An attorney who helped venture capitalists hide money in off shore accounts was arrested in Miami on Sunday. Prosecutors are charging the man and his clients with tax evasion as part of a long running investigation of UBS and Credit Suisse Group AG. So far, more than 20 bankers, attorneys and advisers have been charged in connection with the tax investigation.
Even as several state attorneys general seek to settle with five major banks over the robo-signing of mortgage documents, a group of 55 Justice Department attorneys and other government officials from all over the country have joined up to investigate the formation and selling of mortgage-backed securities. The mortgage fraud task force will investigate how mortgages were securitized and sold, a practice that contributed to the downturn in the U.S. economy. While there is significant overlap in the conduct being discussed in the settlement and the actions being investigated by this task force, part of the difference will be a new focus on filing criminal charges against individuals who participated in the mortgage-backed securities market.
Efforts by federal prosecutors led to the indictment of seven individuals last week. The white collar criminal case surrounds the actions of a stock analyst and several of his friends. The group obtained inside information about Dell and its financial results and used that information to obtain roughly $62 million in illegal gains on the stock market.
The fallout from the American Therapeutic Corp. case continued today as a Miami woman entered a guilty plea in federal court. The $200 million Medicare fraud case has led to 20 indictments of doctors, administrators, executives and others in South Florida. Ten criminal defendants have already entered guilty pleas or been found guilty at trial. The rest have been scheduled for trial in April.
The owner and operator of a halfway house in Fort Lauderdale is facing up to 10 years in prison and $250,000 in fines. He has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud in Miami federal court. The man was accused of sending the residents of his halfway house to American Therapeutic Corp. and the American Sleep Institute for fake sleep treatments. He would receive a kickback for the patients he sent and those companies would bill Medicare for treatments that were unnecessary or were not even administered.
A report released by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) outlines the difficulties that many businesses have in conforming to Medicare billing requirements. Roughly one quarter of durable medical equipment suppliers are accused of Medicare fraud in the first year they supply products covered by Medicare. The accusations typically concern fraudulent billing, meaning billing for services not provided or for services that are not properly covered by Medicare.