An attorney for former CEO Robert T. Brockman told a federal judge at a hearing in Houston Wednesday morning that her client’s health has deteriorated significantly.
Brockman, who lives in Houston, was indicted in October 2020 on charges that he used numerous offshore accounts in places such as Bermuda, Nevis and Switzerland and a complex corporate ownership structure to hide $2 billion in income from the IRS. It is the largest-ever tax fraud case the government has pursued against an individual. Brockman is the former CEO of software company Reynolds & Reynolds.
He has tried to avoid trial in that criminal matter, with his attorneys arguing a diagnosis of dementia means he’s not fit to stand trial on the charges. U.S. District Judge George C. Hanks Jr. rejected that argument, finding Brockman competent to stand trial in a ruling issued May 23.
Trial is slated to begin in the criminal case on Feb. 27, 2023.
Wednesday’s comments about his deteriorating health came during a hearing in a separate but related case where Brockman has sued the government to challenge the IRS’s $1.4 billion jeopardy assessment against him.
Brockman’s attorney, Kathy Keneally of Jones Day, told Judge Hanks that she “unfortunately” needed to begin her time for oral arguments Wednesday with an update on Brockman’s condition.
She said Brockman is under hospice care and since the middle of last week has been receiving morphine treatments for pain.
“His body is no longer tolerating food or water,” she said, adding the likelihood of the criminal trial being seen through seems low.
Wednesday’s hearing lasted about an hour and Judge Hanks indicated he wouldn’t be ruling on the motion to abate the jeopardy assessment for at least two weeks, giving counsel for Brockman time to produce certain bank records to the court.
The government is represented by Herbert W. Linder, John Paul Nasta Jr., and Jonathan L. Blacker of the Department of Justice.
The cause number in Brockman’s jeopardy assessment challenge is 4:22-cv-00202. The cause number in the criminal tax fraud case is 4:21-cr-00009.