Prosecutors will have to share information with the lawyer for a man accused of setting up a bogus chiropractic school to bilk foreign students out of thousands of dollars, a judge ruled yesterday.
Anne Arundel Circuit Judge Bruce C. Williams ordered Assistant State's Attorney Robert Bittman to answer a series of questions posed in a 10-page letter handwritten from the county jail by the defendant, Robert Franklin Miller of Severna Park.
Mr. Miller, of the 800 block of Dividing Road, is charged with conspiracy to commit fraud in connection with a school for chiropractors that he tried to establish with a San Diego-based partner.
Prosecutors say Mr. Miller, 40, who was known as "Dr. Bob" in the Annapolis area, along with Dr. Charles Park, established the Washington Chiropractic College. They rented a post office box in Rockville, hired an answering service in Washington and had business cards printed listing Mr. Miller as dean and Dr. Park as the president. Dr. Park is being sought by authorities.
Mr. Miller is not a licensed chiropractor in Maryland.
Police say a search of Mr. Miller's fourth-floor offices at West Garrett Place on West Street in Annapolis in June turned up 40 boxes of documents that outline the scheme.
Mr. Miller was planning to use a contact in Seoul, Korea, to find students who would pay him $5,000 in return for a chiropractic certificate.
The police search also turned up a letter Mr. Miller wrote to his Korean contact, Dr. Gi Young Kim, telling him, "at this point, I will issue Certifications for $5,000 to all the doctors you require certified," according to court papers.
Mr. Miller planned to obtain certification for the school from the U.S. Department of Education and had a list of certified chiropractors he was using to solicit members for his own "Board of Standards and Practices for the Certified Doctors of Chiropractic," according to court papers.
At yesterday's hearing, public defender Alan R. Friedman said that prosecutors had not provided information required by Maryland law about the basis for the conspiracy charges, which Mr. Miller needs to defend himself. "The whole purpose of this is to tell the defendant what is going on. This is not a game of hide and seek," Mr. Friedman said.
Judge Williams gave Mr. Bittman 10 days to turn over information detailing when police allege that the conspiracy was formed, when meetings between the conspirators took place and who else was part of the conspiracy. "I think there needs to be some fleshing out of these charges," the judge said.
The trial is tentatively scheduled for January.