Citing the 150 year sentence given to Bernie Madoff, despite Madoff's guilty plea, federal prosecutors are seeking a maximum sentence for former Taylor, Bean & Whitaker majority owner Lee B. Farkas. He was convicted on multiple counts of fraud in April and could be sentenced to as many as 385 years in prison. His sentence will likely be one of the longest ever laid down in a white collar criminal case.
The massive bank fraud case involving Lee Farkas and other members of Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp. has led to numerous prison sentences, with more coming every week. The mortgage company's fraud scheme led to the financial collapse of both Taylor Bean and Colonial bank, one of the largest banks in the country. This week, the former treasurer and former president of the Ocala-based company were sentenced to 6 and 2.5 years in prison, respectively. More penalties will be forthcoming.
Government officials from the Drug Enforcement Agency to the White House have identified Florida as the top source for prescription drug violations. As lawmakers work to place new restrictions on the prescription of painkillers, doctors and pain clinics are being targeted in federal criminal cases for their roles in distributing medication. It is not yet clear what the increased attention will mean to doctors who prescribe painkillers as part of a legitimate pain management regimen.
A Florida woman has been charged with filing a false claim and with assisting another in the filing of other false claims. The tax fraud scheme led to claims requesting more than $120 million in tax refunds that were not owed. The Internal Revenue Service is reported to have paid up to $4.7 million in fraudulent refunds before discovering the improper conduct. The IRS and the Justice Department are pursuing further investigation into the actions of the parties involved.
Prominent Florida real estate investor Sonny Kim was sentenced to 41 months in federal prison and ordered to pay back more than $5 million in proceeds generated from his illegal activities. The mortgage fraud scheme included elements of mail fraud, bank fraud, wire fraud and money laundering that led Kim to plead guilty in U.S. District Court. The conviction is part of a wide ranging effort by state and federal authorities to curtail rampant mortgage fraud throughout the state.
Home dialysis equipment and dialysis treatment centers have recently been drawing the attention of federal prosecutors. Last week, a company providing dialysis services was ordered to pay the U.S. government more than $82 million for a Medicare fraud scheme spanning more than six years. Renal Care Group, Fresenius Medical Care Holdings, Inc. and Renal Care Group Supply Company ignored the advice of counsel and submitted millions of dollars in claims to the Medicare Program.