Category Archives: Fraud

Coast pharmacist, marketer admit defrauding military health care by $2.3 million

A Biloxi man and a Lamar County pharmacist have pleaded guilty in what has been called the largest ever national health care fraud enforcement action by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force.

The investigation involves at least one doctor who wrote false prescriptions for compounded medicines, costing the U.S. military healthcare program a loss of $2.3 million, court papers show. Gerald Jay Schaar and Jason May are participants in a new investigation involving a doctor.

Schaar, 46, has admitted he marketed illegal prescriptions that were billed to TRICARE, which provides health care benefits for military personnel, veterans and their dependents. But those prescriptions were not dispensed to patients while Schaar received kickbacks.

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What $20 million in alleged food stamp fraud bought these 12 people: prosecution

South Florida reached another fraud milestone for what the Justice Department called “the largest combined financial fraud loss for a food stamp trafficking takedown in history.”

That dubious new record, federal prosecutors claim, is $20 million and resulted in a dozen charged with doing the government dirty via food stamp fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

The 12 charged over four cases are Hasan Saleh, 59, Mohammed Alobaisi, 37, Reynold Francois, 38, Ihab Hassouna, 44, Mohammad Alteen, 33, Maria Jerdana, 36, Joe Ann Baker, 56, Yousef “Joe” Homedan Zahran, 60, Omar Hajje, 43, Jalal Hajyousef, 42, Andy Javier Herrera, 24, and father Javier Herrera, 49.

“In this instance, eight small convenience stores in South Florida committed a staggering amount of fraud in a relatively short amount of time,” said Karen Citizen-Wilcox, special agent in charge, U.S. Department of Agriculture-Office of the Inspector General, in a release. “These retailers created an illegal benefits exchange system that defrauded the American taxpayer and denied healthy foods to needy children and their families. The store owners who allegedly orchestrated this trafficking scheme pocketed millions in ‘fees’ which they charged for converting food assistance benefits into cash.”

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U.S. Navy fraud case involving Fat Leonard snares captain

United States Navy captain Jesus Vasquez Cantu admitted in federal court yesterday (August 18) that he accepted bribes, including the services of multiple prostitutes, to pass critical information to Leonard Glenn Francis (aka Fat Leonard) and his Singapore-based Glenn Defense Marine Asia.

Cantu, 59, who had a “top secret” clearance, acknowledged, among many things, that Francis provided him with the services of two prostitutes on June 1, 2012, at the Hotel Singapore. He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery and is scheduled to be sentenced November 9 before U.S. district judge Janis L. Sammartino.

Cantu admitted that on numerous occasions in 2012 and 2013, Glenn took him and others for drinks and dinner at posh eating and drinking places and provided him prostitutes. As of now, 28 individuals, including 21 current and former Navy officials and 5 civilian defendants, plus Glenn’s company, have been charged as part of the investigation.

Cantu left the Navy in 2014. He had held high posts, including assistant chief of staff for logistics for the commander of the Seventh Fleet. Dermot O’Reilly, deputy inspector general for investigations in the Department of Defense, said that the Glenn case is the “largest fraud and corruption scandal in the U.S. Navy’s history.”

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Dallas Woman Gets 10 Years, Must Pay $51M Fraud Restitution

DALLAS (AP) — A Dallas woman must serve 10 years in federal prison and repay $51 million in a health care services fraud case involving home visits.

Myrna S. Parcon was sentenced Thursday in Dallas. Parcon pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud involving Medicare beneficiaries.

Prosecutors say three other people who were convicted await sentencing, including a doctor.

Authorities say many Medicare patients in the case were certified for home health care — whether they needed it or not — from 2009 through mid-2013.

Co-defendant Ransome Etindi of Waxahachie (wahks-uh-HA’-chee) also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud and was sentenced Thursday to 30 months in prison. Etindi must repay $18 million.

Another person who pleaded guilty was sentenced to two years and ordered to repay $4.2 million.

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US charging 412 in health fraud schemes worth $1.3 billion

More than 400 people have been charged with taking part in health care fraud and opioid scams that totaled $1.3 billion in false billing, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Thursday.

Sessions called the collective action the “largest health care fraud takedown operation in American history” and said it indicates that some doctors, nurses and pharmacists “have chosen to violate their oaths and put greed ahead of their patients.”

Among those charged are six Michigan doctors accused of a scheme to prescribe unnecessary opioids. A Florida rehab facility is alleged to have recruited addicts with gift cards and visits to strip clubs, leading to $58 million in false treatments and tests.

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‘Obamaphone’ program stashes $9 billion in private bank accounts

The controversial “Obamaphone” program, which pays for cellphones for the poor, is rife with fraud, according to a new government report Thursday that found more than a third of enrollees may not even be qualified.

Known officially as the Lifeline Program, the phone giveaway became a symbol of government waste in the previous administration. Now a new report from the Government Accountability Office bears out those concerns.

The report, requested by Sen. Claire McCaskill, Missouri Democrat, also says the program has stashed some $9 billion in assets in private bank accounts rather than with the federal treasury, further increasing risks and depriving taxpayers of the full benefit of that money.

“A complete lack of oversight is causing this program to fail the American taxpayer — everything that could go wrong is going wrong,” said Mrs. McCaskill, ranking Democrat on the Senate’s chief oversight committee and who is a former state auditor in Missouri.

“We’re currently letting phone companies cash a government check every month with little more than the honor system to hold them accountable, and that simply can’t continue,” she said.

The program, run by the Federal Communications Commission, predates President Obama, but it gained attention during his administration when recipients began to associate the free phone with other benefits he doled out to the poor.

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Army Colonel and Others Indicted In $20 Million Bribery and Fraud Scheme Arising Out Of Fort Gordon, Georgia

SAVANNAH, GA – Anthony Tyrone Roper, 55, an active duty Colonel with the U. S. Army stationed at Fort Gordon; Audra Roper, 49, the wife of Colonel Roper; and Dwayne Oswald Fulton, 58, a former employee of a defense contracting firm, were indicted this week by a federal grand jury sitting in Savannah, Georgia for their alleged roles in a bribery and kickback scheme. Each of the Defendants reside in Augusta, Georgia. According to the allegations contained in the Indictment, beginning in 2008 and lasting almost a decade, Colonel Anthony Roper conspired with his wife, Fulton and others to solicit and accept cash bribes in exchange for rigging the award of over $20 million in U. S. Army contracts to selected individuals and companies. The indictment further alleges that in an attempt to hide their bribery and fraud schemes, the Defendants attempted to obstruct an official investigation into their criminal conduct.

Colonel Roper was charged with one count of conspiracy, three counts of bribery, four counts of false statements and one count of obstruction, with a maximum sentence of 85 years in prison and a $1.75 million fine. Audra Roper was charged with one count of conspiracy, one count of false statements and one count of obstruction, with a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison and a $750,000 fine. Fulton was charged with one count of conspiracy and one count of obstruction, with a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. An indictment is only an accusation and is not evidence of guilt. The Defendants are entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the Government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The case has been investigated by Special Agent Preston T. Johnson of the U. S. Army, Criminal Investigations Division; Special Agent Randall J. Temples of the U. S. Department of Defense, Criminal Investigative Service; and, Special Agent Bryan M. Cofer of the U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Inspector General. The investigation of this case remains ongoing. Assistant U. S. Attorney C. Troy Clark and Acting U.S. Attorney James D. Durham are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States. Any questions should be directed to the U.S. Attorney’s Office at (912) 201-2522.

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Six People Sentenced in $172,000,000 Insurance Fraud Scheme Court Ordered a Total of Over $130,000,000 in Restitution

Six defendants were recently sentenced to prison for their participation in a massive insurance fraud scheme that resulted in federal judicial orders for more than $130 million in restitution.

Benjamin G. Greenberg, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Adolphus P. Wright, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Miami Field Division, Kelly R. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), and Michael J. Satz, Broward State Attorney, announced the sentencing of six of sixteen defendants who were previously charged in a five-count criminal Information.

A criminal Information charged sixteen defendants for their participation in a complex fraud scheme regarding the manufacture and distribution of compounded medications. The fraud involved material misrepresentations to health insurance providers and illegal payments to coconspirators and medical professionals, including physicians. The fraud generated in excess of $172,000,000 in criminal proceeds for the members of the criminal enterprise.

All sixteen defendants have pled guilty for their participation in the fraudulent scheme. Most recently, six defendants were sentenced to prison by United States District Judge Daniel T. K. Hurley, for their roles in the insurance fraud. The six defendants received the following sentences: Rhett Gordon, 36 months’ imprisonment; Brett Nadel, 36 months’ imprisonment; Lisa Goldberg, 46 months’ imprisonment; Dr. John Johnson, 60 months’ imprisonment; Frederick Thomas Giampa, 30 months’ imprisonment and Timothy Clinton, 60 months’ imprisonment. In relation to the fraudulent scheme, the Court has ordered restitution totaling in excess of $130 million dollars. In addition, the defendants have forfeited over $30 million in assets.

According to the court record, the defendants participated in a two-year conspiracy, which they used various business entities, including Numed Care, LLC, Clinical Corp, LLC, RX of Boca, and American Custom Compound Pharmacy, to perpetrate a complex fraud on numerous health care insurance providers. The defendants prepared medications in bulk quantities, which they alleged to be compounded medications for specific individualized patient needs. The defendants falsely represented to the health insurance providers that these medications were prepared in limited quantities for individual patients and were exempt from FDA inspection.

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Former U.S. Representative Brown of Florida found guilty of fraud

May 11 (Reuters) – Former U.S. Representative Corrine Brown of Florida was found guilty in federal court on Thursday of fraud for helping to raise $800,000 for a bogus charity and using the funds for concerts and golf, U.S. Justice Department officials said.

Brown, 70, was convicted on 18 counts of participating in a conspiracy involving a fraudulent education charity, concealing material facts required on financial disclosure forms and filing false tax returns, the Justice Department said in a statement.

“Former Congresswoman Brown chose greed and personal gain over the sacred trust given to her by the community that she served for many years,” acting U.S. Attorney Stephen Muldrow said after a jury reached a verdict in Jacksonville.

Brown, a Democrat who served 24 years in Congress, lost her re-election bid last year after being indicted.

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Salvation Army executive guilty of massive toy-for-profit fraud

The former executive director of a Salvation Army donation storage and distribution centre has been found guilty of a massive fraud involving selling donated items meant for shelters and food banks — including toys donated through the Christmas Toy Mountain campaign — for profit.

David Rennie was found guilty of several fraud-related offences on Wednesday by Ontario Court Justice Sandra Bacchus.

She found that after Rennie was appointed executive director of the centre in January 2010 he developed a relationship with a wholesaler, Umaish “Tony” Ramrattan. Rennie began allowing Ramrattan to pick the best donations — toys and food that was far from its expiry date — and take it to another warehouse and sell it for a profit. Trucks laden with donations from Nestle and Sun laundry detergent were rerouted to this second warehouse operated by Ramrattan.

The scheme took place under the guise of selling surplus donations to Ramrattan so he could use that money to buy goods the Salvation Army was in need of — like meat, canned protein and kosher food, Bacchus found. But staff at the Railside warehouse, the location of the donation centre, became concerned that their shelves were empty and the quality of the donations they were sending out were declining — while Rennie continued to authorize Ramrattan to take donations to sell. Records seized by police show Ramrattan took away far more in donations than he returned in purchased goods, Bacchus found.

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