Former Tulare hospital attorney indicted by grand jury

Dr. Benny Benzeevi, left, and Bruce Greene, right, follow along as Kevin Smith, of EideBailley, presents audit findings to the Tulare Local Healthcare District Board of Directors in 2017. Tony Maldonado/Valley Voice

A grand jury has indicted attorney Bruce Greene on multiple felony and misdemeanor counts related to actions he allegedly took while representing the Tulare Local Healthcare District and Healthcare Conglomerate Associates, the district’s former hospital management partner.

The grand jury handed down its indictment with eleven felony counts and five misdemeanor counts on April 30. Greene was arraigned yesterday in the Tulare County Superior Court via Zoom, and pled not guilty to all of the alleged crimes.

The alleged crimes span the gamut from conflicts of interest and embezzlement — related to funds used in a lawsuit by Benzeevi against a doctor, and to loans made by HCCA with Tulare’s money to the Southern Inyo Healthcare District, another HCCA partner at the time — to grand theft, related to a $3m leaseback transaction in which HCCA sold some Tulare hospital equipment.

In 2020, Greene was charged by prosecutors with the same crimes alongside HCCA CEO Benny Benzeevi and former HCCA CFO Alan Germany. Under both the old charges and the new indictment, he could face up to ten years of prison time if found guilty of all crimes, though Proposition 57 could significantly reduce any potential sentence.

The trio’s cases have moved glacially through the legal system, but Greene was the last man standing this year after he declined plea offers by the Tulare County District Attorney’s office. Germany pled no contest in 2023, and Benzeevi accepted a no contest plea deal in February 2024.

The Tulare County District Attorney’s office declined to comment on why Greene’s case was only now brought to a grand jury, though one reason could be to speed the case up: a preliminary hearing, the required first step in a case in which prosecutors bring charges against someone, hasn’t been held in Greene’s case since it was lodged in 2020. An indictment brought down by a grand jury does not require a preliminary hearing.

The move to indict him through a grand jury process effectively closes the old case and creates a new one.

Greene and the firm he worked for, BakerHostetler, settled a civil lawsuit related to Greene’s conduct in Tulare for $3m in early 2023, but legal problems outside of the criminal case remain on the horizon: a California State Bar case against him is active, but was placed on hold pending a resolution of the criminal case.

“We thank the members of the criminal grand jury for their time and deliberations in considering the many complexities of this case,” Tulare County District Attorney Tim Ward said in a press release. “Prosecutors are prepared and looking forward to advancing this matter to the finality of a trial.”

According to the indictment, grand jury members heard from 40 witnesses.

Judge Michael Sheltzer, who oversaw the prior criminal cases, will preside over this case as well. A status review hearing is scheduled for August 2, 2024, and a jury trial is tentatively scheduled for February 24, 2025, according to the Tulare County Superior Court website. Courtrooms have not been assigned for either event.

In Depth: Tulare Regional Medical Center

One thought on “Former Tulare hospital attorney indicted by grand jury

(Commenter ID is a unique per-article, per-person commenter identifier. If multiple names have the same Commenter ID, it is likely they are the same person. For more information, click here.)

  1. I’m sure yhe DA will allow a plea deal like he did with the doctor so justice will unlikely be served.

Use your voice

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *