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COVID-19

This archive displays posts tagged as relevant to the COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic. You may also be interested in the following pages:

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November 16, 2021

Richard Ayvazyan was sentence to 17 years in prison, his wife Marietta Terabelian to six years, and his brother Artur Ayvazyan to five years, following their convictions at trial on charges related to their scheme to fraudulently obtain more than $20 million in Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan COVID-19 relief funds.  The defendants used dozens of false identities to submit fraudulent applications for approximately 150 PPP and EIDL loans, supporting applications with false and fictitious documents including fake identity documents, tax documents and payroll records. DOJ; USAO CD Cal

Catch of the Week: Classic Medicare Fraud

Posted  11/5/21
medicare dollars
For those like your correspondents who spend their days deep in the weeds of complex Medicare fraud, it’s a delight when something refreshingly simple comes along.  Thanks to Billy Joe Taylor of Arkansas, we can relax this Friday with a cool glass of straightforward Medicare fraud.  For allegedly making $100 million in claims to CMS for tests that were not ordered or ever performed, he is our Catch of the...

Three States Impose Profit Limits on Nursing Homes

Posted  10/29/21
By Leah Judge
Woman holding elderly person's wrist
New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts have just sent a clear message to nursing home operators: patient care must be prioritized over profits.  Each state is introducing rules requiring nursing homes to spend a specific portion of their total revenue on direct patient care.  In New York, it will be at least 70%, in Massachusetts at least 75%, and in New Jersey at least 90%.  The three states are also limiting...

Catch of the Week: Florida Man Charged with Stealing Over $12 Million in Funds Slated for PPE

Posted  08/27/21
person handcuffed with hands on stack of papers with briefcase
DOJ continues to make good on its promise to root out fraud in pandemic relief.  This week, a Florida resident Brian Sperber was indicted for defrauding hospitals and medical institutions out of more than $12 million dollars by falsely promising to deliver personal protective equipment to those purchasers. Sperber and his co-conspirators, who ran medical supply and logistics companies, took orders for N95 masks and...

August 26, 2021

The owner of jet charter company All in Jets dba JetReady, Seth Bernstein, has agreed to pay $287,055 to resolve allegations that he misappropriated company Paycheck Protection Program loan proceeds for his personal use.  Whistleblower Victoria Hablitzel, a former JetReady employee, reported defendant’s conduct by filing a qui tam action, and will receive a relator’s share of $57,411DOJ; USAO SD FL

Catch of the Week: Telemedicine Company Owner Charged in $784 Million Kickback Scheme

Posted  08/20/21
Doctor on computer with patient discussing medicine
Underscoring the fraud risks associated with the government’s continued expansion and loosening of restrictions on telehealth, the U.S. Department of Justice recently announced that a grand jury in New Jersey has returned a superseding indictment against the Florida owner of multiple telemedicine companies, referred to by DOJ prosecutors as the Video Doctor Network, for allegedly participating in a massive Medicare...

Partner Mary Inman Speaks about Research Fraud with Science Whistleblower Dr. Elisabeth Bik at the HCCA’s Research Compliance Conference

Posted  07/23/21
gears cogs
On June 16, 2021, Constantine Cannon partner Mary Inman spoke at the Health Care Compliance Association’s (HCCA) Research Compliance Conference on the topic of ‘The Vital Role of Whistleblower Scientists in Exposing Fraudulent Research During the Pandemic.’  Mary was joined by co-panelist Dr. Elisabeth Bik, the Founder and Editor of the Science Integrity Digest, a blog about scientific integrity aimed at...

July 13, 2021

Joel Jerome Tucker, the principal in payday loan business eData Solutions, LLC and related entities, was ordered to pay $8.1 million in restitution to the IRS and sentenced to 12.5 years in prison following his conviction on charges related to his fraudulent sale of non-existent payday loan portfolios and the failure by him and his companies to file federal income tax returns or pay taxes.  Tucker used nominee bank accounts to conceal income and assets and owed taxes, penalties, and interest of more than $12 million.  In addition, in 2020, Tucker fraudulently obtained a $20,000 Paycheck Protection Program loan.  USAO WD MO

June 16, 2021

Bedrock Group LLC agreed to pay $3.5 million to Massachusetts to resolve allegations that the company violated the Massachusetts False Claims Act by failing to fully and timely refund the state following the company's failure to deliver one million N95 masks ordered by the state.  Massachusetts placed an emergency purchase order with the company, agreeing to pay $3.6 million for the one million masks, which were to be delivered by April, 2020.  The company delivered fewer than 100,000 masks and, after the state cancelled the purchase order, failed to refund the state's payment. Bedrock also agreed to a voluntary debarment from contracting with the state or any political subdivision for five years.   MA

June 3, 2021

The CFTC obtained a default judgment against Florida resident James Frederick Walsh, who was ordered to pay a penalty of more than $500,000.  Walsh, who was not registered with the CFTC, marketed himself through social media as an experienced foreign exchange trader who could conduct retail forex trades for customers.  Walsh advertised that the COVID-19 pandemic created an opportunity for increased forex trading profits,  guaranteed returns, and claimed to have inside information about forex markets.   CFTC
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