Articles Posted in Uncategorized

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Yankee Clipper Food Services I Corporation on felony charges stemming from an extensive scheme to avoid paying New York taxes between 2011 and 2015. Following an investigation conducted by the Attorney General’s Office, the company, along with several individuals and affiliated airport food service companies doing business under the trade name “Express Hospitality Group,” agreed to pay $13 million to settle separately filed civil claims initially raised by a whistleblower under New York State’s False Claims Act. The plea and civil settlement are the first resolution in the Attorney General’s ongoing investigation into the contracting and procurement process at JFK Airport—an investigation dubbed “Operation Greased Runway.” 

“For years, Express Hospitality Group disregarded  state law and New York taxpayers,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “Today’s felony conviction and settlement should send a clear message to those attempting to avoid paying their fair share: tax evasion is illegal, disgraceful — and it will not be tolerated.”

The Attorney General’s investigation revealed that Express Hospitality Group engaged in schemes by which certain of its businesses intentionally underpaid over $5 million in taxes owed to New York and underpaid approximately $350,000 owed to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey as part of a fee for operating at the airport. The investigation also uncovered that the company’s tax schemes involved maintaining a double set of books, collecting – but failing to remit – State and City sales tax, failing to withhold taxes on employee compensation, and underreporting receipts for corporate franchise tax purposes.   

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The Securities and Exchange Commission charged three individuals who defrauded investors in a company that falsely claimed to be developing a caffeinated chocolate snack and nearing an acquisition by Monster Energy or Coca-Cola Co.

The SEC’s complaint alleges that Lisa Bershan and her husband, Barry Schwartz, together with business associate Joel Margulies, falsely promised investors that after being acquired, Starship Snack Corp. investors would get a one-to-one exchange of Starship shares for Monster or Coca-Cola shares.

According to the SEC’s complaint, Bershan and Margulies also falsely claimed that investors had “no downside risk,” and Bershan personally guaranteed that investors could get their investment back with 5% interest if the shares failed to appreciate over a year.

Dr. Allan Spagnardi and Dr. Stacy Spagnardi have been arraigned on conspiracy and fraud charges for using their chiropractic clinic to submit false claims to private insurance providers.

“These two chiropractors are alleged to have reported fake patient visits in order to enrich themselves through fraudulent insurance claims,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “Fraudulent healthcare billing threatens the integrity of our healthcare system and is ultimately paid for by the taxpayers.”

“Healthcare providers need to think twice before trying to illegally maximize their profits at the expense of honest citizens,” said David J. LeValley, Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta FBI. “Bringing this case to federal court is an example of our determination to protect those citizens and root out waste, fraud and abuse of our healthcare system.”

There are visible symptoms connected with many illnesses. Where a disease does not present visible symptoms  they frequently can be diagnosed through b blood test readings. As I mentioned yesterday, Google is building artificial intelligence into its Google lens connected to its smart phone. So, with regard to disease detection and “roughcut” diagnoses, I want to suggest  applying the lens to spote, for example, liver diseases such as cirrhosis or hepatitis. Initially, there may be obvious signs such as jaundice, a yellowish tinge in the skin and weight loss. Not to suggest this supplant g medical training but where doctors  aren’t available  initial symptom recognition at basic health clinics might be able to reduce the time in which those in significant need are transported to a hospital to be treated by a physician. Blood tests too can now be taken and sent by the web to specially trained “readers”. The connection here is between those disorders which can be initial “possible” diagnoses via an app  then verified  before precious funds used to transport individuals to available medical facilities. There is another potential benefit here which could reduce massive economic burdens on the global community  by to identifying blood disorders of virulent infectious diseases at the earliest stages through distribution of the lend and smart phones throughout those geographic locations where epidemics are most likely to spawn. This would allow the most efficient use of resources to quell a potential epidemic with the early intervention, again to be verified once the initial alarms sound.

Jeffrey Newman

Marc Tupler, a former vice president at the Santa Fe Wells Fargo branch , says his superiors knew exactly what was happening when employees created millions if unauthorized accounts since 2011. He has also filed a lawsuit alleging that he was fired for raising the issue with his supervisors. His suit in state District Court alleges wrongful discharge, malicious breach of contract, and intentional infliction of mental and emotional distress.

Wells Fargo has paid  $185 million in fines to the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the city of Los Angeles. Tupler says that while he was employed at the Santa Fe bank from 2011 to 2014, the company implemented “a number of fraudulent schemes and/or scams … and unfair and deceptive business practices which, among other things, aggressively directed employees to fraudulently open multiple customer accounts to increase their cross-sell numbers and objectives.”

In some cases, Tupler says  the bank used customer signatures already on file to forge documents to create new accounts without the customer’s knowledge.

The Government of Bermuda has filed a lawsuit against Lahey Clinic asserting that the Lahey and the former Premier of Bermuda, Dr. Ewart Brown created scheme to assure that Lahey would become the healthcare provider of choice for Bermudians. In a Complaint filed in the Federal District Court in Boston this week, the Government of Bermuda alleged that this scheme, spanning over two decades resulted in Lahey receiving preferential treatment when bidding healthcare contracts issued by Bermuda. In return, Mr. Brown received substantial sums of money from Lahey disguised as consulting fees.

 
The case alleged that the scheme violated the Racketeer Influenced and corrupt Organization Act (RICO) for injuries suffered to its business and property and also for violations of the foreign Corrupt Practices Act which prohibits bribes to foreign officials or their family members. The Complaint alleges that Lahey’s formal relationship with Brown began in 1997 when Brown served as Shadow Minister for Human affairs. At that time, according to the Complaint, Lahey began sending Massachusetts based specialist physicians to Bermuda to serve in a clinic there, owned by Brown.

 
The Complaint also asserts that in addition to paying Brown hundreds of thousands of dollars in consulting fees, Lahey also made large donations to Brown’s political party.

The U.S. Justice Department has arrested hundreds of professional medical personnel for allegedly billing nearly $1 billion for unnecessary and false medical treatments under Medicare and Medicaid plans. The DOJ said in a press release that the  Medicare Fraud Strike Force, working across 36 federal jurisdictions, arrested 301 individuals, including 61 doctors, nurses and other licensed medical professionals for their alleged participation in healthcare fraud related crimes totaling approximately $900 million in false and unnecessary treatment, prescriptions, and medical healthcare services.According to documents filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ), the medical personnel are being charged with a variety of healthcare fraud related crimes including conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, violations of the kick-back statutes, money laundering, and aggravated identity theft.

Officials claim a large portion of the fraudulent billings came from various medical treatments and services, such as home healthcare, psychotherapy, physical and occupational therapy, durable medical equipment and prescription drugs. At least 60 of the individuals charged this week are alleged to have issued false prescriptions under the Medicare prescription drug benefit program known as Medicare Part D.

Dozens of charges for conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud stem from patient recruiters, Medicare beneficiaries, and other co-conspirators being paid kick-backs in return for supplying beneficiary information to providers, so that providers could submit fraudulent bills to Medicare for unnecessary and unjustifiable services.

The Justice Department is investigating half a billion dollars in possible health-care fraud linked to specialty creams used to treat pain which victimized veterans according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Compounding creams have recently been pitched by retired NFL quarterback Brett Favre, who promoted them to the elderly, athletes and others. It is believed that many the products provide little to no medicinal value. Some companies charged more than $10,000 for a single tube or prescription of cream. Mr. Favre, was named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Saturday night, has promoted a pain cream called Rx Pro made by World Health Industries Inc. of Jackson, Miss.World Health Industries also does business as Aspire Rx. On the company’s website, Aspire Rx says that it is “the pre-eminent provider of compounding pharmacy services in the U.S.” and “utilizes the latest technologies, superior ingredients, and the highest ethical standards to provide custom compounded therapies.”

 

  • William Ricardo Alvarez – Marietta, Ga.

    Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin ; conspiracy to import heroin (District of Puerto Rico)

    Sentence:  Time served after nine months’ imprisonment, four years’ supervised release (Apr. 30, 1997; amended Jul. 31, 1997)

Yelp Inc won  a lawsuit by shareholders saying they were  misled about the authenticity and quality of its reviews, and whether Yelp manipulated those reviews to favor paying advertisers.

District Judge Jon Tigar in San Francisco said reasonable investors would understand that not all Yelp reviews are real, particularly given the company’s admission that its technology to screen user-generated content for its website is not foolproof.

The judge also found no showing of an intent to defraud, including over sales by Chief Executive Jeremy Stoppelman and other insiders of tens of millions of dollars in Yelp stock at allegedly inflated prices.