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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: 85,684

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

On Rachel: New Democratic Stars Emerge in Wake of Election

Starting with Rep. Adam Schiff...

Mayor Walsh: Boston Will Fund 20 More Police Cadets In 2017

In an effort to diversify the Boston police force, Mayor Marty Walsh announced budget funds will be allocated for the return of the Boston Police Cadet Program, a training program for youth seeking a career in law enforcement. “We’re going to keep it in line and try to keep the cadet class going to help with the diversity,” Walsh said, “and help us with giving opportunities to young people that otherwise wouldn’t get {them}.”

Walsh said this revival will add 20 new cadets to the 42 already in the program from last year, 31 of which were minorities — 20 African-Americans, nine Hispanics, and two Asians. “We’re able to try and continue to build the diversity of our department,” Walsh said. “For the first time in our department, we have six women in the command staff. There’s nine white men, nine men of color, and six women in the command staff.”

In a city where more than half (53 percent) of the residents are people of color, the uniformed police force is more than two-thirds white. Critics have drawn a correlation with the state’s military preference, which has created a pipeline for veterans, (a majority white population) to receive positions as police officers.

A similar program for the Boston Fire Department faced resistance from a local veterans group in early March, when the group said the program would discriminate against members of the military. The Massachusetts Military Veterans Alliance wrote a letter to the Boston City Council, arguing that a similar cadet program for the Boston Fire Dept. “Discriminate{s} against veterans for employment” and described the program as a “bold attack on veterans within the city of Boston.”

Penn. Man Convicted of Using Stolen IDs to File Tax Returns Seeking More Than $800,000 in Refunds

A Philadelphia, Pennsylvania man was convicted today in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania of conspiring to commit access device fraud, announced Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Louis D. Lappen for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

According to the indictment and evidence at trial, from February through June 2014, Abdou Koudos Adissa was engaged in a conspiracy in which stolen identities were used to file tax returns claiming refunds with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Co-conspirators filed tax returns fraudulently seeking more than $800,000 in refunds, which were loaded onto Green Dot prepaid debit cards and sent via Western Union to Nigeria. In order for the prepaid debit cards to accept direct deposits, they had to be registered using personal identifying information including names, social security numbers and addresses. During a search of the apartment Adissa shared with a co-conspirator, special agents found 106 Green Dot cards in Adissa’s room. Adissa registered the Green Dot cards using stolen IDs and provided his co-conspirators with the direct deposit information related to the cards so that fraudulently obtained refunds could be directed to them. to the evidence produced at trial, he called Western Union 63 times in three months to facilitate transferring these fraudulent refunds to Nigeria.

Sentencing is scheduled for June 28. Adissa faces a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison, a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties.

Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Goldberg and Acting U.S. Attorney Lappen commended special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, who conducted the investigation, and Assistant U.S. Attorney David J. Ignall and Trial Attorney Carl F. Brooker of the Tax Division who prosecuted the case.


Second Detroit-Area Physician Pleads Guilty in $17.1 Million Health Care Fraud Scheme

A second Detroit-area physician pleaded guilty today for his role in a $17.1 million Medicare fraud scheme involving medically unnecessary physician visits and drug prescriptions.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Daniel L. Lemisch of the Eastern District of Michigan, Special Agent in Charge David P. Gelios of the FBI’s Detroit Division and Special Agent in Charge Lamont Pugh III of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s (HHS-OIG) Chicago Regional Office made the announcement.

Leonard Van Gelder, 69, of Caledonia, Michigan, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud before U.S. District Judge Avern Cohn of the Eastern District of Michigan. Sentencing will be set at a later date.

Van Gelder was a physician for Lake Michigan Mobile Doctors, a Chicago-based home physician service with an office in Southfield, Michigan, from November 2011 to August 2013. As part of his guilty plea, Van Gelder admitted that he saw patients who did not qualify for his services and whose visits were billed to Medicare at the highest billing codes. Van Gelder also admitted that he prescribed to patients medically unnecessary narcotics, such as Vicodin, in exchange for the ability to bill Medicare for the patients’ visits. According to court documents, Mobile Doctors billed Medicare approximately $17.1 million as a result of the scheme.

In December 2016, Van Gelder’s co-conspirator, Stephen Mason, 46, of Zionsville, Indiana, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. One additional doctor, Gerald Daneshvar, 41, of West Bloomfield, Michigan, is awaiting trial. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The FBI and HHS-OIG investigated the case, which was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force under the supervision of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of Michigan. Fraud Section Trial Attorney Amy Markopoulos is prosecuting the case.

The Fraud Section leads the Medicare Fraud Strike Force. Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, now operating in nine cities across the country, has charged nearly 3,000 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $11 billion. In addition, the HHS Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.


Sen. Markey Wants To Take Trump's Finger Off The Nuclear Trigger

When President Donald Trump took the oath of office in January, he became, effectively, the most powerful person in the world. Trump alone controls the U.S. nuclear arsenal, which means he has the power to launch, within minutes, hundreds of destructive nuclear weapons, without approval from Congress, the Supreme Court, or anyone in his administration.

Since the election, Trump has said that he “hates proliferation” and believes there should be less nuclear weapons in the world—except, of course, in countries that he believes need to defend themselves, like Saudi Arabia and Japan.

In October, one month before election day, 10 former nuclear launch officers wrote a letter warning the country against trusting Trump with the nuclear codes.

“The pressures the system places on that one person are staggering and require enormous composure, judgment, restraint and diplomatic skill. Donald Trump does not have these leadership qualities,” the statement read. “On the contrary, he has shown himself time and again to be easily baited and quick to lash out, dismissive of expert consultation and ill-informed of even basic military and international affairs—including, most especially, nuclear weapons."

Read more: http://news.wgbh.org/2017/03/30/boston-public-radio-podcast/sen-markey-wants-take-trumps-finger-nuclear-trigger

Hassan, Schumer, and Gillibrand sponsor stricter water standards legislation

PORTSMOUTH — U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan is co-sponsoring legislation that would require the Environmental Protection Agency to develop a maximum contaminant level for two dangerous PFCs, 1,4 dioxane, and perchlorate in public water systems.

The EPA would have two years to set the maximum contaminant level or MCL for the contaminants.

There is no mandate now to regulate these emerging contaminants under the Safe Water Drinking Act, according to the press release from Hassan’s office.

This legislation would require the EPA to create safety guidelines and to determine legally enforceable standards that apply to public water systems.

Read more: http://www.seacoastonline.com/news/20170331/hassan-proposes-stricter-water-standards
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