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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: 77,549

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

Ohio Democratic Party Sues Over Impending Removal Of Voters From Rolls

Before the ink is barely dry on a new settlement between the ACLU of Ohio and the Secretary of State's office, Ohio's Democratic Party is filing its own lawsuit over the process of removing voters from the rolls.

Party Chair David Pepper says the settlement recently reached that allows certain voters who have been removed after being deemed inactive to vote provisionally isn't good enough. So his party's suit seeks to stop more than 200,000 voters from being removed from the rolls on September 6th.

“You won’t get the campaign mailers, the party mailers. You are not on the list of people that engage by the politics. Because of the way campaigns work, people basically target you. I mean you basically become a second class citizen so you are far less likely to get the interaction from the political universe that the average registered voter gets," Pepper says.

Maggie Sheehan, a spokeswoman for Secretary of State Frank LaRose, issued a written statement critical of the party's lawsuit. "We're proud of providing unprecedented levels of transparency into this process, but we won't ignore the law. When we partnered with the NACCP, the Ohio Republican Party, the Urban League, church organizations, and labor unions to get voters activated, the Ohio Democratic Party stood on the sidelines. Of course a lawsuit is the next step in their tired playbook," Sheehan says.

Read more: https://www.statenews.org/post/ohio-democratic-party-sues-over-impending-removal-voters-rolls
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Sep 3, 2019, 01:21 AM (1 replies)

Nuclear Bailout Opponents Can Begin Collecting Signatures For Referendum

The group fighting against Ohio's nuclear bailout law, Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts, recieved approval from the Ohio Secretary of State on their initial filing records which means they have seven weeks to collect 265,774 signatures.

It's possible Ohio voters could start seeing volunteers and paid workers out with clipboards collecting signatures for their referendum petition.

They’re working toward a ballot issue that would overturn House Bill 6, which will add new monthly charges on electric bills to bail out nuclear power plants and subsidize coal plants.

But supporters of the new law are urging voters to not sign the petition, saying the bailout saves a large amount of non-carbon emitting nuclear power, along with about 4,000 permanent and seasonal jobs.

Read more: https://www.statenews.org/post/nuclear-bailout-opponents-can-begin-collecting-signatures-referendum
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Sep 3, 2019, 01:13 AM (0 replies)

Pharmacy Owner Charged in Multimillion-Dollar Scheme to Commit Health Care Fraud and Pay Illegal

Pharmacy Owner Charged in Multimillion-Dollar Scheme to Commit Health Care Fraud and Pay Illegal Bribes to Doctor

NEWARK, N.J. – A Bergen County, New Jersey, man was arrested today for his role in conspiracies to commit health care fraud and to bribe a doctor, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Eduard Shtindler, a/k/a “Eddy,” 36, of Paramus, New Jersey, is charged by complaint with one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and one count of conspiracy to pay illegal kickbacks to a doctor. He is scheduled to make his initial court appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Leda Dunn Wettre in Newark federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

From 2012 through at least 2017, Shtindler owned and operated Empire Pharmacy – now closed – in West New York, New Jersey. Starting in 2015, Empire began filling prescriptions for expensive specialty medication that required “prior authorization” before being approved for reimbursement by Medicare, Medicaid, and some private insurance providers. Shtindler intended to entice doctors to use Empire for specialty medication prescriptions by showing that, among other things, Empire received prior authorization approval more successfully than any other pharmacies. To do that, he directed Empire employees, including two pharmacists, to repeatedly falsify prior authorization forms for medications for various conditions, including psoriasis and Hepatitis C. In recorded conversations, Shtindler admitted to his and Empire’s practice of falsifying prior authorization forms in order to receive approval for medication that would not have otherwise been approved. Shtindler and Empire received approximately $2 million in reimbursement payments from Medicare, Medicaid, and other insurance carriers that they otherwise would not have received.

From 2012 through early 2017, Shtindler also participated in a conspiracy to pay bribes to a psychiatrist in Hudson County, New Jersey, to induce the doctor to send prescriptions to Empire. Shtindler sent Empire employees to deliver some of the bribe payments to the doctor. On occasion, Shtindler secreted cash bribes, in $100 denominations, in pill bottles that were delivered to the doctor. In exchange for these bribes, the doctor steered patients to Empire pharmacy, even though the patients used other pharmacies closer to their homes for all of their other prescriptions. In one recorded conversation between Shtindler and a former Empire employee who had delivered a bribe to the doctor on Shtindler’s behalf, Shtindler stated: “You think [the doctor]’s going to go to the FBI and rat himself out?” In another conversation with the same former employee, Shtindler said: “First off, I didn’t make you do it. I didn’t put a gun to your head. We all made money together.” Empire dispensed approximately $3 million in medications prescribed by the psychiatrist.

Read more: https://www.justice.gov/usao-nj/pr/pharmacy-owner-charged-multimillion-dollar-scheme-commit-health-care-fraud-and-pay
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Sep 3, 2019, 01:05 AM (0 replies)

Fraudsters Plead Guilty in Federal Court to Their Roles in a Fraudulent Auto Loan Scheme with Losses

Fraudsters Plead Guilty in Federal Court to Their Roles in a Fraudulent Auto Loan Scheme with Losses of More Than $1 Million

Baltimore, Maryland – John O’Day, age 48, of Chester and Stevensville, Maryland, and Sarasota, Florida, and Denise White, a/k/a Lisa Young and Lisa White, age 32, of East Point, Georgia, have pleaded guilty to federal charges of bank fraud and aggravated identity theft, in connection with a scheme to defraud at least 20 individuals and five financial institutions of more than $1 million by submitting fraudulent auto loan applications. White pleaded guilty on August 28, 2019, and O’Day pleaded guilty on June 4, 2019.

The guilty pleas were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Rodney A. Davis of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration; Acting Chief Marcus Jones of the Montgomery County Police Department; and Colonel William M. Pallozzi, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police.

According to their plea agreements, between April 2016 and January 2018, O’Day and his co-conspirators, including White, submitted at least 30 fraudulent applications for auto loans to victim financial institutions falsely listing O’Day as the seller of various motor vehicles, which were listed as collateral. At least 27 of the fraudulent applications, including 12 in which White was involved as a co-conspirator, were successful and resulted in the disbursement of loan checks totaling approximately $1,167,192, which O’Day deposited in his personal bank accounts in Maryland. O’Day provided a portion of the fraud proceeds to co-conspirators, including White. The funds were not used to purchase vehicles. O’Day attempted to obtain additional loan checks totaling at least $246,000 through several unsuccessful auto loan applications.

Most of the applicants listed in the auto loan applications were recruited by O’Day under false promises and pretenses. Specifically, O’Day falsely promised that he would pay off the auto loans within up to 90 days and that the borrowers would not be responsible for loan payments. O’Day made payments in smaller amounts to most of the borrowers to assist them temporarily in making periodic payments on the loans and to compensate them for their involvement in the scheme. However, O’Day eventually stopped assisting borrowers with their payments and failed to pay off the loans as he promised. Most of the borrowers remained liable for the loans and suffered financial hardship as a result. At least some of the fraudulent auto loans were eventually converted to unsecured personal loans with higher interest rates as a result of the applicants’ failure to produce proof that they had purchased the vehicles. Several of the applicants had no knowledge that O’Day and his co-conspirators had submitted applications in their names and never authorized them to do so.

Read more: https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/pr/fraudsters-plead-guilty-federal-court-their-roles-fraudulent-auto-loan-scheme-losses-more
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Sep 3, 2019, 12:52 AM (0 replies)

Jacksonville Tax Return Preparer Pleads Guilty To More Than $1 Million In Tax Fraud

Jacksonville, Florida – Nicole Johnson (37, Jacksonville) has pleaded guilty to aiding and assisting in the filing of a false tax return. She faces a maximum penalty of three years in federal prison.

According to the plea agreement, Johnson was the owner and operator of Financial Asset Tax Service, which offered tax return preparation services. For the tax years 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017, Johnson prepared returns for individuals in which she falsified the amounts of deductions and tax credits owed to the taxpayers. As a result, those taxpayers received undeserved tax refunds. Johnson fraudulently claimed the General Business Credit and False Tax Credit for taxpayers who were not entitled to them, and inflated itemized deductions. As a result of the false returns prepared by Johnson, the IRS issued more than $1.3 million in undeserved refunds. Johnson has agreed to repay the IRS that amount in restitution.

This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David B. Mesrobian.

(no more at link)
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Sep 3, 2019, 12:46 AM (0 replies)

After violent hazing involving a spiked paddle, Miami University frat suspended until 2034

Miami University has suspended a fraternity involved in violent hazing for 15 years, the harshest such penalty ever imposed by the university.

Members of Delta Tau Delta hit students with a spiked paddle, kicked them, spit on them and forced them to smoke marijuana and drink substantial amounts of alcohol, according to a report released earlier this year.

Delta Tau Delta has been suspended at least twice by MU officials since 2000.

Claire Wagner, a university spokeswoman, wrote by email that the fraternity violated the Miami University Code of Conduct.

Read more: https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2019/08/28/miami-university-suspends-delta-tau-delta-hazing-until-2034/2141759001/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Sep 3, 2019, 12:28 AM (3 replies)

Nurses at University of Cincinnati Medical Center to set up picket to protest job actions

Ramping up pressure on the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, the union for the hospital’s nurses has called for an informational picket line Sept. 10 in the third month of protest that management fired a veteran nurse and disciplined another.

The Registered Nurses Association, representing 1,700 nurses at UCMC, says the hospital is stalling a grievance on the actions against nurses Jennifer Donaldson and Michelle Thoman in June. The union says the hospital has put off the hearing at least four times, most recently Aug. 28, and no new hearing has been scheduled.

The union also is pushing a petition that UCMC is trying to silence union members and leaders. The union also has complained to the National Labor Relations Board. Democratic presidential candidates U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Sen. Kamala Harris of California have expressed support for Donaldson and Thoman.

Donaldson worked at UCMC in labor and delivery for 28 years and was active in the RNA. Thoman, with five years as a nurse at UCMC, was union president. The union said the nurses had spotless disciplinary records.

Read more: https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2019/09/02/hospital-nurses-at-university-of-cincinnati-to-set-up-picket-in-job-protest/2154571001/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Sep 3, 2019, 12:09 AM (1 replies)

Ohio State Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Create 'Toni Morrison Day'

Ohio State Reps Joe Miller, (D-Amherst), and Stephanie Howse, (D-Cleveland), introduced a bill this week to honor author Toni Morrison, who died earlier this month at the age of 88.

Miller and Howse want Morrison's birthday, Feb. 18, to be designated as "Toni Morrison Day" in Ohio. Their bill is now en route to the House Rules and Reference Committee and should get a committee assignment soon.

Morrison was born and raised in Lorain, Ohio. She won both the Pulitzer and Nobel Prizes for her groundbreaking novels that chronicled the African-American experience with wisdom and emotional force.

Her life and work were remembered this weekend in a memorial community reading hosted by Literary Cleveland at the Glenville Arts Campus.

Read more: https://www.citybeat.com/news/blog/21084421/ohio-state-lawmakers-introduce-bill-to-create-toni-morrison-day
Posted by TexasTowelie | Mon Sep 2, 2019, 02:20 PM (0 replies)

Ark Encounter sued by a Kentucky board of education for undervalued property

The Grant County Board of Education has sued Ark Encounter and the county's property valuation administrator for undervaluing the life-size replica of Noah's Ark in Northern Kentucky.

This undervalued property has allowed Ark Encounter to underpay taxes owed to the board, according to the lawsuit, which was filed in the Grant Circuit Court on July 1.

For the 2017 tax year, the Grant County PVA assessed Ark Encounter's property at $48,068,200.

However, the education board challenged this number in a 2018 appeal to the Grant County Board of Assessment Appeals. Using statements and documents generated by Ark Encounter, the board said the property has a true fair cash value of $130 million, which is more than 2.7 times the original valuation.

Read more: https://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/local/northeast/2019/08/27/ark-encounter-kentucky-pva-sued-for-undervalued-property/2128604001/

Posted by TexasTowelie | Mon Sep 2, 2019, 09:29 AM (6 replies)

City of Cincinnati Sets Plans to Take Streetcar Reins from Transit Agency

Cincinnati City Manager Patrick Duhaney Aug. 28 released a memo outlining a plan to transfer control of the downtown and Over-the-Rhine streetcar system from the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority to the city.

That divorce will cost $536,000, according to the memo, and will take approval from Cincinnati City Council. Duhaney writes in the memo that the final steps in the split should be wrapped up by July 20 next year.

Duhaney says the city should consider a rebranding and "relaunching" of the streetcar, which has struggled with low ridership numbers and difficulty making its recommended 12-15 minute wait times, and could adjust the transit system's fares and schedule.

Currently, the city owns the streetcar, but SORTA is under contract to run the 3.6-mile transit loop. The transit agency, in turn, pays private company Transdev to hire and manage streetcar staff and daily operations.

Read more: https://www.citybeat.com/news/blog/21084894/city-of-cincinnati-set-to-take-streetcar-reins-from-transit-agency-in-a-halfamilliondollar-divorce
Posted by TexasTowelie | Mon Sep 2, 2019, 09:22 AM (1 replies)
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