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Monday, December 31, 2012

Justice Department Announces Successful Resolution of Case Regarding Delaware State Prisons

The Justice Department announced that the state of Delaware has fully complied with the parties’ amended memorandum of agreement (MOA) which was reached after an investigation of three Delaware state prisons.  The MOA, which includes reforms in mental health care, medical care and suicide prevention, was entered into after an investigation of the conditions at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, the Howard R. Young Correctional Institution and the Sussex Correctional Institution.
 
“Prisons are a critical component of the public safety system.   The conditions in prisons affect not only those confined there, but the staff, prisoners’ families and the community at large,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.  “We commend the state for its successful efforts to improve medical and mental health care for Delaware inmates, and for its commitment to ensuring that the constitutional rights of inmates are protected.   In the Justice Department’s view, the state of Delaware has met the requirements necessary for termination of the amended memorandum of agreement.”  
 
Among other reforms, the state established the Bureau of Correctional Healthcare Services, which, with the department’s input, designed and implemented an excellent continuous quality improvement program which has become a sought-after model among other states and municipalities.   
 
In December 2006, the department and state entered into the original MOA to resolve the department’s findings of unlawful conditions at the facilities, following a comprehensive investigation under the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA) which began in March 2006.   The settlement called for broad reforms in areas related to medical care, mental health care, and suicide prevention.   When the original MOA expired by its terms in December 2009, the department and the state negotiated a successor, the amended MOA, with which the state has achieved substantial compliance, resulting in this termination.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Indianapolis Illegally-Armed-Felon Receives Ten year Sentence As Part of Violent Crime Initiative



Man with extensive Marion County Criminal History Receives Maximum Statutory Penalty

INDIANAPOLIS – Joseph H. Hogsett, the United States Attorney, announced today that Raymond Smalls, age 40, of Indianapolis, has been sentenced to 120 months (10 years) in prison by U.S. District Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson. Smalls was convicted of having illegally possessed a firearm in a prosecution arising out of the U.S. Attorney's Violent Crime Initiative.

"Our Violent Crime Initiative is designed to keep firearms out of the hands of convicted felons in this community," Hogsett said. "By stopping the revolving door of justice and holding these habitual offenders fully accountable, we are reducing gun violence and hindering the illegal trade of firearms in Indianapolis."

On January 20, 2011, Marion County law enforcement found Smalls to be possession of a Ruger, Black Hawk .357 caliber revolver. Smalls' extensive criminal history included a felony conviction in Florida for conspiracy to commit robbery, and Marion County convictions for possession of cocaine, resisting law enforcement with a vehicle, possession of marijuana, and strangulation.

This prosecution comes as part of the U.S. Attorney‘s Violent Crime Initiative (VCI), and is the result of a collaborative investigative efforts by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, as well as the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

Launched in March 2011, the VCI has produced a dramatic increase in the number of gun-related charges brought federally – from just 14 charges in 2010 to more than 110 last year. This trend has continued in 2012, with more than 100 firearms-related gun charges filed by prosecutors. More than half of the prosecutions under the VCI have been of Marion County defendants, who collectively represent more than 400 prior felonies in the Indianapolis area. According to Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew J. Rinka and Zachary A. Myers, who prosecuted the case for the government, Smalls was also sentenced to serve a term of supervised release at the end of his prison term. Federal sentencing rules require that, at a minimum, Smalls will serve 85% of his sentence in prison.

Camden County, NJ, Man Admits Role in Illegal Sale of 16 Guns



CAMDEN, N.J. – A Camden County man today admitted to selling 16 guns without a license and illegally possessing firearms, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced. Ammie Steward, a/k/a "Beav," a/k/a "B," 37, of Pennsauken, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge RenĂ©e Marie Bumb in Camden federal court to an Information charging him with one count of dealing firearms without a license and one count of possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon.

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

Between May 2012 and August 15, 2012, Steward sold 16 firearms on nine separate occasions for profit and without a license. The 16 firearms included 12 pistols and two rifles.

Steward, a previously convicted felon, sold them to a witness cooperating with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Steward also admitted to being present when the serial numbers on 14 of the 16 guns were obliterated using a power tool. A number of the firearms were sold along with magazines and seven of the guns were sold along with high capacity magazines. On at least one occasion, Steward sold a firearm (a Kel Tec PLR-16 .223 caliber pistol) along with a box of ammunition. Steward also sold a rifle that contained a bayonet. All 16 weapons are now in the custody of law enforcement.

The illegal dealing count to which Steward pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine; the unlawful possession of a firearm as a convicted felon charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for March 25, 2013.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the ATF, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Donald J. Soranno, with the investigation leading to today's guilty plea. He also thanked the Pennsauken Police Department, under the direction of Chief John J. Coffey. The government is represented

Navy Medicine Rolls Out New Campaign to Deter 'Bath Salts' Designer Drug Use



By Valerie A. Kremer, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery Public Affairs

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (NNS) -- Navy Medicine announced the launch of a new informational video and poster regarding the health risks and dangers of the synthetic amphetamine known as "bath salts" and other designer drugs, Dec. 20.

The public service announcement video and poster will be distributed for display throughout the fleet and are available for download at http://www.med.navy.mil/Pages/Syntheticdrugs.aspx.

The new media products focus on the dangers of bath salts and are part of the long-term awareness and deterrence campaign Navy Medicine launched last year on synthetic and designer drugs. This effort is also part of an overall Navy communications plan with partners at the Naval Personnel Command and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and other commands.

The education and awareness campaign from Navy Medicine supports the Navy's zero-tolerance policy on designer drug use, as well as highlights the real and present risks of bath salts. The campaign's goal is to decrease the number of active-duty service members who use designer drugs like bath salts and the synthetic marijuana "Spice" because they are falsely marketed as a "legal" way to get high.

According to Navy Medicine psychiatry resident Lt. George Loeffler at the Naval Medical Center San Diego,, the adverse health effects from bath salt use can range from lack of appetite to kidney failure, muscle spasms, severe paranoid delusions, and psychosis. Several cases of long-term inpatient hospitalization and suicide have been reported and Loeffler has firsthand experience treating service members at Navy military treatment facilities with these symptoms.

"I would say not just as the naval officer, but as your doctor, bath salts will not only jack up your family and your career, it will jack up your mind and body too," said Loeffler in the PSA now available online.

The Bath Salts campaign's slogan, "Bath salts: It's not a fad...It's a nightmare," reflects the hallucinogenic effect of bath salts, which are a non-regulated designer drug comprised of a synthetic cathinone, or amphetamine, that can have a dangerous or debilitating effect on the user.

"As the leader of the medical community for the Navy and Marine Corps, I cannot emphasize enough to our Sailors and Marines that using synthetic drugs really is just like playing Russian roulette with their health, not to mention their career," said Vice Adm. Matthew L. Nathan, U.S. Navy surgeon general said in an editorial written for the Union Tribune in San Diego earlier this year.

The bath salts campaign further supports the Navy Surgeon General's mission for all commanding officers and others in positions of leadership to be fully engaged in their command's implementation plan to continually communicate and educate all hands as to the Navy's zero-tolerance policy on designer drug use.

"The U.S. military represents a microcosm of our much larger population and in many ways strives to be a reflection of the society we serve, so we share many of the same health and safety issues as the general population, including the increased use of these dangerous and debilitating drugs - which not only affect our service members' health, but also our readiness as a military force," said Nathan.

"For nearly two years now, Navy leaders have taken a multitiered approach to combating this escalating issue in our forces, and with our partners in the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Naval Personnel Command and throughout our naval enterprise, we have made progress in deterring and detecting use."

Nathan affirmed that the Navy will continue to highlight the issue of synthetic drug use by delivering sustained and targeted messages throughout the Navy and Marine Corps.

"We cannot over-communicate this issue," said Nathan. "Accountability for those who abuse these substances will help deter their use."

Navy Medicine is a global health care network of more than 63,000 Navy medical personnel around the world who provide high quality health care to more than one million eligible beneficiaries. Navy Medicine personnel deploy with Sailors and Marines worldwide, providing critical mission support aboard ship, in the air, under the sea and on the battlefield.

Air mobility maintainers keep the mission running

by Staff Sgt. Robert Barnett
JBER Public Affairs


12/21/2012 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- A C-5A Galaxy from Memphis Air National Guard Base, Tenn., needed to refuel to continue its mission across the Pacific theater. The aircraft landed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, a base strategically positioned to be a good breaking point for military and commercial flights enroute. The temperature averaged 11 degrees below zero - too cold to snow even though there had been a thick layer on the ground for days. Ice continually formed across the ground and all transportation surfaces.

Very few would want to be outside in this weather.

Meeting the C-5 on the ground as it landed was a group of 732nd Air Mobility Squadron maintainers. They dressed in layers, and came prepared with heaters and other equipment. It's a fact; aircraft break down. In 11 degrees below zero, parts freeze in place. Despite these challenges, it's the 732nd AMS maintainers who make sure the C-5 takes off again to continue its journey.

"Our mission is to move airplanes in and out of the Pacific theater," said Tech. Sgt. David Roberts, 732nd AMS flight line expeditor. "Or even to the European theater if need be."
The maintainers are the real deal, working specifically to get the mobility job done.

"We are strictly real-world missions driven," he said. "Whatever comes through here is real world; it has to be moved."

The aircraft they move could be loaded with anything. It doesn't matter; the mission must continue on.

"This C-5A Galaxy didn't have cargo on it," he said. "It's assigned a mission to go home to pick up something and go somewhere else. That's why it comes through here; that's why we're here."

The pilots and crew actually operate the aircraft, but the mission couldn't continue without support when they land.

"We're strictly ground maintenance," he said. "We'll do whatever it takes to get that plane flying."

The 732nd AMS largely supports C-17 Globemaster IIIs, but their operational range also includes the C-5s, KC-10 Extenders, KC-135 Stratotankers, L-100s, DC-6s, 747s, 737s, 767s, business jets and any commercial planes that come through.

"Being an enroute facility, we don't have all the expertise as a main operating base would have," Roberts said. "Unless there's something we cannot do on a C-17 Globemaster or C-5, we'll work. If a plane needs a part, and we don't have it, then we'll source it out to other bases."

Travis Air Force Base, Calif., and Joint Base Lewis McChord, Wash., are usually the two bases they get most of their parts from.

"Once the parts come in, we'll fix it," he said. "Hopefully the same day that it comes in and the air crew can take the airplane wherever it needs to go."

They also work with the 517th Airlift Squadron when they need additional resources, or borrow equipment from the C-130 Hercules.

"It's tough," the maintainer from Folkston, Ga., said. "I don't think I've ever been in an environment like this. Just this morning, we had seven heaters going on a C-17 Globemaster that was taking off, literally out on the flight line to make sure that nothing was leaking, that the engine would start just fine."

"We have H-1 [Ground Support] Heaters, with hoses connected to the heaters, and we usually put them right on the engines to keep the fuel and oil warm," said Air Force Staff Sgt. Jason Manning, aerospace maintenance craftsman for the 732nd AMS. "So the engines will start when they need to. If it's too cold, valves won't open, fuel doesn't flow well, oil's real gel-like. We try to warm up the jet as much as possible so it will leave."

For certain aircraft, like a C-17, the maintainers run the heaters four hours prior to the scheduled launch. For a C-5, they set up the heaters five hours prior to take-off.

"We go out there, we warm everything up so it's nice and warm and cozy," the staff sergeant from Lancaster, Calif., said, "ready to rock and roll. It's like stretching before you run."

"Once the planes are ready to go, we actually de-ice them, which takes all the snow and ice off so it's safe for flight," he said.

Between commercial and military planes, the unit maintains an average of five aircraft daily, or 150 missions a month. The missions include war efforts and business efforts, President of the United States support, distinguished visitor support, and supporting Eielson Air Force Base KC-10s transiting through JBER when they escort the F-22 Raptors to Guam and other remote locations. They also help the Army missions. Some impact the fight more than others, the maintainers said.

"I think we're strategically placed here for a reason," Roberts said. "I think JBER supports us more than we support them. Obviously we use their facilities. We go to the host wing's C-17 squadron if we need parts; we're just here strategically placed to hit the Pacific realm a lot quicker. So when planes need to come through, they don't have to air refuel as much. Instead of flying from, say, Charleston Air Force Base, [S.C.], all the way to Yokota, Japan, they can stop here, they can do what they need to. It's cheaper, we can gas them, and they can keep going."

Within the last month, the tenant unit had 102 C-5s come through.

"Our big motto is 'We're top cover,'" Manning said. "We can reach pretty much anywhere in the world in eight hours. You can reach from here to Germany in eight hours, if you go over the top."

Ancient doomsday calendar highlights need for emergency preparedness

by Airman 1st Class Omari Bernard
JBER Public Affairs


12/21/2012 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- With bated breath, people around the world stare at their televisions, search the internet and scan the heavens in search for signs of the end. Some cataclysmic calendar of a long-gone civilization foretold the end of the world. Yet nothing happens. Neither crisis caused by myth nor a conundrum begot by a rumor occurs. Though Twinkies are gone, the earth is still spinning and the sky is not falling.

With all the hype of Friday being the end of the world, it is important to ask yourself if this were a natural disaster, would you be prepared? Whether it's for the end of the world or a natural disaster, do you have the knowledge and supplies to hold out until aid arrives?

During the month of September, homes, trees and trampolines were damaged by hurricane-force winds that ravaged Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and surrounding communities. There were multiple power outages, which occurred for base residents and also the local communities. Some places went without power for more than 24 hours.

To help raise and spread awareness of natural disasters, JBER Emergency Management hosted a contest via Facebook to see how prepared the community was for the end of days and natural disasters in general.

"Out of 32 contestants, the winner and runners up of this competition put themselves above the rest by doing things such as simply stocking up on supplies to more complex things such as developing evacuation procedures for all scenarios," said Airman 1st Class Charles Anderson, an emergency manager with 773rd Civil Engineer Squadron. "The first place winner in the competition was Melissa Bechand."

When asked what motivated her to become so prepared, Bechand said, "After September's storm, we lost power for 24 hours. We looked around at the mess, particularly the downed tree that could have easily went through a window in one of the children's bedrooms, and decided we needed to take a more proactive approach to preparedness. We're not prepping for zombies or nuclear fallout, we're simply wanting to ensure that we can keep our kids warm, well fed, and above all, safe."

A few of the things Bechand did to ensure the safety of her family was to invest and stock up on non-perishables when they were on sale, a propane stove for when the power goes out for a long time, and battery-operated LED lights so she didn't have to worry about having open flames from candles around her children.

"Perhaps one of the most important things Melissa said she invested in was a safe propane heater for those cold winter nights," Anderson said.

Have a plan to take care of pets in case of the worst.

"If you have a family, pets, or even if you are by yourself, it is extremely important that you stay prepared," said Elizabeth Ross, the installation chief of planning and operations for Emergency Management. "For pets, it is important to have a their vaccination records if you plan to bring them to a shelter and to also provide them their own food."

"When it comes to post disaster and emergency, it is important to have a place where you can take pets," said Senior Airman Kelly Lasaine, 773rd CES emergency manager. "There is limited shelter and kennel space - especially on base and you're not going to mix people and animals."

While there is no limit to the amount or variety of items that can be bought and stocked up, there are a few key things that are critical. The most important: food and water. When shopping at the store, purchase non-perishable food items.

"Along with food, it is extremely important you have water," Anderson said. "It is recommended that for every day you could be trapped or until your utilities are back up and running, that you have one gallon per person per day. If you get a disaster warning and do not have enough time to run to the store, then fill your bathtubs and sinks with water so you know you will not have to go without."

As well as food and water, it is also highly recommended to have cash on
hand.

"After a disaster, it is very likely that you and the surrounding areas will be without electricity," Lasaine said. "If this is the case, then when you go to the store to purchase items you need, you will not be able to swipe your debit card to pay. Make sure you have a decent amount saved up, because there is no telling how long you may be without electricity.

"Being prepared for an emergency is not something that you can do at the last minute, and do not feel like your items have to be purchased all at once," he continued. "Build up your supplies over time, and becoming prepared will be inexpensive and stress free."

Have a plan. Unlike the Mayan end of the world, a natural disaster cannot always be predicted. It is always important to be prepared - whether it's for the end of the world or just a natural disaster.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Charleston County SWAT conducts training on JB Charleston

by Airman 1st Class George Goslin
628th Air Base Wing Public Affairs


12/13/2012 - JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. -- A member of the Charleston County Sheriff's Office Special Weapons and Tactics team walks back to the equipment truck after a hostage extraction training scenario Dec. 6, 2012, at Joint Base Charleston - Air Base, S.C.. The SWAT team provides a coordinated response to critical incidents throughout Charleston County, and whenever requested, in other areas throughout the state of South Carolina.

Sanofi US Agrees to Pay $109 Million to Resolve False Claims Act Allegations of Free Product Kickbacks to Physicians

Sanofi-Aventis U.S. Inc. and Sanofi-Aventis U.S. LLC, subsidiaries of international drug manufacturer Sanofi (collectively, Sanofi US), have agreed to pay $109 million to resolve allegations that Sanofi US violated the False Claims Act by giving physicians free units of Hyalgan, a knee injection, in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute, to induce them to purchase and prescribe the product.   The settlement also resolves allegations that Sanofi US submitted false average sales price (ASP) reports for Hyalgan that failed to account for free units distributed contingent on Hyalgan purchases.   The government alleges that the false ASP reports, which were used to set reimbursement rates, caused government programs to pay inflated amounts for Hyalgan and a competing product.
 
The United States contends that, facing pressure from a lower-priced competitor, Sanofi US provided its sales representatives with thousands of free “sample” Hyalgan units and trained its sales representatives to market the “value add” of these units to physicians.   In practice, the United States alleges, Sanofi US sales representatives often entered into illegal sampling arrangements with physicians, using the free units as kickbacks and promising to provide negotiated numbers of them in order to lower Hyalgan’s effective price.   The government contends that there were numerous such arrangements, including:
 
  • A Southern California-based Sanofi US sales representative who allegedly provided 25 Hyalgan samples to a physician practice for every 100 Hyalgan units purchased, and who supplemented these kickbacks by regularly treating the entire practice to lavish dinners at Sanofi US’s expense and with Sanofi US’s approval.
  • A New York-based Sanofi US sales representative who allegedly provided 12 Hyalgan samples to a physician practice for every 50 Hyalgan units purchased, and whose manager supplemented these kickbacks by treating the practice, along with friends and family members, to a lavish dinner in Manhattan at Sanofi US’s expense and with Sanofi US’s approval.
  • A Central Texas-based Sanofi US sales representative who allegedly promised a physician practice 125 free Hyalgan syringes in exchange for a purchase of 500 Hyalgan units and was lauded by Sanofi US’s Texas sales team for “[u]tiliz[ing] samples to provide value for the office.”
 
The United States contends that price was important to physicians because Hyalgan and its direct competitor were reimbursed at the same, fixed rate by Medicare and other insurers.   Thus, the less expensive option afforded a greater reimbursement “spread,” or profit, to physicians’ practices.   According to the government’s allegations, Sanofi US chose not to compete by lowering the actual invoiced price of Hyalgan, for fear of setting off a price war with its competitor that would lead to a “downward spiral” in prices and reimbursements.   Instead, the government alleges, Sanofi US surreptitiously lowered the effective price of Hyalgan by promising the free units to doctors who agreed to purchase the product.   The government alleges that Medicare and other federal health care programs paid millions of dollars in kickback-tainted claims for Hyalgan.  
 
“Kickback schemes subvert the health care marketplace and undermine the integrity of public health care programs,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division Stuart Delery. “We will continue to hold accountable those who we allege are providing illegal incentives to influence the decision making of health care providers in federal health care programs.”
 
“The government’s allegations describe a situation where a drug manufacturer used valuable free units of a drug to subvert Medicare’s drug reimbursement system for physicians,” said Carmen M. Ortiz, United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts.   “This is not the first time that this Office has brought action against a manufacturer who engaged in such an illegal scheme, and the government will remain vigilant in policing such conduct.”
 
“Patients expect their health providers to be concerned solely with their best medical interests” said Daniel R. Levinson, Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health.  “Kickbacks undermine that all-important patient trust, and taxpayers’ expectation that government health dollars be put only to the wisest of uses.” 
 
Today’s settlement with the France-based pharmaceutical manufacturer resolves a lawsuit filed by former sales representative Mark Giddarie under the qui tam, or whistleblower provisions, of the False Claims Act.   Under the False Claims Act, private citizens can bring suit on behalf of the United States and share in any recovery.   Giddarie will receive $18.5 million as his share of the government’s recovery.
 
This settlement was the result of a coordinated effort by the Department of Justice, Civil Division, Commercial Litigation Branch; the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts; the FBI; and the Offices of the Inspectors General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Postal Service, and the Office of Personnel Management.  
 
This resolution is part of the government’s emphasis on combating health care fraud and another step for the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT) initiative, which was announced by Attorney General Eric Holder and Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services in May 2009. The partnership between the two departments has focused efforts to reduce and prevent Medicare and Medicaid financial fraud through enhanced cooperation. One of the most powerful tools in that effort is the False Claims Act, which the Justice Department has used to recover $10.1 billion since January 2009 in cases involving fraud against federal health care programs. The Justice Department’s total recoveries in False Claims Act cases since January 2009 are over $13.9 billion.

Owners of Two Miami Home Health Companies Plead Guilty in $48 Million Health Care Fraud Scheme

The owners and operators of two Miami health care agencies pleaded guilty today for their participation in a $48 million home health Medicare fraud scheme, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer of the Southern District of Florida; Michael B. Steinbach, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Miami Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge Christopher Dennis of the HHS Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), Office of Investigations Miami Office.
 
Rogelio Rodriguez, 43, and Raymond Aday, 48, each pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Federico A. Moreno in the Southern District of Florida to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud.
 
According to court documents, Rodriguez was the owner of both Caring Nurse Home Health Corp. and Good Quality Home Health Inc., and Aday was a manager at Caring Nurse and owner of Good Quality.
 
According to plea documents, Rodriguez and Aday conspired with patient recruiters for the purpose of billing the Medicare program for unnecessary home health care and therapy services.  Rodriguez, Aday and their alleged co-conspirators paid kickbacks and bribes to patient recruiters in return for these recruiters providing patients to Caring Nurse and Good Quality, as well as prescriptions, plans of care (POCs) and certifications for medically unnecessary therapy and home health services for Medicare beneficiaries.  Rodriguez and Aday used these prescriptions, POCs and medical certifications to fraudulently bill the Medicare program for home health care services, which Rodriguez and Aday knew was in violation of federal criminal laws.
 
According to court documents, at Caring Nurse and Good Quality, nurses and office staff falsified patient files for Medicare beneficiaries to make it appear as though those beneficiaries qualified for home health care and therapy services from Caring Nurse and Good Quality when, in fact, Rodriguez and Aday knew that the beneficiaries did not actually qualify for and did not receive such services.  Rodriguez admitted to knowing that these files were falsified so that the Medicare program could be billed for medically unnecessary therapy and home health related services. 
 
From approximately January 2006 through June 2011, Caring Nurse and Good Quality submitted approximately $48 million in claims for home health services that were not medically necessary and/or not provided.  According to court documents, Medicare paid approximately $33 million for these fraudulent claims.
 
At sentencing, scheduled for Feb. 27, 2013, Rodriguez and Aday each face a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
 
This case is being prosecuted by Senior Trial Attorney Joseph S. Beemsterboer of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section.  The case was investigated by the FBI and HHS-OIG, and was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, supervised by the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida.
 
Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, now operating in nine cities across the country, has charged more than 1,480 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $4.8 billion. In addition, HHS’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with HHS-OIG, is taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Neal Moser Sentenced to 51 Months, Less Time Served, for Being a Felon in Possession of a Handgun



Tristram Coffin, United States Attorney for the District of Vermont, stated that Neal Moser, 52, of North Street, Burlington, Vermont, was sentenced yesterday by U. S. District Court Judge William K. Sessions III, to 51 months in jail (minus 9 months for time already served). After credit for time served, Moser’s remaining jail sentence is 42 months. Moser was convicted of being a felon in possession of a handgun.

According to Court records, on November 17, 2011, Kuwan Reynolds was shot in the hand at Neal Moser’s apartment on North Street. The shooting stemmed from an altercation between two drug dealers. Prior to the shooting, Moser had been allowing a known drug dealer, Raymond King, to sell crack cocaine and heroin from Moser’s residence. King is a codefendant in this case and has not yet been sentenced. King and Moser kept an handgun at Moser’s apartment for protection during their drug distribution activities. On the day of the shooting, King arrived at Moser’s apartment to find Reynolds in Moser’s bedroom discussing a possible drug sale to Moser. After King told Reynolds that Moser’s apartment was "his spot [place from which to sell drugs]," the two began a physical altercation. During the altercation, Moser handed King the handgun. King fired at least two shots. The second shot was fired at Reynolds through a closed bedroom door. Reynolds, behind the closed door, was holding the door shut when he was injured.

Moser was indicted by a federal grand jury on April 5, 2012. He has been detained in prison since his arrest on May 15, 2012. He plead guilty on August 20, 2012.

This case was investigated by the Burlington Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. Tristram J. Coffin, the United States Attorney, commends those agencies for their work. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney, Nancy J. Creswell. Moser was represented by Karen Shingler, Esq.