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Federal Jailhouse Snitch Testifies Against Former Prison Doctor at Bond Hearing

by David Reutter            

Federal prosecutors used the testimony of a jailhouse snitch at a bond hearing to argue a doctor charged with tax evasion and fraud should be denied bond because he is too dangerous to release.

Dr. Erik Von Kiel was arrested in February 2004. In July, he had a hearing to request release on a $250,000 bond. Federal prosecutors presented the testimony of his cellmate, Matthew Althouse, to contest the release.

Althouse is serving a seven-year federal sentence for a 2009 bank robbery. He became Von Kiel’s cellmate after Von Kiel’s arrest. The charges contend Von Kiel claimed he was living as a minister under a vow of poverty to avoid paying $257,000 in taxes between 2008 and 2012 and $161,000 in student loans. Von Kiel’s paycheck from Primecare, a prison medical contractor, was deposited into an account controlled by Utah-based religious medical society International Academy of Lymphology. The academy would then transfer an identical amount into an account held by Von Kiel. A grand jury also charged Von Kiel with lying on application to obtain financial aide for his four oldest children and trying to claim social security disabilities benefits due to suffering from PTSD. While the charges show Von Kiel is nothing other than a financial delinquent, Althouse painted him as a violent man at the bond hearing.

He said Von Kiel described a design for a homemade silencer for a Yugoslavian-made rifle fitted with a military-grade scope. The gun, which federal authorities seized from a gun shop after Von Keil’s arrest, could be silenced with a potato and an empty 2-liter Pepsi bottle, Althouse testified Von Kiel stated.

He also threatened to harm Chief Judge Petrese B. Tucker, who has ordered him to pay his student loans. “He said he had something for her. He said he was only going to take one shot,” testified Althouse. “I take that to mean he’s going to take a shot at her.”

It was also testified by Althouse that Von Kiel offered him between $5,000 and $10,000 to scare a doctor who testified before the grand jury that he falsely stated in letters that Von Kiel suffered from PTSD to allow Von Kiel to collect social security benefits. “He went with the plan to go scare the guy, and if that didn’t work, I would go back and take it a little further,” testified Althouse.

Von Kiel’s attorney, Michael Enge, questioned the motives of Althouse, a four-time felon who is seeking a reduction of his bank robbery sentence.

Source: The Morning Call