26
April , 2017
Wednesday

Annual El Humanitario Awards Ceremony honored two prominent Latino community leaders   In recognition of Hispanic Heritage ...
Opening Thursday, January 14 on our West Stage for two weeks only The award-winning play by ...
Illinois Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White has awarded Fiscal Year 2013 Illinois ...
New America Media By Earl Ofari Hutchinson There’s been as much myth as fact ...
A 31-year old man has been sentenced to 60 years in prison for using a ...
The Faith-friendly Channel Is a Digital Collaboration Between Our Stories Films, LLC and YouTube Los ...
By Kathy Mulady Equal Voice Newspaper (http://www.equalvoiceforfamilies.org/?p=1810)   WASHINGTON – If the nation’s 14 million unemployed workers return to ...
  National (BlackNews.com) -- Dr. Nancy J. Williams (also known as just Dr. Nancy), holistic healing ...
The series airs every Wednesday at 9 p.m. on NBC Nationwide (BlackNews.com) –Beginning ...
  Letters To Editors From: Senator Chris Murphy   For three years, Congress has failed the families of Newtown ...

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Illinois Women March on Springfield April 25 for Progressive Agenda, Responsible Budget

Posted by Admin On March - 21 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

More than 50 organizations have joined a coalition to educate and organize around dozens of progressive bills being proposed in the Illinois House and Senate this session.

They will bring together people across the state for the Illinois Women March on Springfield for a progressive agenda and responsible budget for all, Tuesday, April 25, 2017.

The bills include the Women’s Agenda, the People’s Agenda of labor issues, plus issues including immigration, homelessness, criminal legal reform, the environment, LGBTQ, gun safety efforts, healthcare, economics, education and passing a responsible budget in Illinois.

The complete agenda, with more bills expected, is available on the March website: http://www.illinoiswomenmarchonspringfield.org.

The march is in the spirit of the Jan. 21 women’s marches around the world, and just as those events attracted a wide diversity of people, the Springfield event is expected to bring together thousands of people across a range of intersectional issues.

The program will start at noon with a rally in front of the Lincoln statue at the Capitol Building, followed by a march around the capitol complex, and lobbying elected officials inside. At 2:30 p.m., there will be a final rally in the rotunda, including next steps on organizing support for the legislation still pending in Springfield. People are encouraged to make April 25 appointments now with their representatives and senators, and lobby for legislation from now until the end of May, when this session ends.

Illinois Women March on Springfield is co-chaired by Jaquie Algee (SEIU Healthcare and Women’s March on Chicago), Tracy Baim (Windy City Times and Pride Action Tank), and from Springfield, Jennifer Camille Lee (Action Illinois and Women Rising-Illinois).

Other partners for the March include the Chicago Foundation for Women, Crossroads Fund, Indivisible Illinois, Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, Illinois NOW, CAIR-Chicago, Amalgamated Transit Union 308 (ATU), AFSCME, Chicago Women Take Action, G-PAC, Citizen Action, OFA, Mujeras Latinas en Accion, National Immigrant Justice Center, Sergeant Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, Women Employed, Women’s March Illinois, and the YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago. See many more online.

The website has a process where organizations and elected officials can join the effort, and people can suggest legislation. It also will have lobbying tips, and connections to how-to-find-your-legislator.

Website: http://www.illinoiswomenmarchonspringfield.org/ .

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Illinois-Women-March-on-Springfield-1293918460687078/ .

Binary Options Fraud: A Word of Warning to the Investing Public

Posted by Admin On March - 15 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Stock options. It’s a pretty common investment term meaning, in general, that one party sells or offers to another party the opportunity to invest by buying a particular stock at an agreed upon price within a certain period of time. All perfectly legal and highly regulated—and if the investor takes advantage of the opportunity and the stock performs well, there’s money to be made. And if the stock doesn’t perform well, the investor knew the risk.

But here’s another similar-sounding financial term that the public should be wary of—binary options. While some binary options are listed on registered exchanges or traded on a designated contract market and are subject to oversight by U.S. regulators like the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), much of the binary options market operates through websites that don’t comply with U.S. regulations. And many of those unregulated websites are being used by criminals outside the U.S. as vehicles to commit fraud.

Binary options fraud is a growing problem and one that the FBI currently has in its crosshairs. In 2011, our Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received four complaints—with reported losses of just more than $20,000—from binary options fraud victims. Fast forward five years, and the IC3 received hundreds of complaints with millions of dollars in reported losses during 2016. And those numbers only reflect victims who reported being fleeced to the IC3—the true extent of the fraud, which has victims around the world, isn’t fully known. Some European countries have reported that binary options fraud complaints now constitute 25 percent of all the fraud complaints received.

What exactly is a binary option? It’s a type of options contract in which the payout depends entirely on the outcome of a yes/no proposition, typically related to whether the price of a particular asset—like a stock or a commodity—will rise above or fall below a specified amount. Unlike regular stock options, with binary options you’re not being given the opportunity to actually buy a stock or a commodity—you’re just betting on whether its price will be above or below a certain amount by a certain time of the day.

For example: You expect the price of an individual stock will be above $80 at 3:30 p.m. today. So you buy a binary option that allows you to place this bet at a cost of $60. If, at 3:30 p.m., the stock price is $80.01, your payout is $100, for a profit of $40. If the price of the stock at 3:30 is $79.99, you lose your $60. Of course, you can buy multiple binary options, which can significantly increase your winnings as well as your losses.

So where does the fraud come into it? The perpetrators behind many of the binary options websites, primarily criminals located overseas, are only interested in one thing—taking your money. Complaints about their activities generally fall into one of three categories:

The perpetrators behind many of the binary options websites, primarily criminals located overseas, are only interested in one thing—taking your money.

  • Refusal to credit customer accounts or reimburse funds to customers. This is usually done by cancelling customers’ withdrawal requests, ignoring customer phone calls and e-mails, and sometimes even freezing accounts and accusing the customers themselves of fraud.
  • Identity theft. Representatives of binary options websites may falsely claim that the government requires photocopies of your credit card, passport, driver’s license, utility bills, or other personal data. This information could potentially be used to steal your identity.
  • Manipulation of trading software. Some of these Internet trading platforms may be reconfiguring the algorithms they use in order to purposely generate losing trades, often by distorting prices and payouts. For example, if a customer has a winning trade, the expiration time is extended until the trade becomes a loss.

Fraudulent binary options website operators go to great lengths to recruit investors. They advertise their platforms—often on social networking sites, various trading websites, message boards, and spam e-mail—with big promises of easy money, low risk, and superior customer service. Potential investors are also cold-called from boiler room operations, where high-pressure salespeople use banks of phones to make as many calls as possible to offer “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunities.

What’s being done to combat binary options fraud? The FBI currently has a number of ongoing binary options fraud cases, working with partners like the CFTC and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). And this past January, the Bureau organized the 2017 Binary Options Fraud Summit held at Europol in The Hague, bringing together law enforcement and regulators from throughout North America and Europe to discuss the growing binary options fraud problem.

Special Agent Milan Kosanovich, who works out of our Criminal Investigative Division’s Complex Financial Crimes Unit, was one of the FBI’s representatives at this gathering. “The summit,” he said, “gave all of us the chance to sit down and talk about what we’ve discovered through our respective binary options fraud investigations, where the challenges are, and how we can all work together.”

One of the biggest challenges law enforcement faces, according to Kosanovich, is the fact that the scammers are sophisticated and have operations spanning multiple countries. “So the key to addressing this type of fraud,” he continued, “is national and international coordination between regulatory agencies, law enforcement, and the financial industry.”

Another important factor, said Kosanovich, is investor awareness and education. “Investors need to be aware of the significant potential for fraud on binary options websites, and they need to make sure they do their due diligence before ever placing that first trade or bet.”

What Can You Do to Avoid Being Victimized

  • Make sure that the binary options trading platform you’re interested in has registered its offer and sale of its products with the SEC. (Registration provides investors with key information about the terms of the products being offered). To do this, you can use the Security Exchange Commission’s (SEC) EDGAR Company Filing website.
  • Check to see if the trading platform itself is registered as an exchange at the SEC’s Exchanges website.
  • Ensure that the trading platform is a designated contract market by checking the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CTFC) Designated Contract Markets website. Thousands of entities promote binary options trading in the U.S., but only two are currently authorized to do so by the CFTC.
  • Check out the registration status and background of any firm or financial professional you are considering dealing with. You can do this through the Financial Industry Regulatory Agency’s BrokerCheck website and the National Futures Association Background Affiliation Status Information Center.
  • Take a look at the CFTC’s RED List, which contains the names of unregistered foreign entities that CFTC has reason to believe are soliciting and accepting funds from U.S. residents at a retail level for, among other things, binary options.
  • Finally, don’t invest in something you don’t understand. If you can’t explain the investment opportunity in a few words and in an understandable way, you may need to reconsider the potential investment.

Source: Investor.gov (SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy/CFTC’s Office of Consumer Outreach)

Source: FBI

Attorney General Madigan Collects Nearly $1 Billion in State Revenue in 2016

Posted by Admin On March - 10 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Recoveries for state pension systems brings total pension recoveries

by Attorney General Madigan to over $400 million

 

CHICAGO, IL — Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced her office collected $989,858,586 in revenue on behalf of the state through litigation and collection efforts in 2016. Since Madigan took office, her office has collected over $13 billion on behalf of the state.

 

“I am committed to continuing my work to generate hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for Illinois during this terrible fiscal crisis that has harmed our state,” Madigan said. “In total, I have brought in more than $13 billion for the state since I took office including millions of dollars in funding for our state’s pension systems.”

 

The revenue collected by Madigan in 2016 included $47.5 million for Illinois’ pension systems from settlements with Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs for the investment banks’ misconduct in its marketing and sale of risky residential mortgage-backed securities leading up to the 2008 economic collapse. The settlement with Goldman Sachs also included $16 million in consumer relief. In addition to those settlements, Madigan has reached five other settlements relating to investments in mortgage-backed securities that have secured over $400 million of relief for the pension systems.

 

In addition, Madigan’s office collected over $346 million through collections litigation, including cases involving the collection of funds for damage to state property, child support enforcement, fines and penalties. Madigan also collected more than $278 million through tobacco litigation and more than $317 million in estate tax revenues.

 

 

 

Trump’s’ New Revised Immigration Executive Order “…Looks Like a Duck, Walks Like a Duck, and Sounds Like a Duck…”

Posted by Admin On March - 7 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

NAACP Voices Concerns on Civil Rights Laws and Election Integrity to DOJ

Posted by Admin On March - 6 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS
Frank discussion with AG Sessions on voter protections, police brutality, cuts to DOJ civil rights staff and parallels between alleged Russian election manipulation and domestic voter suppression

 

BALTIMORE, MD – The NAACP engaged Attorney General Jeff Sessions in frank discussion on current threats to civil rights including voter suppression, police misconduct and civil rights enforcement issues. The NAACP discussed parallels between domestic driven voter suppression and the alleged election manipulation of our 2016 presidential election.“The vote represents that sacred sacrament of democracy and any attempts to manipulate, suppress or otherwise reduce the integrity of the vote—whether abroad or domestically –represents a direct threat to our democracy,” said NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks.In the closed door meeting the NAACP expressed disappointment regarding DOJ’s reversal of course on the largely factual issue of whether the Texas Photo ID law was enacted with a racially discriminatory intent. The Texas law affects over 600,000 individuals in Texas alone lacking the identification required by the law.Over the past year the NAACP has successfully waged legal battles against voter suppression laws in several states including North Carolina and Texas. During the meeting with the Attorney General, the NAACP pointed out the parallels between the allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 president election and the voter suppression laws passed by several state legislatures that were successfully challenged by the NAACP.“Our vote is the only thing that makes our democracy real, not just for African Americans but all Americans. We’ll fight against any attempts to corrupt the integrity of our election or the power of our vote regardless of where or whom it comes from,” added President Brooks.

The NAACP also discussed other pressing civil rights including their desire that President Trump nominates for the position of Asst. Attorney General for Civil Rights a lawyer with a record of protecting civil rights, rather than one who has merely defended against civil rights claims. They also highlighted the potential dangers of DOJ pulling back on police investigations and moving away from consent decrees as a means reigning in police departments with patterns of racism and civil rights violations among other items.

Gov. Rauner’s Administration Ignores Victims of Gun Violence, Skips CeaseFire Hearing

Posted by Admin On March - 2 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS
 

CHICAGO, IL – The families of gun violence victims expressed outrage over Gov. Bruce Rauner’s elimination of the CeaseFire program and other public safety services, but Rauner refused to send a representative from his administration to listen to these concerns at a hearing of the House Appropriations-Public Safety Committee in Chicago Wednesday.

 

“The bullet that killed my son may have been stopped if Governor Rauner hadn’t shut down the CeaseFire program in my neighborhood,” said Francine “Frances” Mendiola, whose 17-year-old son was shot and killed. “If this sort of violence were happening in Bruce Rauner’s neighborhood, he would do everything in his power to stop it. I’m here today to tell the governor that children living in Roseland, Englewood, Austin and Little Village matter just as much as kids in his neighborhood.”

 

Despite requests to the governor that he send a designee from his Criminal Justice Information Authority to attend the hearing, no administration officials were present as families affected by gun violence and the residents of some of Chicago’s most at-risk neighborhoods urged lawmakers to reverse the governor’s cuts to CeaseFire.

 

CeaseFire has proven successful in curbing violence in some of Chicago’s most at-risk neighborhoods, but an executive order issued by Gov. Bruce Rauner in 2015 suspended state funding for the program. The governor has since proposed two budgets with zero dollars for CeaseFire, along with other programs proven to keep communities safe including Teen Reach and the Youth Jobs Program. In July 2016, Rauner bragged about cutting “wasteful state spending” including funding for CeaseFire. Meanwhile, violent crime in Chicago and other communities in Illinois has risen sharply: nearly 2,500 more people were shot in Chicago during the last two years when CeaseFire was shut down, compared to the last two full years when CeaseFire interrupters were engaged in community mediation.

 

State Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago, who chairs the Appropriations-Public Safety Committee, questioned Rauner’s commitment to public safety services in his proposed budget and urged fellow committee members to restore funding for CeaseFire and other critical violence prevention programs.

 

“In his State of the State Address, the governor pleaded with lawmakers to address violence in Chicago, then two weeks later he stood before lawmakers and introduced a budget containing no funding for proven violence-prevention programs like CeaseFire, Teen Reach and the Youth Jobs Program,” Cassidy said. “The governor’s words did nothing for 12-year-old Kanari Gentry-Bowers, 11-year-old Takiya Holmes, and two-year-old Lavontay White, Jr., who were shot and killed the same week the governor presented his budget. Keeping our children safe takes more than words, it takes leadership. We all know the financial realities facing the state, but that’s no excuse to turn our backs on people who face the harsh reality that too many face in some of Illinois’ most at-risk neighborhoods.”

 

In order to help individuals find a path away from violence, CeaseFire outreach workers assist community members with job searches, continuing their education, and connecting with treatment for drug abuse. A 2016 study of the program shows that this holistic approach helps reduce rates of homicide and violent crime in neighborhoods with operational CeaseFire locations. Conversely, periods of unstable funding for CeaseFire and other violence prevention programs have been found to correspond with rising rates of shootings and killings in these same neighborhoods.

 

“CeaseFire helped me turn my life around. If they hadn’t been there for me when I was shot last fall, I don’t know where I’d be now,” said Niko Williams, a resident of Chicago’s West Side. “I have seen too many friends get shot, too many neighbors killed, and too many innocent children hit by stray bullets. I’ve also seen how CeaseFire saves lives. I’ve seen CeaseFire workers stand in the way of a gun to prevent shooting. I’ve seen how CeaseFire helps young people in my community get jobs, stay in school and keep out of trouble. Without them, these kids are getting caught up in crime and have no one around to show them a way out.”

 

The CeaseFire program approaches violence prevention as a public health issue and places workers in vulnerable communities to talk with victims, discourage retaliation, and provide preventative resources to people who are at-risk of engaging in violence. By sending outreach workers and violence interrupters to neighborhoods suffering the highest rates of shootings and killings, CeaseFire successfully mediates conflicts before they escalate to violence.

 

“Working for CeaseFire gave me a purpose – to help young people avoid going down the dangerous path that I did and that led me to 12 years behind bars,” said Angalia Bianca, an outreach worker and the implementation specialist for CeaseFire’s parent organization Stop Violence. “CeaseFire’s outreach workers and violence interrupters have found success by building real relationships in their communities. Data shows that eliminating funding for CeaseFire has led to the rate of shootings and killings in Chicago increasing – no question.”

 

 

Ford, NAACP & Dearborn Realtist Board to Issue Report on State of Housing in Black America

Posted by Admin On February - 28 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL –With the rate of African American homeownership plummeting and unemployment percentages in the double digits, State Rep. La Shawn Ford, D-Chicago, the Dearborn Realtist Board, and other local Black Illinois real estate professionals will hold a town hall and press conference at Malcolm X College on Tuesday, February 28 to address the State of Housing in Black America (SHIBA). The press conference will begin at 8:30 a.m. with the town hall to immediately follow.

 

“Poor housing and infrastructure is one of the root causes for the spike of violent crimes in our communities,” said Ford. “When there is an abundance of vacant property in a neighborhood, property values drop and residents bear a burden that usually leads to a lack of commercial development and food options.”

 

Ford and the Dearborn Realtist Board, Inc., a group formed in Chicago in 1941 by African American real estate professionals, will convene to address the problems of increased crime and violence in minority communities due to a lack of quality housing and infrastructure. The town hall will share the comprehensive SHIBA report from the National Association of Real Estate Brokers. The SHIBA Report illustrates the disproportionate and unfair lending practices that block fair access to communities of color. This report is designed to shed light on many of the issues centered on foreclosure mitigation, neighborhood blight, and disaster recovery for Blacks. The town hall members will discuss current and future legislative changes to how the City of Chicago, State of Illinois and the country as a whole treat housing and development in African American communities.

 

“Universal Housing Solutions CDC, a 501c3 organization, supports the SHIBA report and the efforts of State Representative La Shawn K. Ford, NAREB and the Dearborn Realtist Board in highlighting the discrimination and the inequities of affordable housing within communities of color.” Phyllis Logan, Executive Director. # # #

 

“The Dearborn Realtist Board is pleased and honored that Rep. Ford understands the housing crisis facing people of color,” said Tracey Taylor, President of the Dearborn Realtist Board. “We agree that a press conference and town hall meeting will shed a light on the housing inequities for people of color in Chicago. Rep. Ford has embraced the NAREB SHIBA report because of the true illustration and documentation of the systemic housing practices that has robbed black and brown people of home equity and access to credit.”

 

Ford represents the 8th Representative District, which contains parts of Chicago’s Austin neighborhood and portions of Berwyn, Brookfield, Forest Park, La Grange, North Riverside and Oak Park. For more information, please contact Rep. Ford’s District Office at 773-378-5902, 708- 445-3673 or visit www.LaShawnFord.com.

 

WHO: State Rep. La Shawn K. Ford
  Dearborn Realist Board, Inc.

NAACP

Universal Housing Solutions CDC

NAREB

 
WHAT: Town Hall and Press Conference on the State of Housing in Black America
 
WHEN: Tuesday, February 28, 2017
  Press conference to begin at 8:30 a.m. with the town hall to immediately follow
 
WHERE: Malcolm X College
  1900 W. Jackson Ave. Chicago, IL
Building MX01 – Level 1

Room 1108, Conference Hall A

 

Record Wisconsin Settlement for Police Shooting of Tony Robinson, Jr.

Posted by Admin On February - 23 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Unarmed Teenager Was Shot by a Madison Police Officer

A news conference discussing the $3.35 million settlement, which exceeds by more than $1 million the previous record in Wisconsin for a police-officer shooting suit, was held yesterday.

Tony Robinson, Jr. was 19 years old and unarmed when he was shot seven times on March 6, 2015 by Madison police officer Matthew Kenny.

A detailed analysis of the wrongful shooting can be found in the suit against Madison, and in the document presenting Robinson’s facts to the federal court, which are posted here and here.

Attending the press conference were family and friends of Tony Robinson, Jr., and the family’s attorneys. Besides his parents, Tony Robinson, Jr. is survived by five younger brothers and sisters.

Attorneys for the family are David B. Owens, Anand Swaminathan and Elizabeth Mazur of the Chicago civil rights law firm Loevy & Loevy Attorneys at Law.

Loevy & Loevy is the largest civil rights law firm in the Midwest, with offices in Chicago and Boulder.

Chicago’s Immigrant Communities Prepared to Respond to Revised Executive Order from Trump

Posted by Admin On February - 21 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Immigrants also responding to ICE raids with mass protests across the country

 

A press conference in response to Donald Trump’s revised #MuslimBan executive order, and immigrant raids across the country will be held outside the Chicago office of the Department of Homeland Security, 525 W. Van Buren Street; downtown Chicago, two hours after the official announcement from the White House.

 


CHICAGO, IL – President Donald Trump is expected to sign a revised #MuslimBan executive order sometime today (February 21st), and a number of the organizations that have led the resistance against his first month in office will discuss the order at a press conference two hours after the announcement / signing.

Although it is reported that changes to the original January 27th ban will include the exemption of green card holders and the removal of the indefinite ban on Syrian refugees, immigrant advocates still see it as a continuation of the racist, xenophobic, and Islamophobic policies of the Trump administration.  

“Make no mistake that what we are hearing and reading is that this is still very much a Muslim Ban,” said Ahlam Jbara, board member of the Arab American Action Network. “Immigrants from the same seven Muslim-majority Middle Eastern, Arab, and African countries will be targeted and disallowed entry into the U.S., and refugees won’t be accepted here either.”

Trump’s original executive order was defeated when thousands of people across the country descended on airports—including close to 5,000 on O’Hare over two nights—to protest the ban. These protests prompted a federal judge in Washington to file an injunction freezing the order, which was upheld on appeal by the 9th Circuit.  Advocates believed that Trump would challenge the ruling at the Supreme Court, but he chose to revise the order instead.   

In addition, the Immigrant and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids in multiple cities, which have targeted mostly Mexican and Central American immigrants and threatened mass detention and deportation, have been met with tens of thousands of protesters across the country.  Resistance to Trump’s first month in office is unprecedented.

#NoMuslimBanChi #NoBanNoWallNoRaidsChicago

 

All conveners and supporters of the Chicago and Oak Park actions since January 27th: Arab American Action Network, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Chicago, Organized Communities Against Deportations, United African Organization, Korean American Resource and Cultural Center, PASO – West Suburban Action Project, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, National Immigrant Justice Center, U.S. Palestinian Community Network, National Lawyers Guild, Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, Pilsen Alliance, Chicago Teachers Union, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Student and Graduate Activists (SAGA)-UIC, Syrian Community Network, Arab American Family Services, Indo-American Center, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance of Illinois, Inner-city Muslim Action Network, National Alliance for Filipino Concerns, Anakbayan-Chicago, Iraqi Mutual Aid Society, Jewish Voice for Peace, Campaign to TAKE ON HATE, Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago, Suburban Unity Alliance, American Muslims for Palestine, Jewish Voice for Peace-Chicago, Arab Jewish Partnership for Peace and Justice in the Middle East, Centro de Trabajadores Unidos, Suburban Unity Alliance, Black Lives Matter-Chicago, Arise-Chicago, United Electrical Workers (UE) Western Region, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Healthcare Illinois and Indiana, United Working Families, Fight for 15-Chicago, elected and appointed officials, and many other advocacy, immigrant rights, and legal groups.

Attorney General Madigan: Walgreens Must Pay $50 Million for Unlawful Prescription Marketing Scheme

Posted by Admin On February - 17 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL─ Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced Illinois has joined at least 30 other states and the federal government to settle allegations that Walgreen Co. unlawfully solicited and persuaded Medicare and Medicaid recipients to enroll in its “Prescription Savings Club” in order to gain more profitable customers, which was in violation of federal and state anti-kickback laws.

 

Walgreen Co., headquartered in suburban Deerfield, enticed Medicare and Medicaid patients with savings, coupons and other offers to join the company’s prescription savings club, which amounted to an unlawful marketing scheme. Walgreens will pay the states and the federal government $50 million, of which nearly $8.5 million will go to state Medicaid programs. The remaining portion of the settlement is attributed to Medicare and Tricare programs. Illinois will receive more than $740,000 in restitution and other recoveries from the settlement.

 

“Walgreens disregarded the law when the company targeted Medicare and Medicaid recipients,” Madigan said. “This kind of blatant corporate misconduct will not be tolerated.”

 

The investigation resulted from a false claims action originally filed in January 2012 in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York under the federal False Claims Act and various state false claims statutes.

 

Deputy Bureau Chief Heather Tullio D’Orazio with Madigan’s Medicaid Fraud Bureau led a National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units (NAMFCU) team that participated in the investigation and conducted the settlement negotiations with Walgreen Co. on behalf of the states. Other members of the team included representatives from the following attorneys general offices: California, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan and New York. Madigan’s office works in conjunction with the Illinois State Police Medicaid Fraud Control Bureau to investigate and prosecute civil and criminal cases of Medicaid Fraud.

 

 

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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