Oct. 19, 2023

Preliminary Injunction Entered in Justice Department Suit to Stop Fraudulent Debt Collection Scheme that Harmed Veterans

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma has issued a preliminary injunction enjoining three individuals and two companies from continuing their fraudulent debt collection scheme. The order was issued after the department fi led a civil complaint against Assured Collections LLC, Assured Financial LLC, Christopher Parks, Christopher Noah Parks and Stephen Miller. According to the complaint, Christopher Parks, 62, who is currently incarcerated in Cushing, Oklahoma, his son, Christopher Noah Parks, 29, of Bro ken Arrow, Oklahoma, and Stephen Miller, 39, also of Broken Arrow, operate Assured Collections LLC and Assured Financial LLC. The defendants, according to the complaint, used those companies to distribute thousands of fraudulent debt collection notices to consumers across the country. These notices falsely stated that consumers owed money, often thousands of dollars, for durable medical equipment. In fact, defendants had no authority to contact consumers to attempt to collect any debt. Many of the notices were sent to older adults and veterans.

Oct. 18, 2023

Jena Medical Group, LLC, Its Principals And Physician Agree To Pay Over $1.7 Million To Settle False Claims Act Liability For Improperly Performed Procedures

United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces today that Jena Medical Group, LLC, Benjamin Weiss, Moishe Hoffman, and Jason Schultz have agreed to pay the United States $1,724,986.08 to resolve allegations that they violated the False Claims Act by submitting claims to Medicare and TRICARE for radiofrequency ablations that were performed by an unqualified technician. According to the settlement agreement, Jena Medical, through its principals, Benjamin Weiss, Moishe Hoffman, and through Dr. Jason Schutlz, billed Medicare and TRICARE for radiofrequency ablations that were not medically necessary, not provided by a qualified provider, or both, during the period from January 1, 2018, through December 31, 2020. According to the allegations, patients referred to the unqualified technician as “doctor” and were led to believe he was qualified to perform their procedures. Jena Medical also permitted the washing and re-use of catheters that were designed for a single use.

Oct. 18, 2023

Silicon Valley Executive Sentenced for Defrauding Investors and Participating in COVID-19 and Allergy Testing Scheme

The president of a Silicon Valley-based medical technology company was sentenced today to eight years in prison and ordered to pay $24 million in restitution for participating in a scheme to defraud investors and a scheme to commit health care fraud and pay illegal kickbacks in connection with the submission of over $77 million in claims for COVID-19 and allergy testing. “A Silicon Valley executive exploited the pandemic for profit, ultimately endangering patients with unproven COVID-19 tests,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “The Department of Justice is committed to protecting the people of this nation by investigating and prosecuting those who put public health at risk and use global mergencies to line their own pockets.”

Oct. 11, 2023

Compounding pharmacy owner sentenced to 18 months and over $6 million in restitution

A former Jenks resident has been sentenced to 18 months for conspiracy to offer and pay health care kickbacks, announced U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson. U.S. District Judge George K. Frizzell sentenced Christopher Parks, 62, to 18 months in federal prison, followed by two years of supervised release. Judge Frizzell further ordered Parks to pay $6,400,651.57 in restitution. "Christopher Parks violated the trust of patients and abused Federal Health Care programs and private insurance companies to cheat taxpayers and pad his pockets," said U.S Attorney Clint Johnson. "This office, together with our law enforcement partners, will continue to prosecute insurance and medical fraud."

Oct. 10, 2023

New York Man Admits Role in $127 Million Health Care Fraud and Kickback Scheme

A New York man and owner of a marketing company today admitted his role in conspiracies to commit health care fraud and to pay and receive illegal kickbacks, Attorney for the United States Vikas Khanna announced. Eric Karlewicz, aka "Anthony Mazza," 44, of Chestnut Ridge, New York, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Esther Salas in Newark federal court to an information charging him with conspiracy to violate the Federal Anti-Kickback statute and conspiracy to commit health care fraud.

Oct. 6, 2023

SDTX and RI USAOs jointly resolve False Claims Act violation

U.S. Attorney's Offices in two districts have resolved a civil investigation into RPS Group Inc, a global professional services firm, that will result in a recovery of over $465,000, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani and Zachary A. Cunha, U.S. Attorneys for the Southern District of Texas and Rhode Island, respectively. RPS Group Inc. held several contracts with the federal government. Between June 2011 and July 2020, in order to maximize revenue and avoid hitting budgetary ceilings, the company unlawfully engaged in a practice of moving recorded labor hours between government projects with different funding sources, according to the allegations in the investigation. RPS also allegedly submitted invoices for work that was not performed on government contracts and falsely inflated employee billing rates. These practices occurred across numerous government contracts and resulted in the submission of false invoices to multiple government agencies, according to the allegations.

Oct. 5, 2023

U.S. Attorney's Offices in Rhode Island and Southern District of Texas Resolve Violation of False Claims Act Recovering More Than $465,000

The United States Attorney's Offices for the District of Rhode Island and the Southern District of Texas have resolved a civil investigation into RPS Group, Inc, a global professional services firm, that will result in a recovery of over $465,000, announced United States Attorneys Zachary A. Cunha and Alamdar S. Hamdani.

Oct. 5, 2023

Laredo ophthalmologist charged in repetitive harmful eye procedure fraud scheme

A 54-year-old Austin resident has been indicted for health care fraud and money laundering, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani. Dr. Michael Hochman made his initial appearance today and is set for arraignment Oct. 12 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Christopher dos Santos. A federal grand jury returned the five-count indictment Sept. 27. According to court documents, Hochman is an ophthalmologist who owned and operated Michael A. Hochman P.A. and Laredo Laser & Surgery Ltd. in Laredo.

Oct. 5, 2023

Over One Million Rounds of Ammunition Seized En Route from Iran to Yemen Transferred to Ukrainian Armed Forces

On Oct. 2, the United States transferred approximately 1.1 million 7.62mm rounds of ammunition to the Ukrainian armed forces. This ammunition had been seized by U.S. Central Command naval forces from a flagless vessel in the Arabian Sea enroute from Iran and destined for Yemen, where sanctioned groups including Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) directly support the Houthi movement. The Justice Department then filed a civil forfeiture action against the seized munitions, resulting in a July 20 order by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia transferring title to the United States.

Oct. 4, 2023

Rochester man sentenced for falsifying documents submitted to the Army

U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced today that Reginald Cannon, 55, of Rochester, NY, who was convicted of wire fraud, was sentenced to two years' probation, fined $200,000, and ordered to pay restitution totaling $315,944.