In 16 years of work in the Florida Legislature, Mandy Dawson participated in countless votes which affected the law. She finds herself entangled in legal issues of a different type now, as she is expected to plead guilty to tax evasion charges over money received during her time in office. She now faces a criminal sentence of up to 13 years in prison. She is accused of failing to pay income taxes owed in 2004 and 2005 and for failing to file a return in 2006, 2007 and 2008. Term limits put an end to her time in the Florida Senate in 2008.
State officials released the results of the 2011 fiscal year recently. In total, the state is claiming it recovered $142 million in Medicaid fraud actions. That number comes from a report filed by the Florida Attorney General's Office and the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration. The time and resources used to investigate and prosecute Medicaid fraud cases has grown in recent years. The increased emphasis comes as the government looks to justify the increasing budget dedicated to Medicare and Medicaid.
Another hedge fund manager with ties to the Galleon Group has been charged for illegally profiting from inside information. The white collar criminal charges carry a potential prison sentence of 25 years. Allegedly, the man was given earnings information and other confidential business knowledge concerning Google and Polycom. He is accused of using that information in stock trades from 2006 to 2009. He is also accused of passing along insider information concerning Marvell Technology Group Ltd. The person who provided him with the insider knowledge has connections to Raj Rajaratnam who was convicted last May in a case that drew national headlines.
The Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Health and Human Services issued a joint statement yesterday. The groups charged a Houston area hospital administrator with seven counts in connection with fraudulent Medicare billing at his facility. The charges were again the result of the ongoing Medicare Fraud Strike Force investigations that have been conducted all over the country.
Several properties northwest Florida were supposed to be part of a real estate development project known as Riverwalk. The subdivision never happened and nine people involved in the project have now been indicted for mortgage fraud schemes involving the land. The group faces lengthy sentences in federal prison and massive fines if convicted of the charges. Among the crimes alleged to have occurred are conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, conspiracy to commit mail fraud, mail fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Insider trading is illegal, even for members of Congress. Existing white collar crime laws likely already included members of Congress, but the Senate acted to make that clear this week by passing the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act. The act passed after a 96 to 3 vote, making it almost a sure thing to get through the U.S. House of Representatives. If passed, it will ensure that the same rules that prevent private citizens from acting on insider information apply to members of Congress and the executive branch.
With efforts to stop Medicare fraud, mortgage fraud and securities fraud drawing national headlines, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has reaffirmed its goal to target all forms of white collar fraud, including insurance fraud. In a recent press release, the FBI specifically mentioned several forms of white collar fraud that are common to the insurance industry. The FBI works with state and local agencies and regulatory bodies to investigate and prosecute people suspected of insurance fraud.