The FBI frequently issues informative bulletins to explain its investigative work. This month it returned to a 2011 mortgage fraud prosecution from the Miami area. The FBI says this case "illustrates" mortgage fraud prosecutions.
A federal district court judge sentenced the owner of a Lauderhill healthcare facility to 30 months in prison for his participation in a Medicare kickback scheme. Receiving payments in exchange for Medicare referrals is a form of healthcare fraud.
According to some estimates, fraudulent healthcare claims account for nearly 10 percent of Medicaid and Medicare spending every year. New provisions in the Affordable Care Act arm government investigators with smarter enforcement tools to help them combat Medicare fraud.
A group of mortgage brokerages, property management companies and home improvement businesses were used to find individuals willing to serve as "buyers" in transactions that involved falsified mortgage applications. One of the buyers, an unemployed Connecticut man, was sentenced this week to 18 months in prison and asked to pay $328,516.31 restitution as well as forfeit $25,000 for his role in the mortgage fraud scheme. He was paid two installments of $5,000 and given bonuses by the group for identifying other buyers.
Two men who were working as mortgage loan officers were indicted last April for their roles in recruiting straw buyers for mortgage transactions. The men pleaded guilty this week to one count of conspiracy to commit mortgage fraud through the use of interstate wires. The scheme involved submitting false loan application to various lenders using straw buyers, who were often friends and relatives of the men, to purchase the homes.
The owner of a medical equipment company based in Miami has been placed on the most wanted list of fugitives by the Department of Health and Human Services inspector general. The man is wanted in connection with a Medicare fraud scheme that may have racked up as much as $11 million in fraudulent bills to the government program. The man is currently in a Spanish detention facility facing drug charges. U.S. authorities are attempting to have him extradited in order to charge him for his Medicare related activities.
A wrongful termination lawsuit has led to accusations improper billing practices in a business comprised of nine doctors and six clinics. After firing an employee for "ongoing inappropriate and abusive conduct toward her supervisor and fellow employees" a Texas office may now face a Medicare fraud investigation if the fired employee's story is given credence by investigators.
A raid led to over 90 arrests and seizure of millions of packets of incense by federal officials. The material is currently being tested to determine if it contains any illegal substances that would allow U.S. prosecutors to charge the group with federal drug trafficking. The product is often referred to by law enforcement and other government officials as synthetic marijuana, though it may be nothing of the sort.