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June 2013 Archives

Sentence Reduced For Enron Executive

Former Enron Chief Executive Jeffrey Skilling was convicted in 2006 for making false statements to investors. He received one of longest sentences in U.S. history for a white collar crime. His 24-year sentence was reduced this week by a federal judge after he reached an agreement with prosecutors. Mr. Skilling agreed to drop his appeals for a new trial in order to secure the prosecutors' recommendation of a shorter sentence. Prosecutors were seeking a sentence between 14 and 17 ½ years. Depending on his conduct during his incarceration, he could be released before the decade is complete.

Prosecutions For Mortgage Fraud Up

The Mortgage Fraud Index tracks the total number of local, state and federal prosecutions for mortgage fraud nationwide. The numbers for the first quarter of 2013 are in. The first quarter saw a 16 percent increase in mortgage fraud cases from the final quarter of 2012. The increase was short-term however, as the numbers are still down from the first quarter of last year. In total, 125 mortgage fraud cases were prosecuted all across the nation in the first quarter of this year.

No Bail For Entrepreneur Accused Of Medicare Fraud

A TV entrepreneur was denied bail by federal judge in Miami this week. The man stands accused of Medicare fraud for his role as titleholder of Trust Care Health Services. The company has been charged collectively for obtaining some $223 million in Medicare payments through illegal invoices. The Justice Department stated that the man and his wife filed more than $20 million in false Medicare invoices and received more than $15 million in improper payments.

Identity Theft And Tax Fraud

State and federal prosecutors are devoting increasing attention to people accused of tax fraud and identity theft. Florida officials have prosecuted several people charged with stealing the identities of multiple individuals and using those identities to file fraudulent tax returns. A Tamp woman was recently sentenced to more than 5 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to aggravated identity theft and theft of government property. The Department of Justice announced the prison sentence along with other penalties assessed to the woman.

Medicare Providers And Suppliers Draw Increased Scrutiny

The past two years have seen a tremendous surge in the number of providers and suppliers who have been banned from billing Medicare for services rendered. The number coincides with a sharp increase in the legal actions taken against doctors and medical suppliers in cases of Medicare fraud. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, revocations in the last two years were approximately 250 percent higher than the two-year period that preceded it. That number is nationwide. In some areas, revocations are up nearly 400 percent.

DEA Informant Reactivated Despite Perjury

Over more than 16 years, an informant paid by the Justice Department helped the DEA in at least 280 drug cases. Starting in 1984, the man participated in investigations in 31 U.S. cities that led to hundreds of arrests and sent many people to prison. His work was highly profitable. The government paid him millions of dollars for his work. In the late 1990s, it was discovered that the informant had given false testimony under oath in 16 prosecutions. Defense lawyers had accused the man of a perjury in many cases, but the government continued to pay him for his services. Once the perjury was proven, the Drug Enforcement Administration finally deactivated him in 2000. Despite the pattern of lying, the DEA has chosen to re-hire the man.

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