The US District Judge in the fraud case against Mutual Benefits Corp. owner Joel Steinger, who ran what has been characterised as an $800m dollar Ponzi scheme, out of the world's largest life settlement firm, has ruled that the defendant is competent to stand trial in both his 2008 fraud case, and the 2012 insurance fraud case.
The Court had experts examine Steinger, who had complained that his mental competency was impaired, due to the massive amount of medications he is taking for physical pain he is suffering, prescribed for his existing back condition, which requires major surgery. Though Steinger asserted that he cannot concentrate for more than a couple of minutes at a time, and cannot assist his attorneys in his defence, the Court noted that he was able to participate in a two-hour hearing on his competency.
The Court concluded that there was no evidence that physical pain, mental defect, or his medication schedule have rendered him incompetent, and none was introduced by Steinger's attorneys. The case shall now proceed to trial.