A federal judge in Washington has denied a motion for a new trial in the case against Charles Coughlin, the U.S. naval officer found guilty of submitting misleading and false medical information and other fraudulent documents to a Sept. 11 victims’ fund.
“As the Court finds that no error occurred, it is not necessary to reach the question of whether the defendant’s rights were substantially affected," wrote U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth in an opinion issued Monday.
Coughlin requested a new trial on Sept. 26, arguing that his rights were “substantially affected” and citing double jeopardy, according his motion. This was after a jury found Coughlin guilty of filing a false, fictitious, and fraudulent claim and also of theft of government property.
Coughlin was originally charged in 2008 with five counts of mail fraud, one count of filing a false, fictitious, and fraudulent claim and one count of theft of government property. Coughlin was acquitted of three counts of mail fraud, but the jury was deadlocked with the remaining four charges.
According to the indictment, Coughlin worked at the Pentagon when the hijacked plane crashed into the building on Sept. 11. He was rewarded $331,034 from the Victim Compensation Fund after rejecting an earlier offer of $60,000.
One of Coughlin's attorneys, Amy Askew with Kramon & Graham in Baltimore, declined to immediately comment.