unusual" that the government would continue delays by arguing for incompetency, Lawless said. "Usually, they are the ones fighting that."
CORRECTION DATE: April 30, 2001
This story about Dr. Charles "Tom" Sell incorrectly characterized the disposition of the criminal case against his wife, Mary. In a plea bargain, Mary Sell pleaded guilty to 10 counts of mail fraud, and all other counts against her were dropped.
All very good questions that need answering.
I'm out of time right now. Later, gator!
May I ask how you get someone who is not now able to stand trial, ready to stand trial?
Does this mean the facility at Springfield is able to cure folks of their mental illness even if it takes a lifetime?
Well, Duh, of course they don't specify the reason for his activation. But, his Army records appear to support his 'delusional' story.