Benzeevi hearing delayed until Monday

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to clarify that the first day of proceedings in the case was Tuesday, not Monday.

Elliot Peters, an attorney for Dr. Benny Benzeevi, serves Kevin Northcraft with a subpoena in court. Tony Maldonado/Valley Voice

One subpoena — served once Tuesday, revised and re-served Wednesday — derailed hearings that would have revealed the Tulare County District Attorney’s rationale for seizing funds from Healthcare Conglomerate Associates CEO Dr. Benny Benzeevi.

Both sides will now meet next Monday in Judge John Bianco’s courtroom at 8:30am.

The subpoena was served upon Kevin Northcraft, the President of the Tulare Local Healthcare District board, by Elliot Peters, Benzeevi’s attorney in the proceeding.

He’s seeking Northcraft’s emails and text messages relating to Benzeevi or the hospital, dating back to 2016 — Northcraft has stated that his inbox currently has upwards of 14,000 emails.

Peters is specifically seeking messages relating to the finances of the hospital and “Northcraft’s longstanding plan to get rid of HCCA,” he told the court.

 

Tuesday’s Delay, Wednesday’s Proceedings

Kevin Northcraft and Elliot Peters discuss the parameters of a subpoena in court. Tony Maldonado/Valley Voice

News of the subpoena on Tuesday led the judge to continue proceedings to Wednesday, when Deputy District Attorney Trevor Holly submitted a formal objection to the subpoena.

Shortly after Bianco left the courtroom to consider Holly’s arguments, Peters served Northcraft with an updated subpoena.

Approximately an hour later, Bianco returned to deem Monday’s subpoena deficient — where Peters advised him of the revised subpoena, served during the court’s recess.

“We served, this morning, a revised subpoena with a declaration to address any potential argument,” Peters told the judge.

Bianco saw no issue with the updated subpoena or the timeframe in which it was served — and, after another recess, the Tulare Local Healthcare District’s attorney, Todd Wynkoop, called in to join the proceedings.

While Wynkoop isn’t representing Northcraft directly in the matter, Northcraft’s email contains significant information regarding the district’s board and business matters.

Judge John Bianco. Tony Maldonado/Valley Voice

Wynkoop told the court that either he or his associate, Ben Nicholson, would be willing to meet with Peters to “develop search terms and a process that would protect the district’s interest,” and come up with a timeframe to produce the messages.

Bianco told both sides that they had a short timeline if, instead of complying, Northcraft wished to fight the subpoena. A motion to quash from Northcraft’s side would be due by close of business on Thursday, and a response to the motion would be required from Peters’ side by Friday at noon.

 

Read more

For more information on the case, see the Voice’s prior reporting, or view the court docket at the Voice’s special page for the case.

 

In Depth: Tulare Regional Medical Center

19 thoughts on “Benzeevi hearing delayed until Monday

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  1. Why is Northcraft resisting the subpoena so passionately? He must be hiding something. When you have nothing to hide, there is no need to resist the subpoena. It is a well known fact to everyone that Northcraft and his supporters hate Benny/ HCCA with a vengeance. Let all the truth come out!

  2. Hate is such a wrong word. Maybe it was his incompetence as a CEO, his alienation of the medical staff, moving items to another Distict, running the place into the ground, public deceit at meetings related to financial status of the hospital and many other things.

    Benny was a corrupt pawn.

  3. Northcraft wasn’t the only person who wanted Benzeevi/HCCA out….almost everyone emailed, Twittered, posted comments about everything from A to Z regarding Benzeevi/HCCA…….lookout for future subpoena servers that may be coming after public and private messages relating to the finances of the hospital in the longstanding quest to get rid of HCCA. There are many who know as much if not more than Northcraft about the past and present financial woes of TDH/TRMC. One thing is for sure……Benzeevi is desperate and a desperate man will stop at nothing and do anything to survive.

  4. The failure of the hospital was caused by many, the entire accounting and billing department , the doctors and nurses who neglected harmed the patients, the lawyers , and the most importantly, the district board members. It’s like claiming all hate crime in this country on Trump. Northcraft needs to come clean on his involvement as well. Wake up people. If Benny/HCCA surrendered their stuffs, everyone who was involved financially should be subpoena. It was NOT a one man show.

    • YOU’RE RIGHT IT WAS NOT A ONE MAN SHOW. BENNY WAS THE PUPPET MAN AND KUMAR AND HIS BOARD HIS PUPPETS!!!

    • Northcraft stepped into the mess, he didn’t cause it. The damage was done severely prior to 2016. By 2016 they were desperate for another bond, not for a tower but to keep the District operating. Listen to old board meetings, board chair (not Northcraft) was pleading for it to pass because of the financial situation.

      Benny ran this into the ground but it was in process long before he was put into place. He does have blood on his hands for poorly run patient care issues, including his own lack of response that caused a death. DA won’t be able to do anything about that but hopeful the financial drain of a public entity he can do something about.

  5. It’s pretty clear already that the Tulare County DA’s office probably intends to bring charges in this matter at least related to the financial part. They wouldn’t be able to produce twenty witnesses to make their argument of why the accounts shouldn’t be unfrozen unless the investigation has already been in-depth and a lot of evidence has already been weighed including before a grand jury.

    It seems as if it’s only a matter of months now before Benzeevi and others from HCCA are charged.

    I’m curious how much his brother Iddo Benzeevi was involved in how the financial decisions were made and if any of the money was being used in Moreno Valley, where Benzeevi is essentially the kingpin of the city there.

  6. Dr. Benzeevi’s leadership cost the life of my neighbor’s daughter in surgery. The couldn’t continue the procedure because of budgetary issues. He deserves prison to say the least.

  7. It seems like subpoenas are a petty form of revenge because Benzeevi has finally been pinned for his illegal behaviors.

    Northcraft only came into office after the money problems started with HCCA which was already running the hospital under shady circumstances before.

  8. Just look at old newspaper articles where the transparent Northcraft was constantly quoted in making sure HHCA was kicked out. As time passed and he was woken, he and the board stopped being transparent and began to do exactly what HHCA requested. The new board not only filed for bankruptcy, they also gave away the hospital to Adventist something they said they would not do to the city of Tulare. Now they are getting g ready to unload hospital assets such as Evolutions which was what Northcraft was so outraged and is also what started all this mess.

    • Northcraft is a total hypocrite with a hidden agenda. He preached transparency, and yet he fought so hard to resist the subpoena. The hospital started its down hill fall when he joined the board. It is true that the hospital had a cash flow problem because of the conversion in billing issues end of 2016, but when he joined the board, the negativity got so bad that the hospital lost the support from the public and the doctors, causing the hospital to spiral down with less patients as well as less providers. His hands are not free of blood stains.

      • Get a clue and take the binders off. The census did nothing but drop under Benzeevi, starting 2014. The financials were a joke and books were being cooked. The place even went down further when they booted out the rightfully elected MEC, remember that case that know has national precedence with the ruling.

        Northcraft didn’t cause this, the damage was done long before he was elected. You won’t be able to create a narrative that doesn’t exist no matter how hard you try.

        • What proof do you have saying that “The census dropped under Benzeevi” and the “financials and books were cooked”? That’s serious crime that you’re accusing. I don’t think he is that powerful. He’s just a doctor not a politician. You and the rest of the ignorant Northcraft supporters are believing the false narrative. You said it so much that you truly believe it wholeheartedly. This entire idea of innocent before proven guilty is absurd. I would very much like to see who will be behind the bars. Doesn’t matter how much money you have, when you commit a crime, you should be indicted.

          • It is called reportable information, data provided at board meetings, financials. Reports of performance that didn’t exist and multiple deficiencies in the audits. Census numbers don’t lie.

          • Please provide all that you said above to the present board members and the DA so we can put this to rest. I suppose you have datas and information that the DA does not have. Perhaps you can help the DA and Northcraft out to help to “put Benny behind bars”. You seem to know more than the DA, considering a huge amount of our tax dollars is being bleed dry to hire forensic accountants to support your claims. The DA should hire you instead.

  9. Northcraft previously did what all of we opinionators do….he opined. However, at this time he is no longer an opiner and his role has changed. He now makes decisions on “behalf” of the hospital to help make it a whole and healthy enterprise. If he has erred (and I am not saying that he has thus far) he most certainly didn’t do so maliciously. Benzeevi and Kumar knowingly erred maliciously. All the previous board members who apparently took a vow of loyalty to Benzeevi and Kumar were even more malicious as they had the authority and power to do what was right and best for the hospital and the citizens of Tulare. Benzeei and Kumar set out to pull a con job utilizing the entire hospital and were able to do so with the approval and assistance of previous board members. My question to “J” and “Truth” is what is it that makes you a pro-Benzeevi/Kumar opinionator who posts comments on their behalf? Why are you assisting Benzeevi in dirtying up the playing field by trying to bury Northcraft? Are you simply ill informed or are you a playing member of the con?

    • Senior Citizen, I appreciate your question. I believe in our justice system. If Benny/Kumar did something apparently illegal, the DA would have already indicted them. There’s a continual narrative that they have committed crimes for years, and nothing surfaced. I don’t believe in opinions, I am only looking at facts. People said they stole money from the hospital without actual proofs. It has been nothing but rumors. I am looking forward to the real truth. And so far, Northcraft has not lived up to his words.

      • Let me also remind you, the hospitals had annual financial audits. The recent audit spearheaded by the new board also did not find anything so illegal that everyone is screaming about. The facts and false accusations are not matching up. I have lived long enough to question everything I hear and not just agree because my good friends think so. I need facts instead of opinions before I can believe that someone is guilty. Just because people said so, it isn’t so. And, I have no advantage to support either Benny/Kumar or Northcraft. So we will see what will come out of this hearing.

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