In 2010, law enforcement officials began an investigation known as "Operation Wild West." The operation involved state and federal drug crimes and gang violence in Florida. This week, 29 arrests were made under the authority of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration with an additional 35 state arrests made under the authority of the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office's Violent Crimes Division and Gang Units. The U.S. Attorney's Office and the Palme Beach County State Attorney's Office also participated in the investigation.
The U.S. Government has decided to work in concert with state investigators and private insurance companies to target health care fraud. The partnership is intended to greatly increase the collaboration and overall effort to arrest and prosecute individuals and businesses suspected of Medicaid or Medicare fraud. The renewed efforts were no doubt inspired by the overhaul of the health care system by the Obama administration.
A large group in Las Vegas used Home Owners Associations to commit a variety of crimes, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Metro Police. Part of the plan included making phony or questionable condominium purchases to get members of the conspiracy in place to serve on HOA boards. The HOA board elections were reportedly rigged. Once in place, the phony condo owners would funnel HOA funds to private attorneys, property management companies and construction companies.
Not that long ago, the so-called war on drugs was rightly focused on cocaine, heroin crack and other illicit substances. Now, federal drug crimes are increasingly focused on prescription painkillers and pill mills. The United States has long devoted significant time and energy into preventing illegal drugs from coming into the country. The explosion of prescription painkiller abuse has called into question the efficacy of that use of funds. Some experts now believe that the nation's policy should be shifted away from the traditional efforts of impounding drugs and arresting high profile individuals.
An Irish jury handed down a seven year sentence in an embezzlement case involving U2 bassist Adam Clayton. Last week, an aide hired by the U2 star was found guilty of 181 counts of white collar crime based on her actions from 2004 to 2008. She worked for Mr. Clayton for 17 years handling the upkeep of his mansion in south Dublin. The judge handling the case decried the woman's action as stemming from "greed in pursuit of a lavish lifestyle that was no responsibility of Mr. Clayton's." In addition to the seven year sentence, the woman was ordered to begin paying back the embezzled funds.
In 2006, Congress attempted to increase tax revenue by creating a whistle-blower program. The goal was to pay tipsters for identifying instances of tax evasion that led to successful prosecution. After more than five years, the program has led to three awards being paid to tipsters. During that time, more than 1,300 claims have been filed by people making allegations of tax fraud. Some members of Congress and of the general public are wondering why the whistle-blower program has been so roundly ignored by the Internal Revenue Service.