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August 19, 2014

NGK Spark Plug Co., an automotive parts manufacturer based in Nagoya, Japan, agreed to plead guilty and pay a $52.1 million criminal fine for conspiring to fix prices and rig bids for spark plugs, standard oxygen sensors, and air fuel ratio sensors sold to auto makers in the US and elsewhere such as DaimlerChrysler, Honda and Toyota. DOJ

August 19, 2014

Samsung Electronics America agreed to pay $2.3 million to resolve allegations it caused the submission of false claims for products sold on General Service Administration (GSA) Multiple Award Schedule contracts in violation of the Trade Agreements Act of 1979. DOJ

August 15, 2014

Former Hanover Corporation CEO Terry Kretz was sentenced to 14 years in prison and ordered to pay $14.8M in restitution for orchestrating an $18 million Ponzi scheme. According to court documents, Kretz offered clients the opportunity to invest in Hanover through promissory notes bearing high interest rates, however, more than half of the money invested in Hanover went to repay earlier investors, to pay Hanover’s salaries and overhead and to fund personal luxuries. Daryl Bornstein, a Hanover salesman, and Robert Haley, Hanover’s chief financial officer, previously pleaded guilty to similar charges. DOJ

August 15, 2014

Luis Michael Mendez, owner of Kinetic Mortgage Group, Inc., a mortgage brokerage company in Miami, and Wilkie Perez, pleaded guilty to participating in a mortgage fraud scheme involving the sale of condominium units in the Miami area. In their pleas, both defendants admitted they participated in a scheme to place straw buyers in condominium units owned by real estate developers who are members of Mendez’s immediate family in return for a share of the profits. In total, Perez admitted to obtaining more than $2.5 million in fraudulent loans. DOJ

August 15, 2014

Mihran “Mike” Meguerian, former owner of Los Angeles medical clinic management company Med Serve Management pleaded guilty in connection with his role in a scheme to defraud Medicare. Meguerian admitted overseeing medical clinics that wrote prescriptions for medically unnecessary power wheelchairs and other durable medical equipment (DME). Meguerian and his co-conspirators then sold the prescriptions to DME supply companies, knowing that the prescriptions were fraudulent. The DME supply companies then submitted the fraudulent prescriptions to Medicare in close to $3.4M in fraudulent claims. DOJ

August 14, 2014

Azzeddine El Amine of Costa Rica pleaded guilty to money laundering and operating an unlicensed money transmitting business in connection with his role in running Liberty Reserve, a company that operated one of the world’s most widely used digital currency services. Liberty Reserve was created to help users conduct illegal transactions anonymously and launder the proceeds of their crimes, and it emerged as one of the principal money transfer agents used by cybercriminals around the world to distribute, store, and launder the proceeds of their illegal activity. El Amine served as a principal deputy to Liberty Reserve founder Arthur Budovsky. Before being shut down by the government in May 2013, Liberty Reserve had more than one million users worldwide, including more than 200,000 users in the United States, who conducted approximately 55 million transactions through its system and laundered more than $6 billion in suspected proceeds of crimes, including credit card fraud, identity theft, investment fraud, computer hacking, child pornography and narcotics trafficking. DOJ

August 8, 2014

San Francisco-based pharmaceutical distributor McKesson Corporation agreed to pay $18 million to resolve allegations it improperly set temperature monitors used in shipping vaccines in violation of its contract with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. DOJ

August 7, 2014

Gary Lang, a CEO of an Atlanta-area hospital and Tracey Cota, the co-owner and chief operating officer of the Atlanta-based medical clinic chain Hispanic Medical Management, pleaded guilty for paying illegal kickbacks to clinics in exchange for Medicaid patient referrals. According to the government, Cota conspired with Lang and other executives from Atlanta-area hospitals and from a hospital on Hilton Head Island to pay kickbacks to Hispanic Medical Management for the referral of its patients, primarily undocumented Hispanic women seeking prenatal care services. These referrals ultimately resulted in Medicaid reimbursements of over $100 million to the hospitals. DOJ

August 7, 2014

Margarita Grishkoff, a disbarred Florida attorney, was sentenced to serve 70 months in prison and to pay $14.4 millioin for her role in a $28.3 million Medicare fraud scheme involving false claims for physical and occupational therapy services. Grishkoff admitted as part of her guilty plea that she and her co-conspirators submitted approximately $28.3 million in fraudulent reimbursement claims to Medicare through physical therapy clinics throughout Florida from 2005 through 2009. Medicare paid approximately $14.4 million on those claims. DOJ

August 4, 2014

Community Health Systems (CHS), the nation’s largest operator of acute care hospitals, agreed to pay $98 million to resolve multiple whistleblower lawsuits alleging the company billed government health care programs for inpatient services that should have been billed as outpatient or observation services. According to the government, CHS engaged in a corporate-driven scheme to increase inpatient admissions of Medicare, Medicaid and TRICARE (military) beneficiaries over the age of 65 who originally presented to the emergency departments at 119 CHS hospitals.Whistleblower Insider
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