Best Defender Bytes:

September 30, 2013

BURBANK-BASED DIAGNOSTIC LABS AGREES TO PAY $17.5 MILLION TO RESOLVE ILLEGAL KICKBACK ALLEGATIONS

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:45 am

LOS ANGELES – Kan-Di-Ki, LLC, doing business as Diagnostic Laboratories and Radiology (Diagnostic Labs), has agreed to pay $17.5 million to resolve allegations that it submitted false claims to Medicare and Medi-Cal (the State of California’s Medicaid program) that were tainted by a kickback scheme.

Diagnostic Labs, which is headquartered in Burbank, provides lab and x-ray services to patients at skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) in Southern California.  SNFs, commonly known as nursing homes, are a healthcare option for senior citizens who are in need of constant medical attention.

Diagnostic Labs allegedly charged SNFs below cost rates for Medicare Part A business, in exchange for the facilities’ provision of Medicare Part B and Medi-Cal business back to Diagnostic Labs.  This scheme is alleged to have violated the federal Anti-Kickback Act (42 U.S.C. § 1320a-7b(b)(2)(A)) and the federal and state False Claims Acts.

(more…)

FATHER CAUGHT ON HIDDEN CAMERA SENTENCED TO 13 YEARS TO LIFE IN STATE PRISON FOR ATTEMPTED MURDER OF 2-MONTH-OLD SON FOR SHAKING, STRANGLING, AND SWINGING BABY BY NECK

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:41 am

FULLERTON – A father caught on a hidden video camera was sentenced today to 13 years to life in state prison for attempting to murder his 2-month-old son by swinging him by the neck with a noose-like blanket and repeatedly punching, strangling, and shaking the baby. Joshua Allen Robey, 26, Costa Mesa, was found guilty by a jury Aug. 19, 2013, of one felony count each of attempted murder with premeditation and deliberation, torture, and child abuse with a sentencing enhancement for causing great bodily injury to a child under 5 years old.

In October 2011, Robey had a 2-month-old son, Baby Doe, with his girlfriend of two years. He lived on and off with his girlfriend and her mother in Anaheim until three weeks prior to the attempted murder, at which time he began living in a motel in Costa Mesa.

On Oct. 18, 2011, Robey was at the home of his girlfriend and her mother and had agreed to babysit Baby Doe. Without the defendant’s knowledge, his girlfriend set up a hidden camera in the home because she believed him to be cheating.

While alone with Baby Doe and solely responsible for his care, Robey violently abused and attempted to murder the infant. He wrapped a blanket around the baby’s neck, picked him up by lifting the ends of the blanket like a noose, and swung the victim around for over a minute.

(more…)

Justice Department Reaches Settlement with Plaza Home Mortgage Inc. to Resolve Allegations of Mortgage Lending Discrimination

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:36 am

Settlement Provides $3 Million in Compensation to African-American and Hispanic Borrowers

The Justice Department announced today that Plaza Home Mortgage Inc. (Plaza) of San Diego will pay $3 million to aggrieved borrowers as part of a settlement to resolve allegations that it engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination on the basis of race and national origin.

The settlement also requires Plaza to establish race- and national origin-neutral standards for the assessment of broker fees, monitor its wholesale mortgage loans for potential disparities based on race and national origin, conduct fair lending training and continue to operate a community enrichment program designed to address the lack of affordable housing and lending products in minority and underserved communities nationwide.

The settlement, which is subject to court approval, was filed in conjunction with the Justice Department’s complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.  The complaint alleges that Plaza charged thousands of African-American and Hispanic borrowers higher fees than white borrowers on wholesale mortgage loans in violation of the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA).  Plaza cooperated fully with the Justice Department’s investigation into its lending practices and agreed to settle this matter without contested litigation.

(more…)

September 27, 2013

SECOND HIGHEST CHIROPRACTIC MEDICARE BILLER IN CALIFORNIA PLEADS GUILTY TO HEALTH CARE FRAUD

Filed under: Federal Crimes Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:35 am

LOS ANGELES – A San Fernando Valley chiropractor, who was the second highest Medicare biller in California for chiropractic services, pled guilty yesterday to healthcare fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1347.

Between 2005 and 2012, Houshang Pavehzadeh aka “Danny Paveh” (41), owner of Sylmar Physician Medical Group, Inc. – a storefront chiropractic clinic located in a strip mall – defrauded Medicare by billing for patients he never treated.

The eleven count indictment alleges that Pavehzadeh submitted over $1.7 million in false and fraudulent claims to Medicare and was paid a little over $1 million on these claims. As part of his guilty plea, Pavehzadeh admitted that, in an effort to conceal his fraud from Medicare auditors, he staged an early-morning car jacking outside his office and falsely reported to the Los Angeles Police Department that his patient files had been stolen.

“Those persons who seek to bilk the Medicare Program impact both our health care delivery system and the American consumer,” said United States Attorney André Birotte Jr. “Here, the defendant not only tried to bilk the system to the tune of more than $1.7 million, he also had the audacity to try and conceal his criminal activity by filing a bogus police report with the LAPD.”

(more…)

September 26, 2013

California Mobile Lab and X-ray Provider, Diagnostic Laboratories and Radiology, to Pay $17.5 Million for Falsely Billing Medicare and Medi-CAL

Filed under: Federal Crimes Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:32 am

Kan-Di-Ki LLC, formerly known as Kan-Di-Ki Inc., doing business as Diagnostic Laboratories and Radiology (Diagnostic Labs), will pay $17.5 million to settle allegations that the California-based company violated the federal and California False Claims Acts by paying kickbacks for referral of mobile lab and radiology services subsequently billed to Medicare and Medi-Cal (the state of California’s Medicaid program), the Justice Department announced today.

“This settlement demonstrates the Department of Justice’s continuing efforts to protect public funds,” said Stuart F. Delery, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division.  “We will continue to work with our state partners to recover misspent monies from companies that abuse government health care programs.”

Diagnostic Labs allegedly took advantage of Medicare’s different reimbursement system for inpatient and outpatient services by charging Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs) in California discounted rates for inpatient services paid by Medicare in exchange for the facilities’ referral of outpatient business to Diagnostic Labs.  For inpatient services, Medicare pays a fixed rate based on the patient’s diagnosis, regardless of specific services provided.  For outpatients, Medicare pays for each service separately.  Diagnostic Labs’ scheme enabled the SNFs to maximize profit earned for providing inpatient services by decreasing SNFs’ costs of providing these services.  It also allegedly allowed Diagnostic Labs to obtain a steady stream of lucrative outpatient referrals that it could directly bill to Medicare and Medi-Cal.  The provision of inducements, including discounted rates, to generate referrals is prohibited by federal and state law.

“When medical facility owners illegally offer discounts to customers to generate business, it results in inflated claims to government health care programs and increases costs for all taxpayers,” said Glenn R. Ferry, Special Agent in Charge for the Los Angeles Region of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General.  “This $17.5 million settlement demonstrates OIG’s ongoing commitment to safeguarding federal health care programs and taxpayer dollars against all types of fraudulent activities.”

(more…)

TWELVE SEX PURCHASERS CONVICTED OF AGREEING TO ENGAGE IN SEX ACTS WITH WOMAN WHOM THEY BELIEVED TO BE PROSTITUTE

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:25 am

SANTA ANA – Twelve sex purchasers were convicted and sentenced yesterday for agreeing to engage in sex acts with a woman whom they believed to be a prostitute. Raul Ambrosio, 27, Orange, Flavio Bernal, 40, Orange, Jose Rodolfo Castillo, 47, Santa Ana, Fortunato Contreras, 41, Santa Ana, Omar Arreola Gonzalez, 21, Garden Grove, Juan Jimenez Ochoa, 28, Santa Ana, Jonathan Ramirez, 28, Santa Ana, Pedro Roman, 42, Irvine, Misael Sanchez, 44, Lake Forest, Juan Daniel Soto, 30, Santa Ana, Jose Rosario Velasco, 64, Santa Ana, Mario Velazquez, 31, Santa Ana, each pleaded guilty yesterday, Sept. 23, 2013, to one misdemeanor count of agreeing to engage in prostitution.

Roman also pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of driving a vehicle without a valid license. The defendants in this case were sentenced to three years of informal probation, 10 days in jail with the possibility of CalTrans in lieu of jail, donations to the Victim/Witness Emergency Fund, and must submit to AIDS testing and education.

On July 16, 2013, the defendants drove up to an undercover officer, whom they believed to be a prostitute, near the area of 1400 East First Street in Santa Ana. The defendants agreed to engage in sex acts with the officer for a price ranging from $20 to $100. The defendants and the victim arranged to meet in a motel and were arrested by officers from the Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD). The defendants in this case were arrested as part of a covert operation by SAPD in which 12 defendants were arrested for soliciting sex.

The area of 1400 East First Street in Santa Ana is known to law enforcement to be a high-prostitution area and is known to frequently be used by individuals who sexually exploit and traffic women and underage girls for financial gain, including pimps, panderers, and human traffickers.

(more…)

Former President of Qualcomm’s Global Business Operations Indicted for Insider TradingExecutive Jing Wang Used Offshore Entities and Secret Brokerage Accounts to Conceal and Disguise Illicit Profits

Filed under: Federal Crimes Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:17 am

Jing Wang, 51, of Del Mar, Calif., a former Executive Vice President and President of Global Business Operations for Qualcomm Inc., was charged with insider trading in shares of both Qualcomm and Atheros Communications Inc. using a secret brokerage account and an offshore shell company in the British Virgin Islands.  Wang was also charged with conspiring with his brother, co-defendant Bing Wang, 53, and his former stock broker to obstruct an ongoing U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation and laundering the proceeds of his insider trading using a second offshore shell company and secret brokerage account.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Laura E. Duffy of the Southern District of California made the announcement.

“Insider trading is an insidious crime.  It undermines ordinary investors’ faith in our financial markets, and the Justice Department has zero tolerance for it,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Raman.  “Today’s charges show that you cannot trade on inside information, pocket the profit, and expect to get away with it.  The Criminal Division has had a terrific partnership with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California in this important investigation, and through partnerships like these throughout the country, we will continue to root out fraud in our markets at every level.”

“When there are two sets of rules – one for the powerful insiders and one for everybody else – the public quickly loses confidence in the stock market,” said U.S. Attorney Duffy. “We intend to restore confidence in our markets by making sure that everyone is playing by the same rules.”

Jing Wang was taken into custody by the FBI earlier today on these charges and is expected to make his initial appearance in federal court in the Southern District of California this afternoon.  A warrant has been issued for the arrest of Bing Wang, who is believed to be a citizen and resident of China.  Both men are charged in an indictment with conspiracy, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. Jing Wang was also charged with securities fraud, money laundering and obstruction of official proceedings, which each carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, and aggravated identity theft, which carries a mandatory two years in prison, consecutive to any other sentence.

(more…)

September 25, 2013

Operation ‘Smokin’ Aces’ Targets Mexican Mafia Operations in Orange County

Filed under: Federal Crimes Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:16 am

Federal and State Grand Juries Indict 129 Defendants who Allegedly Assisted the Prison Gang or Were Involved in the Business of Numerous O.C. Street Gangs

SANTA ANA, California – Hundreds of law enforcement officials this morning fanned out across Southern California to conclude Operation “Smokin’ Aces,” an investigation conducted by the Santa Ana Gang Task Force that targeted the Orange County wing of the Mexican Mafia, which allegedly exercises control over Latino street gangs and is a powerful force in the local jail system.

A total of 129 defendants have been named in indictments issued by county and federal grand juries. Each of the defendants is linked to an Orange County street gang that claims allegiance to the Mexican Mafia, which is also called the Eme. Some of the federal defendants also are associates of the prison gang who allegedly worked directly with one of the two Mexican Mafia members who oversee the Orange County wing of the criminal enterprise.

During the course of the investigation, task force members made undercover purchases of 67 weapons (38 handguns and 29 rifles). They also seized 22 pounds of methamphetamine, 1.5 pounds of heroin and three pounds of cocaine.

Over the past three months, a federal grand jury in Orange County has returned 26 indictments that charge a total of 86 defendants. The indictments allege a wide range of criminal conduct, including murder and assault, extortion and “tax” collection, and the street-level distribution of narcotics.

(more…)

INDICTMENT UNSEALED ON THREE DEFENDANTS CHARGED WITH MURDER AND 43 OTHERS FOR GANG ASSAULTS IN ORANGE COUNTY JAIL AT THE DIRECTION OF HISPANIC CALIFORNIA PRISON GANG

Filed under: Federal Crimes Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:10 am

SANTA ANA – Over 800 law enforcement personnel from Orange County, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), and the U.S. Marshals Service arrested dozens of dangerous, indicted gang defendants throughout Orange, Riverside, and Los Angeles Counties as part of “Operation Smokin’ Aces.”  Approximately 70 locations were included during this morning’s operations. A total of 129 individuals are being indicted either federally or at the state level at the request of the Orange County District Attorney (OCDA), at the conclusion of a two and a half year investigation. Charges include: Federal racketeering, conspiracy to commit murder, extortion, narcotic trafficking, and gun trafficking.

The Orange County Superior Court has unsealed an indictment on 43 defendants for their participation in assaults and an attempted murder on 12 inmates in the Orange County jail at the direction of a Hispanic California prison gang (Prison Gang). The OCDA presented a case to the Grand Jury for seven days involving 38 witnesses. The case against the 43 defendants is the largest state Grand Jury case in Orange County history. Three additional defendants have been charged in a separate but related case for murder.

Operation Smokin’ Aces Investigation

The Santa Ana Gang Task Force (SAGTF) comprised of members from the FBI, Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD), Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, initiated an investigation in May 2010. The focus was a neighborhood in the southeast portion of Santa Ana that was being plagued with gang crime that included gang related shootings and narcotic sales. The scope of the investigation widened after the local gangs were tied to associates of the Prison Gang and their narcotic suppliers.

The SAGTF conducted over 140 undercover operations and seized 67 firearms, 22 pounds of methamphetamine, one and a half pounds of heroin, and three pounds of cocaine during the course of the investigation. Five of the firearms seized were linked to drive-by/walk-up shootings in the southeast portion of Santa Ana.

(more…)

Rite Aid Corporation to Pay More than $12 Million for Unlawful Disposal of Hazardous Waste

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:04 am

Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced today that the Rite Aid Corporation was ordered to pay more than $12.3 million to settle a civil lawsuit alleging that some 600 California Rite Aid stores unlawfully handled and disposed of hazardous materials.

The judgment marks the culmination of a joint environmental protection lawsuit filed in September 2013 by the district attorneys of Los Angeles, San Joaquin and Riverside counties. In all, 52 California district attorneys and two city attorneys joined the civil action.

“This settlement changes the long-standing practices of a major corporation that illegally transported and disposed of hazardous materials from hundreds of locations throughout California,” District Attorney Lacey said. “Making sure that hazardous waste is properly discarded will help keep our children safe and healthy for generations to come.”

San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Linda L. Lofthus on Tuesday ordered the Rite Aid Corporation to pay $12,324,000 to settle the environmental case.

Deputy District Attorney Daniel Wright of the Environmental Law Section said the case began with an investigation by local environmental health agencies in fall 2009. The investigationexpanded when prosecutors, investigators and environmental regulators statewide came together to conduct a series of waste inspections at Rite Aid facilities and landfills throughout California.

(more…)

Older Posts »

Powered by WordPress