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An experienced whistleblower attorney, successful trial attorney, former criminal prosecutor, and former reporter Representing whistleblowers reporting fraud on the Federal State Governments

Dr. Vasso Godiali, a vascular surgeon from Michigan, has been charged in connection with a $60 million health care fraud scheme. In addition to these charges, Godiali is also being charged for laundering over $49 million that he profited from the scheme. According to a press release by the Department of Justice, Godiali’s health care fraud scheme revolved around the submission of fraudulent claims for the placement of stents for dialysis patients, as well as arterial blood clot treatments. Through this scheme Godiali was able to manipulate medical billing software to receive higher reimbursements from Medicare, Medicaid, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan than his services would normally qualify for. Godiali is also accused of submitting claims for services that he never performed, and for falsifying the complexity of numerous procedures that were performed. 

Godiali is also facing charges regarding over $49 million that he allegedly laundered across six corporations using his profits from the health care fraud scheme. These funds were mainly used towards investment accounts which were held at well-known financial institutions. However, Godiali also used these funds to pay property taxes on a residence he owned on Houghton Lake in Michigan. 

“This is a large, significant and important prosecution. Health care fraud schemes, such as the one alleged to have been committed by Dr. Godiali, divert millions of dollars from public programs intended to help those in need for the sole purpose of lining the pockets of greedy doctors,” commented United States Attorney Matthew Schneider.


A container ship financed by JPMorgan was seized by US customs officials this week after authorities found nearly 18 tons of cocaine with an estimated street value of $1.3 billion on the vessel.

The MSC Gayane is operated by the Switzerland-based Mediterranean Shipping Co., but JPMorgan helped finance MSC’s purchase of the ship. The two reportedly structured the purchase so the ship was owned by client assets in a transportation strategy fund run for JPMorgan’s asset-management arm. The MSC Gayane sailed under the flag of Liberia, a West African country. West Africa is a popular transit route for smugglers between South America and Europe because of its porous borders, weak rule of law, largely unmonitored coastline, and limited infrastructure and resources. The proportion of cocaine seizures in Africa accounted for by West Africa rose to 78% in 2016, “reflecting the rapidly growing importance of West Africa as a transit area,” the UN Office on Drugs and Crime said. Upon application from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania issued a seizure warrant for the vessel.

On Thursday, July 4, CBP executed the warrant and seized the MSC Gayane. CBP has various seizure and forfeiture authorities under Title 19 of the United States Code (USC).

Consumer goods maker to pay $1.4 billion to settle US investigation over Opioid sales
 The Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC will pay $1.4 billion to settle U.S. charges that its former pharma unit engaged in fraud to increase sales, according to the Wall Street Journal. Federal prosecutors had charged the  pharmaceutical company set up a telephone and online program intended to connect callers with doctors that Indivior knew were prescribing Suboxone or opioids in a “careless and clinically unwarranted manner.”

The consumer-goods company—which owns Lysol cleaner and Durex condoms—on Thursday said it struck a deal with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission to resolve their long-running investigations into the sales and marketing of Suboxone Film. This is a prescription medicine that dissolves in the mouth.   Suboxone, whose active ingredient is an opioid, is used to treat addiction to other drugs like heroin.

Securities violations by financial services company. Financial services settlement with SEC

 Wedbush Securities Inc. will pay more than $8.1 million to settle charges for improper handling of “pre-released” American Depositary Receipts (ADRs). This is the SEC’s 11th action against a bank or broker resulting from the SEC’s ongoing investigation into abusive ADR pre-release practices, which, thus far, has resulted in monetary settlements exceeding $422 million.

ADRs– U.S. securities that represent foreign shares of a foreign company – require a corresponding number of foreign shares to be held in custody at a depositary bank. The practice of “pre-release” allows ADRs to be issued without the deposit of foreign shares, provided brokers receiving them have an agreement with a depositary bank and the broker or its customer owns the number of foreign shares that corresponds to the number of shares the ADRs represent.

The owner of a substance abuse treatment center pleaded guilty today for his role in a $57 million money laundering conspiracy associated with a pass-through billing scheme involving laboratory testing services. Kyle Ryan Marcotte, 36,  pleaded guilty to a one-count information charging him with conspiracy to commit money laundering.  As part of his guilty plea, Marcotte agreed to a forfeiture judgment of $10,220,281.42.

According to admissions made as part of his guilty plea, Marcotte was the owner of a substance abuse treatment facility .  In approximately 2015, Marcotte entered into an arrangement with a laboratory owner to send urine samples for the facility’s patients to the owner’s lab for urine drug testing (UDT), in exchange for receiving 40 percent of the insurance reimbursements.  The lab owner, in turn, arranged with the managers of Campbellton–Graceville Hospital (CGH) and Regional General Hospital Williston (RGH), rural hospitals in Florida, to have the testing billed to private insurers through CGH and RGH and reimbursed at favorable rates under the hospitals’ in-network contracts with insurers.  Marcotte also admitted that he brokered deals with other substance abuse treatment centers to have their UDTs billed through CGH and RGH in exchange for Marcotte receiving 10 percent of the insurance reimbursements, while the other substance abuse facilities would receive 30 percent of the insurance reimbursements.

The lab owner subsequently acquired Chestatee Hospital, in Dahlonega, Georgia, and other rural hospitals.  Marcotte admitted that he continued to supply samples from his substance abuse treatment facility and continued to broker deals with other substance abuse treatment centers to have UDTs tested at the lab and billed to insurers through Chestatee and the other hospitals, all in exchange for a percentage of the insurance reimbursements.  The reimbursements were transmitted from the hospitals to the lab, which then transmitted them to two companies Marcotte controlled, North Florida Labs and KTL Labs using financial transactions and bank accounts that Marcotte had established to facilitate the payments.  Marcotte arranged to transfer a portion of the reimbursements from KTL Labs as kickbacks to the individuals and companies that controlled the substance abuse treatment centers in order to further the fraudulent scheme.  Marcotte also transferred a portion of the reimbursements to himself and to purchase real estate and items of real property, he admitted.

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s latest reward of  $50 million to two whistleblowers is an indicator that the program is successfully unveiling major frauds and more are anticipated. The $50 million awards relate to an SEC investigation stemming from whistleblower info which resulted in J.P. Morgan wealth management subsidiaries paying $267 million and admitting wrongdoing to settle charges that they failed to disclose conflicts of interest to clients.

An SEC investigation found that the firm’s investment advisory business J.P. Morgan Securities LLC (JPMS) and nationally chartered bank JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A. (JPMCB) preferred to invest clients in the firm’s own proprietary investment products without properly disclosing this preference.  This preference impacted two fundamental aspects of money management – asset allocation and the selection of fund managers – and deprived JPMorgan’s clients of information they needed to make fully informed investment decisions.

One whistleblower received an award of $37 million and the other received an award of $13 million.  The $37 million award is the Commission’s third-highest award to date after the $50 million award made in March 2018 to joint whistleblowers and more than $39 million award announced in September 2018.  One of the whistleblowers was represented by Attorney Jordan Thomas of the firm Labaton Sucharow

According to a recent report, two whistleblowers have earned a total of $2 million in awards for information they provided that instigated an investigation by the CFTC. The whistleblowers participated in a variety of interviews and provided incriminating documents that proved that several violations of the Commodity Exchange Act had taken place.

“This award demonstrates how whistleblowers can play an integral role in our investigations and be rewarded for their significant contributions,” stated Christoper Ehrman, director of the CFTC’s Whistleblower Office. He added, “It often takes integrity and courage to report specific, timely, and credible information about misconduct, and such information enhances our ability to police the markets.”.

Under the Whistleblower Program, which was established in 2010, the CFTC has awarded over $90 million to individuals who have decided to come forward with information regarding suspected fraud. In total, whistleblowers participating in this program have helped to earn over $730 million in sanctions.

CEO and CFO Will Face Time in Prison Following Massive Pharmaceutical Scheme Resulting in Millions of Stolen Funds

Guaranteed Returns, a reverse pharmaceutical distributor, and the company’s senior management have been convicted in trial following allegations of wire fraud, mail fraud, obstruction of justice, theft of government property, money laundering, and false statements as part of a massive pharmaceutical scheme. 

Dean Volkes, the company’s CEO and sole owner, operated the reverse pharmaceutical distributor, which was responsible for returning expired prescriptions to various healthcare providers. These providers included hospitals, pharmacies, and even facilities owned by the Department of Defense, which allow certain prescriptions to be returned for a refund. Guaranteed Returns handled the return process on behalf of the healthcare providers’ clients, requiring a fee determined by each drugs’ refund value. 

IMG_0064-1-300x206Although Bitcoin continuously tries to shed its turbulent reputation, the cryptocurrency platform watched their 17-month high drop by $3,000 in just twenty-four hours.

In 2017, Bitcoin reached its all-time high of about $20,000. However, has been unable to come close to this number over the past two years. Although Bitcoin has increased by 200% in 2019, its reputation has been anything but steady.

In late June, the cryptocurrency platform reached its 17-month high of $13,485.85, but by the next afternoon, the value dropped to $10,823.

IMG_0265-300x200Daniel Ferguson, John Frohrip, and Kevin Partin, pleaded guilty to violating federal anti-kickback statutes following allegations that they paid illegal kickbacks and recruited doctors to write prescriptions for expensive drugs as part of their health care fraud scheme.

According to the Department of Justice, the defendants recruited physicians to write prescriptions for complex drugs that would qualify for lucrative reimbursements from insurance programs. After the drugs were prescribed to patients, the defendants would then apply for reimbursements through various federal health care insurance programs and use the profits for their personal expenses.

Each of the defendants admitted to offering to pay kickbacks to the physicians they were attempting to recruit in their scheme. On many occasions they were successful in their recruitment, including the payment of $15,000 to Dr. John Main of Tulsa for his participation in the scheme.