May 28, 2023

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Bob Brockman’s mind sharp enough for tax trial, U.S. expert testifies in court

HOUSTON — A prominent forensic psychiatrist testified that billionaire Robert Brockman is feigning dementia as a “magic bullet” to avoid trial on charges of evading taxes on $2 billion in income.

Brockman, 80, is in cognitive decline but he’s exaggerating his impairment and his mind remains sharp enough to understand the charges against him, Park Dietz told U.S. District Judge George C. Hanks Jr. on Friday in Houston.

Hanks conducted a weeklong hearing to determine if Brockman is competent to stand trial.

Dietz, a California-based psychiatrist, said he was on a team of government medical experts who interviewed Brockman, including in May 2021, before making his assessment. Brockman talked in detail then about tax matters, the charges against him and how easy it would be to fabricate emails, Dietz said.

“I did not think it was even a close call whether he was competent to stand trial at that time,” Dietz said.

Brockman “has extreme motivation to avoid prosecution,” and claiming dementia “could be the magic bullet for escaping the consequences of any criminal conduct,” the psychiatrist said.

Dietz appeared on the fifth day of the competency hearing, which will continue next week. Once it’s concluded, Hanks is expected to rule about two months later.

Brockman’s attorneys say he has progressive dementia caused by Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease, and he’s unable to help his defense. Government experts and witnesses testified that Brockman, the former chief executive officer of Reynolds and Reynolds, which makes software for auto dealers, is exaggerating his symptoms.