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April , 2017
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New America Media By Anna Challet While poverty remains at historically high levels, the ...
Baltimore, MD – Baltimore City NAACP President Tessa Hill-Aston is excited to announce a ...
Statement by President Barack Obama on designating monuments honoring Civil Rights History:   Today, I am designating ...
WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Barack Obama granted commutations of sentence to 46 individuals. •    Jerry Allen ...
CHICAGO, IL - Scammers are sending emails claiming to be from ...
With June 30 Expiration, Congress Can Prevent Shutdown WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mark ...
Nationwide (BlackNews.com) – African Americans represent 14% in the nation. They are a growing 38% ...
Opening ReMARCs By Marc Morial President & CEO, National Urban League “Jobs Rebuild America” is more than ...
Attorney General Warns Phone Scammers Posing as Government Officials Attempt to Con Illinois Residents Into ...
As schools across the state implement the new Illinois Learning Standards, ...

Archive for the ‘Legal Matters’ Category

Former Chief Executive Officer And Chief Financial Officer Of China Medical Technologies Charged In A $400 Million Securities Fraud Scheme

Posted by Admin On March - 21 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Defendants misappropriated funds raised through two note offerings

 

BROOKLYN, NY – A three-count indictment was unsealed this afternoon in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, charging Xiaodong Wu, the founder, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors of China Medical Technologies, Inc. (China Medical), and Tak Yung Samson Tsang, also known as “Sam Tsang,” the Chief Financial Officer and a member of the Board of Directors of China Medical, with securities fraud, securities fraud conspiracy and wire fraud conspiracy.[1]  Wu and Tsang are alleged to have defrauded China Medical’s noteholders and investors of more than $400 million through misrepresentations about the use of proceeds raised through two note offerings and by then stealing the invested funds by transferring them to entities controlled by, or affiliated with, Wu and Tsang.  The defendants are fugitives.

The charges were announced by Bridget M. Rohde, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI).

“As alleged, Xiaodong Wu and Samson Tsang deceived unsuspecting investors who thought they were investing in a NASDAQ-listed medical device company but whose investments were stolen and fraudulently transferred to entities in China controlled by Wu and Tsang.  The defendants’ scheme defrauded the investing public of more than $400 million,” stated Acting United States Attorney Rohde.  “Today’s indictment further demonstrates our commitment to protecting investors and to holding accountable those who seek to abuse the financial markets to enrich themselves.”

“As alleged, Wu and Tsang led their victims down a narrow path of deceit.  They betrayed the trust of those who took them at their word, stole their money, and made off with more than $400 million.  Whether you omit key facts or intentionally misrepresent the truth, defrauding investors is a crime you won’t get away with it,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney.

As detailed in the indictment, between January 2005 and November 2012, Wu and Tsang, together with their co-conspirators, orchestrated a scheme to defraud China Medical’s noteholders and investors through material misrepresentations and omissions relating to, among other things, the use of approximately $426 million in investments and the subsequent transfer of these investments to entities controlled by, or affiliated with Wu and Tsang.  China Medical issued three series of notes: (i) on or about November 21, 2006, $150 million of 3.5 percent convertible senior subordinated notes due 2011 (2011 Notes); (ii) on or about August 15, 2008, $276 million of 4 percent convertible senior notes due 2013 (2013 Notes); and (iii) on or about December 6, 2010, $150 million of 6.25 percent convertible senior notes due 2016 (2016 Notes).

 

Wu and Tsang represented in the offering memoranda for the 2013 Notes and 2016 Notes that they would use the proceeds for general corporate purposes, for the acquisitions of businesses, products and technologies and to repurchase outstanding convertible notes.  Contrary to these representations, most of the money raised through the 2013 Notes and the 2016 Notes was eventually transferred by Wu and Tsang to entities controlled by Wu, Tsang and their co-conspirators.  For example, between November 3, 2006 and December 4, 2008, approximately $303.75 million of the approximately $576 million that China Medical raised in its three note offerings was transferred to an entity that was owned by an associate of Wu and Tsang, and approximately $202 million was subsequently transferred to bank accounts controlled by Wu. Additionally, the intellectual property that was the subject of the note offerings was approximately 20 years old and off-patent, and any value it had was minimal.

 

To execute their fraudulent scheme, Wu and Tsang caused China Medical’s independent director and outside auditor to resign, stopped making public disclosures of material events affecting the value of its securities and stopped making interest payments on the notes.  On August 31, 2012, China Medical filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy protection in the Southern District of New York.
To date, $246.5 million of the 2013 Notes and $150 million of the 2016 Notes remain outstanding.

The criminal case has been assigned to United States District Judge Kiyo A. Matsumoto.  If convicted, each of the defendants faces a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment.

The government’s case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Business and Securities Fraud Section.  Assistant United States Attorneys Lauren H. Elbert and Winston M. Paes are in charge of the prosecution, with assistance provided by Assistant United States Attorney Tanya Hill of the Office’s Civil Division.

 

The Defendants:

 

XIAODONG WU

Age: 59

Residence: PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA

 

TAK YUNG SAMSON TSANG, also known as “Sam Tsang”

Age: 46

Residence: PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA

E.D.N.Y. Docket no. 17-cr-144 (Kam)

[1] The charges announced are allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Source: FBI

Former N.J. Lawyer Sentenced To Four Years In Prison For $40.8 Million Mortgage Fraud Scheme

Posted by Admin On March - 10 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

CAMDEN, N.J. – A former New Jersey lawyer was sentenced today to 48 months in prison for participating in a conspiracy that caused lenders to release $40.8 million based on fraudulent mortgage loan applications and laundered the proceeds of the fraud, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

 

Joseph W. Witkowski, 70, of Flemington, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty to an indictment charging him with one count each of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. U.S. District Judge Joseph H. Rodriguez imposed the sentence today in Camden federal court.

 

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

 

Witkowski and his conspirators located oceanfront condominiums overbuilt by financially distressed developers in Wildwood Crest, New Jersey; premier real estate in vacation destinations in Georgia and South Carolina; and properties in New Jersey owned by financially distressed homeowners facing foreclosure. They then recruited “straw buyers” – people with good credit scores but lacking the financial resources to qualify for mortgage loans – to purchase those properties.

 

Witkowski and his conspirators created false documents, including fake W-2 forms, income tax returns, investment statements, and rental agreements, to make the straw buyers appear more creditworthy than they actually were. They also established numerous telephone lines for companies owned by some of the conspirators so that when a lender contacted the telephone number, the conspirators could falsely verify that a straw buyer was employed by the company listed on his or her fraudulent loan application.

 

Witkowski also caused fraudulent mortgage loan applications in the name of the straw buyers and supporting documents, which attributed to the straw buyers inflated income and assets, to be submitted to mortgage lenders. Once the loans were approved and the mortgage lenders sent the loan proceeds in connection with real estate closings on the properties, Witkowski and his conspirators had some of the funds wired or checks deposited into various accounts that he and his conspirators controlled.

 

In addition to the prison term, Judge Rodriguez sentenced Witkowski to three years of supervised release and ordered restitution of $13,105570. As part of his plea agreement, he must forfeit $2,412,899, representing the proceeds of the fraud.

 

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher; and special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jonathan D. Larsen, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.

 

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Diana Carrig of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Camden.

 

Defense counsel: Maggie Moy Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Camden

Source: FBI

Violent Bank Robber Sentenced to 37 Years

Posted by Admin On March - 7 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Local/Federal Law Enforcement Partnerships Work

External shot of the Humboldt, Tennessee bank in which an attempted bank robbery and shooting took place on March 18, 2015.

A March 2015 attempted robbery at this bank in Humboldt, Tennessee resulted in the shooting of a bank manager. A joint law enforcement investigation resulted in a lengthy prison term for the perpetrator.

It was every bank employee’s worst nightmare—being threatened at gunpoint by an individual demanding entrance to a bank vault. The employee in this instance, who was one of the bank’s managers, told the man she was unable to open it, so he shot her and fled.

The violent and brazen attempted bank robbery took place early in the morning on March 18, 2015 in the small Tennessee town of Humboldt, located approximately 90 miles northeast of Memphis. The perpetrator, Dominic Williams, was apprehended and charged with the crime—and as a result of the joint investigation by the Humboldt Police Department (HPD) and the Memphis FBI Field Office, he was sentenced last month to 37 years in federal prison.

In the early morning hours of that March day, the bank manager left her house and walked to the carport to get to her car. Williams, who had been hiding in front of her vehicle, stood up and, pointing the gun at the manager, asked if “she wanted to die today.” He forced her into the driver’s seat and demanded that she drive to her bank. Once at the bank, he had her unlock the doors—no one else was in yet—and told her to get money from the cashiers’ drawers, but the drawers were empty at the time. He then demanded that she open the night drop vault, and when she didn’t, he simply shot her through the chest and ran off.

The victim, who had played dead after she was shot, was able to call 911 and give a detailed description of her attacker—she also calmly kept pressure on her wounds while awaiting help. And arriving bank employees and other witnesses notified the HPD.

Shortly after arriving on the scene, the HPD police chief saw a suspicious person about a block or so away stripping off some clothing and throwing it into a dumpster. The man was taken into custody, and the FBI was called.

HPD personnel secured the crime scene, and the Memphis FBI’s Evidence Response Team processed it. Members of the Violent Crime Task Force from FBI Memphis’ Jackson Resident Agency responded as well, interviewing the suspect and witnesses and searching the suspect’s home. And fingerprints from Dominic Williams were taken and sent to our Criminal Justice Information Services Division, where analysts linked them to prints taken from an individual by the same name who had committed similar crimes in California as a gang member and had served time in state prison.

The handgun used during a March 18, 2015 violent bank robbery in Humboldt, Tennessee was recovered by investigators underneath leaves in an alley.

This gun—used by Dominic Williams to abduct and then shoot a bank manager—was recovered by investigators in an alley underneath some leaves.

“A strong working relationship was fostered with the Humboldt Police Department that day, and it remains positive to this day.”

Case agent, FBI Jackson (Tennessee) Resident Agency

All evidence was immediately recovered in or near the bank, except for the gun. The interview team was able to get the suspect to draw a map of where he discarded the gun when he fled the scene—and investigators were able to retrieve it.

Subsequent investigation revealed that Williams, who had recently relocated to Tennessee, used computers to research open source information on bank employees. He also surveilled employees, keeping track of their comings and goings to and from the bank. The bank manager he ultimately focused on lived just a short distance from the bank.

The evidence against Williams was overwhelming—including the court testimony of the woman he nearly killed—and he pleaded guilty in August 2016. According to the FBI case agent from the Jackson Resident Agency, the victim “had learned that the bullet missed her vital organs by the smallest of margins, but she would later recover and continue working hard for the citizens of Humboldt.”

The case agent also said that a member of the Humboldt Police Department worked with Bureau personnel throughout the investigative process and was a crucial member of the team. He added, “A strong working relationship was fostered with the Humboldt Police Department that day, and it remains positive to this day.”

This case is just one example of the many investigations conducted every day in communities across America where the FBI joins forces with its law enforcement partners to get dangerous criminals off the streets.

FBI Releases New Bank Robbers Mobile App

FBI Releases New Bank Robbers Mobile App

The FBI launched a mobile version of its Bank Robbers website to make it easier for smartphone users to view photos and information about bank robberies.

Source: FBI

Founder of Suburban Tech Company Sentenced to 9 Years for Defrauding Investors out of More Than $9 Million

Posted by Admin On March - 7 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL — The founder of a northwest suburban tech company has been sentenced to nine years in federal prison for defrauding investors out of more than $9 million.

GREGORY WEBB, 71, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Elk Grove Village-based InfrAegis Inc., was convicted last year on nine counts of mail and wire fraud for fraudulently raising more than $9 million from more than 200 investors. In written materials and telephone conference calls with investors between 2007 and 2012, Webb falsely portrayed InfrAegis as a successful company with growing stakes in the science and technology field. Among other things, Webb told investors that the company had signed or was on the verge of signing billion-dollar contracts with government agencies and municipalities across the world, including Chicago. The company’s products purportedly could protect the public from terrorist attacks by recognizing individuals on the terrorist watch list and instantaneously detecting biological, chemical and radiological threats on city streets, as well as by identifying harmful bacteria and other threats to the world’s food and water supply.

In reality, InfrAegis was not in a position to deploy any of its products because they had never been fully developed or tested, and the company had never signed contracts or even came close to signing contracts for the deployment of its products. The investors, some of whom included Chicago firefighters and other first responders, never received any return on their investment in the company.

U.S. District Judge Virginia M. Kendall imposed the 108-month sentence Wednesday in federal court in Chicago. In imposing the sentence, Judge Kendall described the offense as “egregious,” and noted it was “heartbreaking” to read letters that victims had submitted to the Court.

The sentence was announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Michael J. Anderson, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which filed a civil enforcement action against Webb and InfrAegis, provided valuable assistance.

“Defendant engaged in a multi-year, multi-million-dollar fraud scheme designed to extract as much money as he could from trusting investors by lying to them,” Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kruti Trivedi and Rick D. Young argued in the government’s sentencing memorandum. “Defendant’s actions have had and will continue to have long-term consequences for many of these victims.”

Evidence at Webb’s trial revealed that more than $500,000 was paid to Webb and his spouse between 2007 and 2012. The company also spent more than $800,000 to pay corporate credit cards that were used to charge Webb’s daily living expenses, including charges at restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations, tobacco stores, a movie theatre, a sporting goods store, and an Apple iTunes account.

Webb, of Dallas, Tex., formerly resided in Arlington Heights. InfrAegis is now defunct.

Source: FBI

Two Corrections Officers Sentenced for Smuggling Drugs into Middleton Jail

Posted by Admin On March - 6 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

BOSTON – Two former corrections officers at the Essex County Correctional Facility were sentenced recently in U.S. District Court in Boston for their involvement with smuggling Suboxone into the Essex County House of Corrections – Middleton for inmates.

 

Katherine Sullivan, 32, of Londonderry, N.H., was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Court Judge Allison D. Burroughs to 36 months of probation, 120 hours of community service, and ordered to pay a fine of $5,000. In November 2016, Sullivan pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring with inmates to distribute Suboxone, a drug used to treat opioid addiction, between October and December 2015.

 

In January 2017, U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns sentenced John S. Weir, 34, of Danvers, Mass., to the same sentence after Weir pleaded guilty to conspiring with inmates to distribute Suboxone between September and November 2014. Both Sullivan and Weir have resigned from their positions as corrections officers.

 

The investigations revealed that Weir and Sullivan obtained Suboxone strips from sources outside the jail and smuggled the contraband into the facility when reporting for their shifts. Inmates receiving the Suboxone from Weir and Sullivan then sold the drug to other prisoners inside the correctional facility.

 

Essex County Sheriff Kevin F. Coppinger said, “We have a zero tolerance policy for this type of behavior and we will take swift and decisive action in all cases.”

 

Acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb; Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division; and Essex County Sheriff Coppinger, made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney William F. Bloomer of Weinreb’s Public Corruption and Special Prosecutions Unit prosecuted the cases.

Source: FBI

Clifford Law Offices Files Lawsuit Against J&J and Walgreens for Chicago Woman’s Cancer Diagnosis from its Talc Products

Posted by Admin On March - 2 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

 Clifford Law Offices late this afternoon (March 1, 2017) filed a complaint against Walgreen Co. and Johnson & Johnson for their selling talcum powder to a Chicago woman who has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer as a result of long-term use of the product.

 Andrea Harris, 63, of Chicago was diagnosed two years ago with ovarian cancer following her regular and prolonged exposure over the last 36 years to talcum powder that she purchased exclusively at Walgreens, a company based in Deerfield.

 The talc was manufactured, marketed, tested, promoted and distributed by Johnson & Johnson, a company based in New Jersey.  The complaint alleges that the companies held the product out to be safe for daily use despite studies that revealed information regarding its link to causing cancer, particularly in women.

 Harris, along with her husband of 47 years, Bart Harris, filed the lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court after learning that talc is a known carcinogen, yet defendants continued to make and sell the product to unknowing consumers, such as Andrea Harris.  Harris stopped using the product in 2014 and was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2015. More recently, Ms. Harris and the public learned of the causal link between talc and certain types of ovarian cancer.

 Harris is asking for an unspecified amount of damages for the defendants’ failure to warn her of the dangers of talc as well as for the negligent manufacture of the product, breach of warranty, negligent misrepresentation to her as a consumer, fraudulent concealment and intentional misrepresentation.  Her attorneys also allege a violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act.

For further information, please contact Clifford Law Offices Communications Partner Pamela Sakowicz Menaker at 847-721-0909 (cell).

N-DEx Plays a Major Role in Uncovering a Multi-State Credit Card Fraud Ring

Posted by Admin On February - 17 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

An intelligence analyst (IA) with the New York State Intelligence Center became aware of an “Attempt to Identify” bulletin from Spotsylvania, Virginia, in January 2015. The Attempt to Identify pertained to a group of subjects who used cloned credit cards at a liquor store where two of the subjects presented New York identification cards. The IA identified one of the subjects; however, the IA possessed only partial identifying information on the second subject.

 

After unsuccessfully searching local New York resources, the IA searched the FBI’s National Data Exchange (N-DEx) System. From the N-DEx System, the IA learned that the unidentified subject had been involved in another incident in Virginia, which revealed two more subjects. The IA performed N-DEx System searches of the two new subjects and discovered that they had been involved in similar credit card incidents in Tennessee, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. Next, the IA researched the newly discovered incidents and learned of more connected subjects. With each new N-DEx System record she found, the IA contacted the record-owning agency and obtained permission to use their information in the case she was building. The IA eventually uncovered a 16-person credit card fraud ring that was based in Far Rockaway, New York, and specifically targeted liquor and cigarette stores. The subjects had been renting cars for months at a time and hauling the low-tax liquor and cigarettes to sell in New York. The IA tied together 32 incidents in eight states and compiled a 22-page packet detailing the subjects and a timeline of the incidents. Her efforts resulted in information-sharing among 21 local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.

The IA said, “I developed this case [almost] exclusively with N-DEx, and without the system, this case would not have been nearly as successful. N-DEx truly is an invaluable resource, and I have had many case successes that otherwise would not have happened without data from N-DEx.”

 

For more information about how N-DEx can help your law enforcement agency, please contact the program office at ndex@leo.gov or call (304) 625-0555.

 

Source: FBI

 

Jamaican National Indicted in Federal Drug Case for Allegedly Supplying Flight Attendant With Nearly 60 Pounds of Cocaine

Posted by Admin On February - 3 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

LOS ANGELES – A federal grand jury has named a Jamaican man in an indictment that accuses him of supplying a Jet Blue flight attendant with nearly 60 pounds of cocaine that she attempted to smuggle on to a plane at Los Angeles International Airport.

Gaston Brown, 39, of Jamaica, was charged yesterday with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, and one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

Brown is currently serving a one-year-and-one-day federal prison sentence after being convicted in the Southern District of Florida of illegal re-entry after deportation. A federal judge yesterday issued a writ directing that Brown be brought to Los Angeles for an arraignment, which will likely be in mid-February.

Brown allegedly supplied the narcotics to Marsha Gay Reynolds, a former JetBlue flight attendant, who pleaded guilty last month to federal drug charges and admitted she attempted to bring the narcotics through a security checkpoint at LAX by using her “known crewmember” credentials.

“This case demonstrates law enforcement’s commitment to disrupting dangerous drug trafficking networks,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “After making the large seizure of narcotics at LAX, investigators continued to look into this matter, which resulted in the indictment of a defendant who was trafficking a significant amount of cocaine.”

An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

If Brown is convicted of the drug trafficking charges, he would face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison and a maximum possible sentence of life.

This investigation is being conducted by the Los Angeles International Airport Criminal Enterprise Task Force (LAACETF), an inter-agency task force based at LAX. The Task Force, which includes representatives of the FBI, the DEA, United States Customs and Border Protection, the Transportation Security Administration, the Los Angeles International Airport Police Department, the Los Angeles Police Department, and the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. The LAACETF provides a coordinated law enforcement effort to target airport/airline internal criminal enterprises that use the aviation system to transport large amounts of illicit drugs throughout the United States and various international destinations.

This matter is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Reema M. El-Amamy of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force.

Source: FBI

Who Owns Antiquity? The National Hellenic Museum Brings Famed Attorneys to Face Off on March 16 at The Art Institute

Posted by Admin On February - 3 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL  – On March 16, 2017, the public will decide one of the most highly anticipated international cases, The Trial of the Parthenon Marbles.  Following the extraordinary success of The Trials of Socrates, Orestes, and Antigone, The National Hellenic Museum will conduct this latest Trial at the Rubloff Auditorium and The Art Institute. There, in a court filled with nationally renowned judges and attorneys, The Trial of the Parthenon Marbles will decide whether these classical Greek marble sculptures should return to Greece or remain in the British Museum.

The Parthenon Marbles, also known as the Elgin Marbles, originally formed much of the exterior decoration of the Parthenon. In the early 1800s, the Ottoman governor of Greece allegedly permitted Lord Elgin to ship them to England. They have been on display at the British Museum for nearly 200 years. Since obtaining independence from the Ottoman Empire, Greece has pressed the United Kingdom for the Marbles’ return, a request that has been refused on the grounds that ownership was properly acquired.

Presiding over the proceedings will be Judges Richard A. Posner and William J. Bauer from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne M. Burke, US District Judge Charles P. Kocoras and Cook County Circuit Judge Anna H. Demacopoulos.

Greece, looking to regain control of the Parthenon Marbles, will be represented by Daniel K. Webb and Robert A. Clifford, who are expected to argue in court that Lord Elgin obtained the Parthenon Marbles without proper permission and thus lacked title.  Supporting their efforts will be Sam Adam, Jr., who will present an expert witness on behalf of Greece.  Mr. Adam will also cross examine the British expert.

The British will take issue with the Greek argument. Representing the United Kingdom and the British Museum, Patrick M. Collins and Patrick J. Fitzgerald, are expected to argue not only the validity of Lord Elgin’s possession of the Marbles, but the equity of British Museum’s continued ownership insofar is it came into possession of the Marbles in good faith. Tinos Diamantatos will present an expert witness on behalf of the British side and will cross examine the Greek expert.

Cast your vote for whether the Marbles should return or remain at The Trial of the Parthenon Marbles on March 16 at The Art Institute – Rubloff Auditorium, 230 S Columbus Dr., Chicago, IL 60603. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. and the trial begins at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets are $100 per person and are available for purchase at http://www.nationalhellenicmuseum.org/the-trial, contact Francesca Peppiatt at (312) 655-1234, ext. 21, or purchase in person at the National Hellenic Museum’s gift shop.

Judges:

  • The Honorable William J. Bauer, Judge for the Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit
  • The Honorable Richard A. Posner, Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit
  • The Honorable Anna H. Demacopoulos, Circuit Court of Cook County
  • The Honorable Anne M. Burke, Illinois Supreme Court.
  • The Honorable Charles P. Kocoras, U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Illinois

Attorneys:

  • Robert A. Clifford, Founder & Senior Partner, of Clifford Law Offices and past president of the Chicago Bar Association
  • Patrick M. Collins, Partner, Perkins Coie, former First Assistant U. S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois
  • Patrick J. Fitzgerald, Litigation Partner, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, former U. S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois
  • Dan K. Webb, Chairman, Winston & Strawn, former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois
  • Sam Adam Jr., founder Sam Adam Junior Law Group
  • Tinos Diamantatos, partner, Morgan Lewis

 

About the National Hellenic Museum

 

The National Hellenic Museum (NHM) portrays and celebrates Greek heritage and the Hellenic legacy. With a rich depository of over 20,000 artifacts, the Museum highlights the contributions of Greeks and Greek-Americans to the American mosaic and inspires curiosity about visitors’ own family journeys though cultural expression, oral history and experiential education. Located in Chicago’s Greektown, the Museum provides lifelong learning for the whole community through classes, exhibitions and programs that spark inquiry and discussion about the broader issues in our lives.

For more information, visit http://www.nationalhellenicmuseum.org or call 312-655-1234.

Seven Sentenced in $6 Million Health Care Fraud Scheme

Posted by Admin On February - 2 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

HOUSTON – The final seven of eight convicted in a $6 million fraudulent Medicare billing scheme have been ordered to federal prison, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson.

 

A Houston federal jury has returned guilty verdicts June 28, 2016, against Giam Nguyen, D.O.,47, of Houston; Benjamin Martinez, M.D., 35, of Dallas; Donovan Simmons, M.D., 43, of Austin; and Anna Bagoumian, 44, of Glendale, California, following an eight-day trial and approximately 13 hours of deliberation. Zaven Pogosyan, 38, Edvard Shakhbazyan, 41, and Seryan Mirzakhanyan, 32, all of Glendale, California; and Frank Montgomery, 67, of Houston; pleaded guilty prior to trial.

 

At a hearing that concluded late yesterday, U.S. District Judge Lynn N. Hughes handed Nguyen, Edvard Shakhbazyan and Pogosyan all sentences of 87 months in prison and ordered they pay restitution in the amount of $3.3 million. Martinez, Montgomery and Simmons were ordered to serve respective sentences of 28, 17 and 15 months, while Bagoumian will serve a 51-month-term of imprisonment. All were also ordered to pay varying terms of restitution ranging from $6,200 to $2.6 million.

 

Seryan Mirzakhanyan, 32, was sentenced earlier this month to a 28-month-term of imprisonment and ordered to pay restitution of $1.48 million.

 

The scheme involved fraudulent billing for diagnostic testing done at three different clinics from September 2008 to May 2010. Patients were paid to come to the clinics, and the clinics then billed for tests that were either not performed or not medically necessary.

 

Pogosyan and Edvard Shakhbazyan were the former owners of medical clinics located at 2110 Jefferson, 2112 Pease and 6892 Southwest Freeway, Suite 2A, in Houston. Both admitted they opened the three clinics with the intention to defraud Medicare. The majority of the diagnostic tests allegedly performed there were either not done or not medically necessary. Further, the medical equipment, patient files and doctors were all there only to make it appear legitimate. The men also admitted hiring doctors for that purpose and that they paid marketers to bring patients to the fraudulent clinics.

 

Pogosyan hired Nguyen, who was the only doctor working at the clinics. Pogosyan also hired Martinez and Simmons to travel to Houston once a month to review patient files at the clinic located on Pease Street.

 

Patients were brought to the clinics by recruiters/marketers like Montgomery who were paid for each patient they delivered. Seryan Mirzakhanyan and Edvard Shakhbazyan paid the marketers for the patients as did Pogosyan and Bagoumian. Mirzakhanyan and Montgomery testified at trial about receiving the cash payments. The court also heard that Bagoumian participated in shredding all of the patient and business records of the Jefferson clinic.

 

Some of the Medicare beneficiaries also testified as to being paid approximately $100 to go to the clinics. They had primary care physicians, but they reported that they were not referred to the clinics by their physicians nor did they receive any of the test results.

 

During trial, a law enforcement agent testified about reviewing patient files seized during the searches of the Pease and Southwest Freeway clinics. The jury heard that 730 of the 1229 patients reported their chief complaint as back pain. Nevertheless, those patients were given ultrasounds of their kidneys, abdomens, thyroids, carotid arteries as well as allergy tests and anorectal tests. His testimony also revealed that not one of the files contained a plan of treatment or any indication that the test results were discussed with the patient.

 

Further, an expert witness told the jury that the anorectal manometry and EMG of the anal or urethral sphincter test results in the patient files were physiologically impossible and therefore could not have been done. He also said there was no medical justification in any of the files to do either of the tests.

 

The court also heard that Simmons had admitted being paid $40,000 for reviewing 20-30 patient files in less than four hours. Bagoumian received checks totaling $183,000 and cashed every one of them, according to testimony.

 

With the exception of Bagoumian and Montgomery, who were ordered into custody for violating the terms of their pre-trial release, all had been on bond. Nguyen was taken into custody following the sentencing where he will remain pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future. The remaining defendants were permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

 

Multiple agencies conducted the investigation to include The Texas Attorney General’s Office – Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, IRS – Criminal Investigation, FBI, Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Al Balboni and Rodolfo Ramirez prosecuted the case.

Source: FBI

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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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