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Gender: Male
Hometown: South Texas. most of my life I lived in Austin and Dallas
Home country: United States
Current location: Bryan, Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 77,884

About Me

Middle-aged white guy who believes in justice and equality for all. Math and computer analyst with additional 21st century jack-of-all-trades skills. I'm a stud, not a dud!

Journal Archives

Former Missouri Hospital Executive Pleads Guilty to Pass-Through Billing Scheme that Caused Over

Former Missouri Hospital Executive Pleads Guilty to Pass-Through Billing Scheme that Caused Over $100 Million in Losses

The former CEO of a Missouri hospital pleaded guilty today for his role in a pass-through billing scheme in which the hospital was used to submit fraudulent claims for toxicology and blood testing, resulting in multiple insurance companies and the Missouri Medicaid program paying over $100 million in claims.

Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez of the Middle District of Florida, U.S. Attorney Timothy A. Garrison of the Western District of Missouri, Special Agent in Charge Rachel Rojas of the FBI’s Jacksonville Field Office, Special Agent in Charge Timothy R. Langan Jr., of the FBI’s Kansas City Field Office, Deputy Assistant Inspector General for Investigations Thomas W. South of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management Office of the Inspector General (OPM-OIG), Special Agent in Charge Rafiq Ahmad of the U.S. Department of Labor-Office of Inspector General (DOL-OIG) and Special Agent in Charge Basil P. Demczak of the Amtrak Office of Inspector General (Amtrak-OIG) made the announcement.

David Lane Byrns, 62, of Lighthouse Point, Florida, the former CEO of Putnam County Memorial Hospital (Putnam), of Unionville, Missouri, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge James R. Klindt of the Middle District of Florida to a one-count information charging him with conspiracy to commit health care fraud. The information was filed in the Western District of Missouri and the case was transferred to the Middle District of Florida by consent for the entry of Byrns’ plea. As part of his guilty plea, Byrns agreed to a forfeiture judgment of $5,100,000. Sentencing before U.S. District Judge Timothy Corrigan of the Middle District of Florida has not yet been scheduled.

According to admissions made as part of his guilty plea, in 2016, Byrns and another individual took control of Putnam, a rural hospital in Missouri, through a management agreement with the hospital’s board, and Byrns was installed as the hospital’s CEO. Byrns and others, including a laboratory owner, then arranged for urine drug tests (UDTs) and blood tests to be performed on a massive scale at diagnostic testing laboratories outside Missouri, on behalf of individuals who were not Putnam patients and who otherwise had no connection to Putnam. To obtain samples for testing, Byrns and his co-conspirators entered into arrangements with marketers, who solicited samples from substance abuse treatment centers, sober living homes, physicians’ offices and other sources throughout the United States, in exchange for a portion of the insurance reimbursements. Many of the tests conducted were medically unnecessary. Byrns and his co-conspirators billed the tests to private insurers and to the Missouri Medicaid program using Putnam’s billing credentials, in order to take advantage of Putnam’s favorable reimbursement rates under its in-network contracts with the insurers, while failing to identify the fact that most testing had not taken place at Putnam, Byrns admitted.

Read more: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-missouri-hospital-executive-pleads-guilty-pass-through-billing-scheme-caused-over-100

Fraudster Who Created False Documents to Facilitate $396 Million Ponzi Scheme Sentenced to 14 Years

Fraudster Who Created False Documents to Facilitate $396 Million Ponzi Scheme Sentenced to 14 Years in Federal Prison

Jay Ledford Created False Documents to Conceal the Largest Fraud Scheme Ever Charged in Maryland Which Defrauded Investors Across the Country; Gambled Away More Than $16 Million in Fraud Proceeds at Casinos

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett today sentenced Jay B. Ledford, age 55, of Westlake, Texas and Las Vegas, Nevada to 14 years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and a money-laundering transaction, arising from a $396 million investment fraud scheme that operated from 2013 through September 2018, with an additional $260 million in attempted investments at the time of Ledford’s arrest. Judge Bennett also ordered Ledford to pay restitution in the full amount of the victims’ losses, which is at least $189,166,116. Judge Bennett will also enter an order of forfeiture, with the exact amount of forfeiture still to be determined. On October 10, 2019, Judge Bennett sentenced co-defendant Kevin B. Merrill, age 54, of Towson, Maryland, to 22 years in federal prison.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has a pending parallel civil action in this matter.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Jennifer C. Boone of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge Robert W. Manchak of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Office of Inspector General.

“Jay Ledford created phony documents and operated a debt collection center to provide credibility to Kevin Merrill’s false claims to investors, duping them into paying millions of dollars into this Ponzi scheme,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur. “The effects of this kind of fraud can be devastating and a number of victims have lost their life savings. This sentence sends a strong message that law enforcement will root out, prosecute, and send to prison criminal fraudsters like Jay Ledford and his co-conspirators.”

According to his plea agreement, Ledford was a certified public accountant in Texas, starting his own practice in Amarillo in 1996 and later expanding to Dallas. In 1999, Ledford met Kevin Merrill in Dallas, when Merrill was a salesman for a Baltimore company that sold supplies for X-ray machines for hospitals and doctors’ practices. Ledford and Merrill became friends, attending sporting events and visiting casinos together. Ledford prepared Merrill’s taxes for several years.

Read more: https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/pr/fraudster-who-created-false-documents-facilitate-396-million-ponzi-scheme-sentenced-14

Tax Preparer Sentenced To Prison For Role In Multi-Million Dollar Tax Fraud Scheme

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Trixa Belloso Rivas, 55, of Las Vegas, was sentenced today to 14 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $2 million in restitution to the IRS, U.S. Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich announced.

According to court documents, between August 2008 and May 2019, Rivas owned and operated BR Tax and Immigration Service, a tax preparation business in Las Vegas. As part of the conspiracy, Rivas’ co-conspirators obtained passports from citizens of foreign countries, such as Guatemala and El Salvador, that they could use to file fraudulent tax returns between $2,000 and $6,000. Over the course of about 34 months, Rivas assisted in filing at least 500 false tax returns in the names of more than 300 foreign citizens that caused the IRS to issue approximately $2,000,000 in fraudulent refunds.

This case was the product of an investigation by the IRS-Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tony Lopez prosecuted the case.

Rivas pleaded guilty in May 2019 to conspiracy to present false claims.


Guam Ambulance Company Executives Plead Guilty to Medicare and TRICARE Fraud and Money Laundering

Guam Ambulance Company Executives Plead Guilty to Medicare and TRICARE Fraud and Money Laundering Scheme

One of the Largest Single Medicare Ambulance Fraud Cases Prosecuted Nationwide

Two former owners and an employee of an ambulance services provider headquartered in Guam pleaded guilty yesterday for their roles in a health care fraud and money laundering scheme that resulted in a loss to the United States of approximately $10.8 million. This is one of the largest single Medicare ambulance fraud cases prosecuted nationwide.

Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Shawn N. Anderson of the Districts of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, Special Agent in Charge Eli S. Miranda of the FBI’s Honolulu Field Office, Special Agent in Charge Justin Campbell of IRS Criminal Investigation’s (IRS-CI) Seattle Field Office and Special Agent in Charge Timothy DeFrancesca of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General’s (HHS-OIG) Los Angeles Regional Office made the announcement.

Clifford P. Shoemake, 63, of Guam, Casey C. Conner, 60, of Saipan, and Nicholas A. Shoemake, 31, of Guam, the former owners and an employee, respectively, of Guam Medical Transport (GMT), pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood of the District of Guam, to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and one count of conspiracy to engage in monetary transactions with the proceeds of specified unlawful activity. The defendants are scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 29, 2020.

Medicare and TRICARE are federal health benefit programs, which, under certain conditions, reimburse providers for medically necessary, non-emergency, scheduled ambulance transportation to and from dialysis treatments, provided to beneficiaries with end stage renal disease (ESRD). Ambulance services are medically necessary when provided to such beneficiaries who cannot be transported by any other means without endangering their health, or were bed confined before, during and after the transportation.

Read more: https://www.justice.gov/usao-gu/pr/guam-ambulance-company-executives-plead-guilty-medicare-and-tricare-fraud-and-money

Okay, I've been covering this story for awhile:

Earlier threads:
Defense awaits CMS response in Guam multimillion-dollar Medicare fraud case (April 2019)

Motion to sever filed in Guam health care fraud case (July 2017)

Attorney needs time to review discovery in Guam healthcare fraud case (April 2017)

Arraignment in Guam health care fraud case Wednesday (January 2017)

Eighth Member of International Money Laundering Organization Sentenced in $19 Million Dollar Scheme

SAN DIEGO – Manuel Reynoso Garcia was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge William Q. Hayes to 78 months in prison for his role as a leader in an international money laundering organization that laundered more than $19 million in narcotics proceeds from the United States to Mexico.

The multi-year investigation led by the FBI’s Cross Border Violence Task Force targeted Reynoso as one of the key leaders of the Tijuana- and San Diego-based money laundering organization. Reynoso was the last of eight former members of the criminal organization sentenced.

Earlier this year, Judge Hayes sentenced Reynoso’s co-defendants to prison, including Estefania Plascencia Ponce to 57 months; Carlos Ballesteros Robles to 43 months; Gilberto Beltran Salazar to 46 months; Perla Alejandra Perez Guirado to 30 months; Joaquin Enrique Ramirez Calva to 37 months; Humberto Ruiz Bernadac to 24 months; and Luis Fernando Figueroa to time served. One final defendant, Manuel Alejandro Garcia remains a fugitive in Mexico.

According to the plea agreement and other public records, the money laundering organization was composed of a network of co-conspirators who coordinated the pick up, deposit, laundering, and transfer of millions of dollars of narcotics proceeds to Mexico-based drug trafficking organizations to include the Sinaloa Cartel. The organization used sophisticated methods to avoid law enforcement detection, such as encrypted messaging applications, and employed shell corporations complete with fictitious websites in an attempt to disguise their criminal activity as legitimate business.

Read more: https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdca/pr/eighth-member-international-money-laundering-organization-sentenced-19-million-dollar

3 female African-American cops sued over racism on Paterson's force. The city will settle.

PATERSON — Three African-American female police sergeants and the city’s lawyers have reached a tentative settlement in the women’s federal lawsuit claiming they endured racial insults from fellow officers, according to court documents.

Court records say the sergeants — Karen Rayfield, Tamiko Griffin and Kelly Cary Pacelli — would receive money from the city as part of the settlement, but the amount has not yet been made public.

The lawsuit alleges that the African-American officers endured racist graffiti at police headquarters, including some comments that condemned a 2012 court agreement that gave minority officers “priority” status on a promotional list.

The lawsuit cites multiple examples of the graffiti, including “Priority = dumb + lazy,” “Speak English, savage,” and “I is dumb. Cans I be a Sgt. Too now.”

Read more: https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/paterson-press/2019/10/29/paterson-nj-settle-three-black-female-cops-racism-suit/2496109001/

Walmart offers glimpse at memorial for Aug. 3 mass shooting victims, reopening pushed back

The reopening of an East Central El Paso Walmart closed after the violence of the Aug. 3 mass shooting has been pushed back, but the store has revealed its vision for a memorial that will be open to the public.

The Walmart will open at 9 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 14, shortly after store associates have a small meeting inside the store.

Todd Peterson, vice president of Walmart and regional general manager, said it won't be a celebratory event but it will be one that unveils the renovation and external work done on the store.

Peterson made the announcement and revealed the plans during Tuesday's City Council meeting.

Read more: https://www.elpasotimes.com/story/news/2019/10/29/el-paso-shooting-walmart-reopening-pushed-back-memorial-concept-revealed/2496248001/

Jimmy Kimmel Live: Trump Impeachment Going Strong

MCRC chairwoman alleges former treasurer misappropriated funds, blasts Team Yaede for asking for

MCRC chairwoman alleges former treasurer misappropriated funds, blasts Team Yaede for asking for support

HAMILTON — The chairwoman of the Mercer County Republican Committee wants prosecutors to investigate her former treasurer over allegations of misappropriation of funds.

Lisa Richford, who survived an interparty overthrow just a couple months ago, told The Trentonian on Monday her treasurer raided Republican campaign funds to benefit a “rogue” removal committee.

Richford referred her allegations to the office of Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri, a fellow Republican who has fallen into Hamilton Mayor Kelly Yaede’s cross-hairs.

His office did not respond to a request for comment about whether it will pursue a criminal investigation based off of Richford’s information.

Read more: https://www.trentonian.com/news/mcrc-chairwoman-alleges-former-treasurer-misappropriated-funds-blasts-team-yaede/article_aa20f366-f9c8-11e9-913a-afe9ad7e203f.html

Hamilton township employee, Yaede loyalist who shared KKK meme allegedly emails derogatory Rep. Omar

Hamilton township employee, Yaede loyalist who shared KKK meme allegedly emails derogatory Rep. Ilhan Omar meme

HAMILTON — Back up to his old tricks?

Kenneth Enderle, a township engineering aide and Mayor Kelly Yaede loyalist, got in trouble a few months back when he shared an anti-Suffragist meme on Facebook. He said he "paid for" the social media indiscretion, stepping down from his elected position with the Hamilton Republican Club and attending sensitivity training.

Now another inflammatory meme that Enderle allegedly sent has attracted the glare of Mercer County prosecutors. It's of Congresswoman Ilhan Omar of Minnesota in a white hijab standing in front of the U.S. flag.

Whoever made the meme — Endrele says it wasn't him — plastered Omar's face on a Huggies "snug and dry" diapers box with the words: "Huggies is now making Hijabs for people with sh*t for brains."

Omar was born in Somalia and is a naturalized U.S. citizen. She is one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress and the first-ever to wear a hijab, a religious head covering, in the House of Representatives chamber. It was a historic moment that ended a 181-year ban of headwear of any type in the chamber.

Read more: https://www.trentonian.com/news/hamilton-township-employee-yaede-loyalist-who-shared-kkk-meme-allegedly/article_34b85dc0-fa96-11e9-9120-57e375b1dcc1.html

This screengrab of an email that Ken Enderle allegedly sent to county employee Robert Davis was shared anonymously with The Trentonian. It depicts the hateful Rep. Ilhan Omar "Huggies" meme.
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