GULF COAST HEALTH CARE FRAUD LAW ENFORCEMENT ACTION RESULTS IN CHARGES AGAINST 33 INDIVIDUALS
“Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division announced today an expansive health care fraud enforcement operation across the Gulf Coast, involving charges against a total of 11 individuals across four federal districts for their alleged involvement in various schemes to defraud Medicare, Medicaid and TRICARE and to obtain oxycodone and other controlled substances by fraud. The conduct allegedly resulted in more than $515 million in fraudulent billings. Those charged included physicians, licensed social workers, as well as other medical and business professionals. In addition, in the state of Louisiana, 22 defendants, including 19 certified mental and home health professionals, have been charged with defrauding Medicaid out of approximately $300,000. These cases were investigated by Louisiana’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU).
Today’s enforcement actions were led and coordinated by the Health Care Fraud Unit of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section in conjunction with its Medicare Fraud Strike Force (MFSF) partners, a partnership among the Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney’s Offices, the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and U.S. Health and Human Services-Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG). In addition, the operation includes the participation of IRS-Criminal Investigations (IRS-CI), Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics (MBN) and various other federal law enforcement agencies and state MFCUs.” read here
CHOCTAW MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO SEXUAL ABUSE OF A MINOR
“Jackson, Miss. – Daniel S. Dixon Jr. Tubby, 39, a member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, pled guilty Thursday before Chief United States District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III to sexual abuse of a minor. The crime occurred within the Pearl River Community of the Choctaw Indian reservation.
Judge Jordan will sentence Tubby on December 13, 2019, at 9:00 a.m. in Jackson. He faces a maximum penalty of 15 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.” read here
TWO KAZAKH CYBER CRIMINALS PLEAD GUILTY IN GLOBAL DIGITAL ADVERTISING FRAUD INVOLVING TENS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN LOSSES
“Sergey Ovsyannikov and Yevgeniy Timchenko, citizens of the Republic of Kazakhstan, pleaded guilty yesterday and today, respectively, in federal court in Brooklyn to conspiring to commit wire fraud and related charges, for their involvement in a widespread digital advertising fraud. Ovsyannikov was arrested in October 2018 in Malaysia and extradited to the United States in March 2019. Timchenko was arrested in November 2018 in Estonia and extradited to the United States in February 2019. Both plea proceedings took place before United States Magistrate Judge Steven M. Gold. When sentenced, Ovsyannikov faces up to 42 years in prison, and Timchenko faces up to 40 years in prison.
Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), announced the guilty pleas.” read here
JUDGE DELGADO HEADS TO PRISON
“HOUSTON – A Texas state district judge has been ordered to federal prison following his multiple convictions of conspiracy, bribery and obstructing justice, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick and Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
A federal jury in Houston convicted Rodolfo “Rudy” Delgado, 66, of Edinburg, July 11, following a six-day trial of one count of conspiracy, three counts of federal program bribery, three counts of travel act bribery and one count of obstruction of justice.” read here
UNITED STATES FILES FALSE CLAIMS ACT COMPLAINT AGAINST PARTICIPANTS IN HOSPITAL DEVELOPMENT PROJECT FOR IMPROPERLY OBTAINING GOVERNMENT-INSURED LOAN AND MISUSING LOAN FUNDS
“The United States has filed a complaint under the False Claims Act and the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 against Lakeway Regional Medical Center, LLC (LRMC); Surgical Development Partners, LLC (SDP); G. Edward Alexander; Frank Sossi; and John Prater for improperly obtaining a loan insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and for impermissibly distributing project funds relating to the development of Lakeway Regional Medical Center in Lakeway, Texas, the Department of Justice announced.
“Participants in FHA programs undertake important commitments, and they must honor them and be truthful in their representations,” said Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division. “This lawsuit demonstrates the Department’s commitment to holding accountable those who violate the requirements of this important program.” read here
KIDNAPPER MICHAEL WEBB CONVICTED OF ABDUCTING 8-YEAR OLD GIRL
“Kidnapper Michael Webb has been found guilty of abducting an 8-year-old girl and holding her captive for eight hours, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox.
Following a two-day trial, a federal jury in Fort Worth, Texas convicted Webb, 51, of kidnapping after less than 10 minutes of deliberation.
“Today’s jury verdict represents closure and consequence — closure for the family and consequence for Michael Webb,” said U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox. “Early on, I pledged to the family that my office would seek justice on behalf of this victim, this family, and this community. As a prosecutor and a mother, it was important for me to take part in presenting this case to a jury. We’re glad this jury delivered swift justice.” read here
MAINE WOMAN SENTENCED TO PRISON AND HOME CONFINEMENT FOR PROMOTING PROSTITUTION
“Portland, Maine: United States Attorney Halsey B. Frank announced that Lourdes Suero, 46, of Biddeford, Maine, was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Torresen to five months in prison and three years of supervised release for using a facility of interstate commerce to promote prostitution. After completing her prison sentence, Suero must serve up to five months of home confinement as a condition of supervised release. She pleaded guilty on March 18, 2019.
Court records reveal that on April 22, 2017, Suero went to a motel in Scarborough, Maine, where she met up with her adult son, Isaac Suero, and the female victim, who was 15 years old. The defendant booked a room at the motel for the evening of April 22, exchanged telephone numbers with the victim, and left the victim in the rented motel room. The defendant and the victim later texted about the victim’s prostitution activities, with the defendant agreeing to drive the victim to meet with a client. The victim engaged in multiple commercial sex acts while she was staying in the room the defendant rented, and ultimately left the motel on her own the following day. The defendant’s son, Isaac Suero, was sentenced in a related case in June to nine years in prison for conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a minor. Records in that case show that in the days before Isaac Suero and the female victim met with the defendant in Scarborough, Isaac Suero was trafficking the victim in the Bangor area.” read here
MEXICAN MAN SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR ILLEGALLY REENTERING THE UNITED STATES AFTER BEING DEPORTED ELEVEN TIMES
“A man who illegally returned to the United States after being deported was sentenced today to five months in federal prison.
Gabriel Hernandez-Martinez, age 39, a citizen of Mexico illegally present in the United States received the prison term after a June 21, 2019, guilty plea to one count of illegal reentry into the United States.” read here
GREENWICH MAN SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR OPERATING INVESTMENT FRAUD SCHEME
“John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that LEONID POLLAK, also known as “Lenny,” 59, of Greenwich, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Janet C. Hall in New Haven to 12 months and one day of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for operating an investment fraud scheme.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Pollak owned a Norwalk-based company that organized trade shows and expositions throughout the U.S. In mid-2013, Pollak induced an acquaintance to invest money in a new business venture that was supposed to organize similar expositions in Ukraine. Instead of using the money to build the new business, Pollak spent at least $185,000 on unrelated business and personal expenses, including his home mortgage loan and private school tuition.” read here
FORMER CEO AGREES TO PLEAD GUILTY TO EMBEZZLEMENT AND TAX CRIMES
“BOSTON – The former CEO and co-founder of a Boston-based mobile phone music streaming service, has agreed to plead guilty in connection with a scheme to embezzle hundreds of thousands of dollars from his employer and to file false tax returns.
David John, 56, who recently changed his name from David John Fondots, was charged by information with one count of wire fraud and one count of filing false tax returns. A plea hearing has not yet been scheduled. In June 2019, the defendant was arrested and charged by criminal complaint under the name David Fondots. According to court records, in June 2018, the government learned that the defendant changed his name from David John Fondots to David John but did not inform Pretrial Services.” read here
LONG-TERM FBI INVESTIGATION SHUTTERS LARGE AKRON TO WEST VIRGINIA DRUG TRAFFICKING ORGANIZATION
“HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – United States Attorney Mike Stuart announced multiple indictments today charging numerous individuals with participating in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and heroin which operated between Akron, Ohio and the Southern District of West Virginia. The indictments and subsequent arrests resulted from an extensive, joint investigation spearheaded by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Other agencies which participated and assisted in the investigation include the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Ona Violent Crime and Drug Task Force West, the Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team (MDENT), the West Virginia State Police, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Task Force, the Beckley/Raleigh County Drug and Violent Crime Unit, the United States Marshals Service, the Cabell County Sheriff’s Department, the Charleston Police Department, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department, the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the Akron, Ohio Police Department, and the Brecksville, Ohio Police Department. Also included in the charges is information uncovered in a separate investigation conducted by the Huntington Police Department. The investigation resulted in two indictments charging a total of 21 individuals for their roles in distributing large quantities of methamphetamine and heroin, primarily in Cabell, Putnam, and Kanawha Counties in the Southern District of West Virginia.” read here
MEMBERS OF NATIONWIDE CHILD EXPLOITATION ENTERPRISE SENTENCED TO PRISON
“PHILADELPHIA – First Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced today that the following sentences were handed down this week for defendants’ participation in a nationwide child exploitation enterprise and child pornography conspiracy occurring over the online communications service Discord: (a) Andrew Dowdle, 47, of Oswego, New York, was sentenced to 16 years’ imprisonment and 15 years of supervised release; (b) Carl Masters, 44, of Lawrence, Kansas, was sentenced to 27 years’ imprisonment and a lifetime of supervised release; and (c) Ric Crossfield, Jr., 24, of Queens, New York, was sentenced to 14 years’ imprisonment and 40 years of supervised release. All three defendants will be required to register as sex offenders upon their release from incarceration. All sentences were imposed by United States District Judge Harvey Bartle III.” read here
32-YEAR-OLD NORTH CAROLINA RESIDENT PLEADS GUILTY TO SEX TRAFFICKING OF A MINOR
“On September 24, 2019, Willie Dishon Matthew Obadiah, 32, of Charlotte, North Carolina, pled guilty to sex trafficking of a minor, before U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom in Miami.
Ariana Fajardo Orshan, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), Miami Field Office, and Juan J. Perez, Director, Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD), made the announcement.” read here
TWO CHARGED IN CONNECTION TO FATAL AND NON-FATAL OVERDOSES LAST WEEKEND
“PITTSBURGH – Two individuals have been charged in separate, but related, indictments relating to the September 22-23, 2019 overdose deaths of three people and non-fatal overdoses of five people that occurred in Pittsburgh and West Mifflin, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
“These cases are stark reminders that although we have made significant progress, we continue to fight an epidemic,” said U.S. Attorney Brady. “I commend the tireless efforts of our law enforcement partners who within 24 hours of the first overdose arrested the distributor of these deadly narcotics and took five kilograms of it off the streets.” read here
MEN FROM LIMA AND WILLARD SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CRIMES
“Two men from Northwest Ohio were sentenced to prison for crimes related to child pornography.
Dustin Davis, 42, of Lima, was sentenced to nine years in prison. He previously pleaded guilty to one count of receipt and distribution of child pornography.” read here
EX-‘ARSENIO HALL SHOWS’ MUSICAL DIRECTOR PLEADS GUILTY TO WIRE FRAUD FOR EMBEZZLING $750,000 FROM A CHARITY CONCERT FOR HOMELESS KIDS
“LOS ANGELES – A professional drummer who has served as a musical director for the United Nations and “The Arsenio Hall Show” television program pleaded guilty today to one count of wire fraud for embezzling $750,000 from a charity concert for homeless children and using the stolen money to pay alimony to his ex-wife and buy cars for his mother and son.
Robin DiMaggio, 48, of Woodland Hills, entered his plea before United States District Judge Dolly M. Gee, who scheduled a March 4, 2020 sentencing hearing.” read here
DRUG TRAFFICKING INDICTMENTS BRING MULTIPLE FEDERAL CHARGES FOR NARCOTICS, FIREARMS
“AUGUSTA, GA: Eight people have been charged in a 13-count federal indictment in a drug trafficking conspiracy that brought large amounts of narcotics from Atlanta for distribution in the Augusta area.
The indictments stem from a two-year joint investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and Richmond County Sheriff’s Office into cocaine deliveries from the Atlanta area into Augusta, said Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. In addition to other charges, all eight defendants – including an Augusta man and his two sons – are charged with Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute and to Distribute Controlled Substances.” read here
TRIDENT USA HEALTH SERVICES LLC TO PAY $8.5 MILLION TO RESOLVE FALSE CLAIMS ACT LIABILITY FOR ALLEGED KICKBACK SCHEME
“PHILADELPHIA, PA – First Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced today an $8.5 million civil settlement to resolve two False Claims Act cases, United States et al. ex rel. Ravi Srivastava v. Trident USA Health Services LLC, Symphony Diagnostic Services No. 1, Inc. dba MobilexUSA, Civil Action No. 16-2956 (E.D. Pa.), and United States ex rel. Peter Goldman v. Symphony Diagnostic Services No. 1, LLC, d/b/a MobilexUSA, Civil Action No. 19-cv-01603 (E.D. Pa.). The lawsuits were filed by whistleblowers Ravi Srivastava and Peter Goldman, respectively, on behalf of the United States. The defendant is MobilexUSA, also known as Trident USA Health Services, LLC (Trident).” read here
ICE DEPORTATION OFFICER ARRESTED ON FEDERAL ‘STRUCTURING’ CHARGES ALLEGING HE HID ASSETS FROM HIS THEN-WIFE IN DIVORCE CASE
“LOS ANGELES – A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement deportation officer was arrested today on federal “structuring” charges alleging that he made cash withdrawals and deposits totaling nearly $100,000 designed to circumvent federal reporting requirements and also to conceal assets from his then-wife, who was divorcing him.
Vardan Keshishyan, 47, of Glendale, has been charged in a federal grand jury indictment with two felony counts of structuring of currency transactions to evade reporting requirements. He is expected to appear in United States District Court in downtown Los Angeles to be arraigned on the charges later today.” read here
CRANSTON MAN SENTENCED TO FEDERAL PRISON ON ILLICIT SEX CHARGE
“PROVIDENCE – A Cranston man who befriended a 15-year-old girl from Maine on the Internet who he intended to bring to Rhode Island to engage with in illicit sexual activity was sentenced today to 24 months in federal prison.
Raymond Gliottone, 36, was arrested by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents on November 16, 2018, days before he was scheduled to travel to Maine to pick-up the 15-year-old girl and drive her to his home in Rhode Island, where he intended to engage in prohibited sexual activity. Gliottone and the 15-year-old had been communicating online for several weeks prior to the date of Gliottone’s arrest.” read here
BATON ROUGH MAN PLEADS GUILTY IN FEDERAL COURT IN CONNECTION WITH MEXICAN-BASED DRUG TRAFFICKING ORGANIZATION
“United States Attorney Brandon J. Fremin announced that Jaime Gabriel Grimaldi Pena, a.k.a. “Eric” and “Gabriel,” age 44, of Baton Rouge, pled guilty before U.S. District Judge John W. deGravelles to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, and heroin. As a result of his guilty plea, Pena faces a significant term of imprisonment, fines, and forfeiture of the property involved or used in, or derived from, his illegal activity.
Pena was charged in connection with an extensive federal, state, and local investigation by the Middle District’s Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (“OCDETF”) aimed at a Mexican-based Drug Trafficking Organization (“DTO”) responsible for the distribution of cocaine and heroin from Mexico to Baton Rouge, Louisiana and other locations throughout the United States.” read here
PHARMACY OWNERS AGREE TO PAY $1.1 MILLION AND ABIDE BY 10-YEAR FEDERAL HEALTHCARE EXCLUSION TO RESOLVE FALSE CLAIMS ACT LIABILITY
“PHILADELPHIA, PA – United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced that the owners of E-Z Pharmacy in Philadelphia have agreed to pay $1,100,000 to resolve liability under the False Claims Act.
Dhanyabapa LLC, doing business as E-Z Pharmacy, and Shardaben Patel will jointly pay $1,100,000 to the federal government to resolve allegations that they violated the False Claims Act by billing Medicare for prescription medications that were not actually dispensed during the period from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2016. These medications include Advair Diskus, Humalog, Novolog, Renvela, and Lidoderm. Dhanyaba LLC and Shardaben Patel also agreed to a ten-year federal healthcare exclusion, which will prohibit them from receiving payments from any federally funded health care insurer such as Medicare for the next decade.” read here
LYNN MAN SENTENCED FOR MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR LOTTERY TICKET SCAM
“BOSTON – A Lynn man was sentenced on Monday, Sept. 23, 2019, for tax fraud charges in connection with a “ten-percenting” scheme, in which he purchased millions of dollars’ worth of winning Massachusetts state lottery tickets at a discount in order to help the ticket holders avoid taxes on the winnings.
Clarance Jones, 80, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV to two months in prison and two years of supervised release with the first six months to be served in home confinement. In May 2019, Jones pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit tax fraud and filing false tax returns.” read here
MEAT PACKING PLANT EXECS PLEADS GUILTY TO SELLING $1 MILLION IN ADULTERATED GROUND BEEF TO FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS
“Two meat packing plant executives today pleaded guilty to their role in a scheme to sell more than $1 million of adulterated meat — including whole cow hearts labeled as “ground beef” — to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox.
West Texas Provisions, Inc. president Jeffery Neal Smith, 49, and operations manager Derrick Martinez, 43, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States before Magistrate Judge Lee Ann Reno Tuesday afternoon.” read here