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Gender: Male
Hometown: Texas
Home country: United States
Current location: Red Hell Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 76,959

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

Banker admits to stealing $826K from Pantex Federal Credit Union

AMARILLO, TEXAS -- A former assistant vice president of teller operations at Pantex Federal Credit Union has pleaded guilty to embezzling $826,000.

Dorothy Stegall Barnes, 56, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to stealing from the federally insured credit union for Pantex Plant. Barnes took the money over a 14-year period, from September 1996 to November 2010.

The missing funds were initially noticed in October 2014, when Barnes told the credit union president another teller had quit. She was assigned to count that teller’s vault and reported the vault was short $380,000. In the ensuing audit, it was discovered that Barnes transferred $826,000 to her vault. She admitted to that transfer, but not to the transfer of $380,000.

“There was another lady up there who had evidently engaged in a similar type of practice,” said William Kelly, Barnes’ attorney. “I don’t know where her case is.”

Read more: http://amarillo.com/news/latest-news/2015-09-30/banker-admits-stealing-826k

Cross-posted in the Texas Group.
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Oct 1, 2015, 02:44 AM (1 replies)

Tex-Mex ad tries to offend (NSFW?)

The latest racy Carl’s Jr. commercial is hitting close to home: on the Texas-Mexico border.

“Borderwall,” premiered nationally on Sept. 28 to announce the restaurant’s new burger, the Tex Mex Bacon Thickburger.

But the burger, topped with peppers, onions, bacon, pepper-Jack cheese and spicy Santa Fe sauce is not the focus of ad – the blonde and brunette bikini babes are – which is business as usual for the chain.

With a mix of Texas and Mexico flavors, the line between “Tex” and “Mex” is blurred, leaving representatives from the Lone Star State, like native Elle Evans who made her fame in Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines video, and Alejandra Guilmat from Mexico to settle the score.

Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/entertainment/article/New-sexy-Carl-s-Jr-commercial-lands-on-the-6540169.php#photo-8718917

[font color=330099]Can Carl's Jr. sink lower with their sexploitation ads?[/font]

Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Oct 1, 2015, 02:07 AM (3 replies)

Houston highlighted in audit exposing ambulance schemes

WASHINGTON — Medicare paid $30 million for ambulance rides for which no record exists that patients got medical care at their destination, the place where they were picked up or anywhere else.

The mystery ambulance rides are part of a bigger problem with Medicare payments for transporting patients, according to a federal audit released Tuesday.

The Department of Health and Human Services’ inspector general’s office also found some urban ambulance services got paid for an average distance of more than 100 miles per ride. That contrasts with a national average of only 10 miles for urban ambulance rides.

Four major metro areas seemed to be breeding grounds for ambulance schemes. Philadelphia, Los Angeles, New York and Houston accounted for about half of the questionable rides and payments. Medicare has barred new ambulance companies from joining the program in Houston and Philadelphia, and the report recommends a similar approach in certain other places.

Read more: http://www.dentonrc.com/local-news/national-world-news/20150929-houston-highlighted-in-audit-exposing-ambulance-schemes.ece

USW and Sherwin Alumina clash over health care, attempt to end 11-month lockout

GREGORY, TEXAS – Sherwin Alumina officials and union members compared proposals for new contract components last week, but neither party liked what was on the table, so 450 workers remain locked out of the facility.

Leaders from the Gregory company met with United Steelworkers representatives in Pittsburgh – where USW’s headquarters is located – to resume bargaining in an attempt to end an 11-month lockout. The parties have been attempting to construct a new contract since July 8, 2014, after the previous contract between the company and its workers expired Sept. 30, 2014.

“The company remains committed to bargaining in good faith on all issues with the union, and currently has on the table a comprehensive proposal that will provide all full-time employees with approximately $7,000 to $9,000 in wage increases over the five-year term of the contract,” said John Vasquez, Sherwin administration director, in a statement released by the company last week.

The company’s proposal is valued at approximately $6 million over the term of the contract and allows for continued health care for current employees when they retire until they reach age 65 and provides for a per-hour contribution toward retiree health care after age 65, according to the statement.


Amid Lawsuit, Lt. Gov. Patrick Defends Medicaid Cuts to Therapy

Amid an ongoing lawsuit over deep cuts that lawmakers made this year to a therapy program for children with disabilities, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Wednesday offered a sternly worded defense of the Legislature’s move.

"Anyone claiming the Legislature arbitrarily instructed {the Texas Health and Human Services Commission} to save taxpayers $100 million by eliminating waste, fraud and abuse without consideration of the potential impact on Texas' most vulnerable citizens — is just flat wrong,” Patrick said in a statement.

The comments came after state lawmakers in recent weeks wrote to Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Chris Traylor, urging him to use caution when making the cuts included in the lawmakers’ biennial budget. The tone of those letters ranged from politely outraged to cautious, with lawmakers from both parties either urging state officials not to move forward with the cuts, or to at least be sure not to jeopardize children’s access to care when making them.

Patrick reiterated that the cuts passed with bipartisan support and would not endanger access to care and were meant to “make sure no provider or anyone else takes advantage of the families they serve or the taxpayers."

Read more: http://www.texastribune.org/2015/09/30/amid-lawsuit-dan-patrick-defends-medicaid-cuts-the/

Follow-up: Travis County Prosecutor-For-Hire Deal with Texas Mutual Ins. Co. Postponed

A controversial agreement between the Travis County District Attorney's Office and Texas Mutual Insurance under which the company pays prosecutors to pursue its fraud cases will be suspended — at least for now, officials said Wednesday.

The decision comes after a joint Austin American-Statesman and Texas Tribune series exposed the unusual and cozy arrangement, which sparked concern and objections by some lawmakers and county leaders.

District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg said in a statement that a contract between her office and the mega-insurer — set to be renewed Oct. 1 — will be placed on hold. The insurer will continue to fund the four-person fraud unit handling Texas Mutual's cases through the end of the year "to avoid unnecessary hardship" on the county, the company said.

While pointing out that the agreement is legal, "nonetheless, understanding the perception questions that have been raised, my office is exploring how to continue our important work in the area of worker's compensation insurance fraud," Lehmberg said.

Read more: http://www.texastribune.org/2015/09/30/prosecutor-hire-deal-postponed/

Earlier threads:
Justice for hire? Giant insurer pays government lawyers to pursue fraud charges September 9, 2015
Follow-up: Officials Want Review of Privately Funded Prosecutions September 14, 2015
Follow-up: Travis County Can't Stop Privately Funded Prosecutions September 23, 2015

Wal-Mart removes controversial 'Little Amigo' kids Halloween costume from website

Wal-Mart removed a controversial child’s costume titled "Little Amigo" from its website that includes a sombrero, poncho and a mustache.

“Let the Fiesta begin for your little one in our Little Amige Costume!” according to a cached version of Wal-Mart’s website.

Some bloggers and Twitter users are showing their dismay for the $12.99 outfit, with one Cosmopolitan writer called the costume “cringeworthy.”

Although a media representative for Wal-Mart did not immediately respond to a request for comment, a spokesperson for the company told Refinery29 that a third-party group was behind the sale of the costume. The website says the costume was taken down Thursday afternoon.

Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/article/Wal-Mart-takes-down-controversial-Little-Amigo-6538363.php

In trouble again: Houston Riverside General Hospital accused of misusing $32 million FEMA grant

HOUSTON -- According to a new federal audit, the gross mismanagement at Riverside General Hospital did not end with the 2012 indictment, arrest and removal of its longtime CEO Earnest Gibson III in a massive Medicare billing fraud scheme.

FEMA announced Wednesday that the agency wants to recover the entire $32 million grant, disbursed and promised, awarded to the Houston institution – which currently has no operations – after an analysis determined that money earmarked for Hurricane Ike repairs was misused.

The audit also blames the state of Texas for lax oversight of federal grants.

The 27-page report from the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General concluded that the scandal continued after Gibson III, his son and other co-conspirators were indicted in a $160 million Medicare fraud scheme. A dozen people faced criminal charges in a tumultuous episode that crippled the historic institution and saddened supporters.

Read more: http://www.chron.com/news/article/Report-accuses-Riverside-of-misusing-32-million-6540143.php

Earlier thread:

Houston Riverside Hospital CEO Convicted of Medicare/Medicaid Fraud that Siphoned $158 Million

Obama administration’s new fracking rules blocked by U.S. judge in Wyoming

Source: Houston Chronicle

New federal fracking regulations were blocked by a U.S. judge in Wyoming who said the government’s Bureau of Land Management lacks the authority to control hydraulic fracturing.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl puts on hold the most closely-watched effort by the Obama administration to ensure that fracking doesn’t contaminate water supplies. While the rules apply only on federal lands, they are designed to spur states to toughen their safety protections as well.

Skavdahl had issued a provisional order putting the regulations on hold on June 23, the day before they were scheduled to take effect. His decision comes in a pair of lawsuits, one pursued by the states of Wyoming, North Dakota, Colorado and Utah, and another by the Independent Petroleum Association of America and the Western Energy Alliance.

They argued that the regulations duplicated state rules and increased costs of extracting resources from oil-rich shale formations in the U.S.

Read more: http://fuelfix.com/blog/2015/09/30/obama-administrations-new-fracking-rules-blocked-by-u-s-judge-in-wyoming/#2572101=0

Stephen F. Austin professor charged with having child porn

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (AP) — Investigators say an economics professor at Stephen F. Austin State University has been charged with having child pornography on a college computer.

Nacogdoches (na-kuh-DOH'-chihs) County jail records show 52-year-old Michael Dean Stroup was being held Wednesday on a charge of possession of child pornography.

Bond was set at $15,000 for Stroup, who's also interim chairman of the Department of Economics and Finance at the school in Nacogdoches.

Stroup was arrested Tuesday on campus. A school statement says the investigation began when images were discovered on a server used by the business college. University officials say there's no evidence that the illegal images involved SFA students.

Read more: http://www.chron.com/news/texas/article/Stephen-F-Austin-professor-charged-with-having-6540578.php
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