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Criminal Proceedings

This archive displays posts tagged as involving criminal law proceedings relevant to whistleblowers. You may also be interested in our pages:

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January 10, 2020

Richard Carter of Illinois has been ordered to pay $2.5 million for his role in a $1.76 million commodity pool fraud operated by Blue Guru, LLC.  According to the CFTC, from 2014 to 2018, Carter misrepresented the profitability of the commodity pool to current and prospective customers, while misappropriating customer funds, ignoring customer requests to withdraw, and lying to customers about disbursement issues.  Carter's co-defendant, Mark Slobodnik, was previously ordered to pay about $400,000, while Blue Guru was ordered to pay $7 million.  CFTC

January 9, 2020

After being charged with defrauding brokerage customers in May 2018 and pleading guilty in December 2018, a former registered investment advisor, Steven Pagartanis, has been sentenced to over 14 years in prison and ordered to pay $6.5 million for orchestrating the 18-year, $13 million fraud.  Pagartanis had targeted elderly women and promised an 8% return on investments.  However, he secretly laundered their investments and used the money on personal expenses, causing investors to lose over $9 million in total.   USAO EDNY

December 20, 2019

Florida residents and married couple Rodolfo Pichardo and Marta Pichardo were sentenced to 15 years and 8 years, respectively, following earlier guilty pleas to healthcare fraud and wire fraud.  Defendants were also ordered to pay over $34 million in restitution. The Pichardos ran a network of home health agencies, pharmacies, and therapy staffing companies, that submitted more than $38 million in false claims to Medicare.  Defendants paid kickbacks to patient recruiters and medical clinics for patient referrals.  USAO SD FL

December 19, 2019

Five individuals have been sentenced for their roles in a scheme to defraud TRICARE through the submission of false and fraudulent claims for compounded prescription pain creams.   Marketing firm Centurion Compounding, Inc., owned by  Frank Monte and Kimberley Anderson, entered into an agreement with LifeCare Pharmacy, owned by Carlos Mazariegos and Benjamin Nundy, to pay kickbacks to Dr. Anthony Baldizzi in exchange for him writing prescriptions for compounded creams marketed by Centurion to TRICARE beneficiaries. LifeCare billed health insurers, including TRICARE, more than $12.4 million for compounded cream prescriptions written by Baldizzi and marketed by Centurion, realizing a profit of more than $10 million, which it shared with Baldizzi, Monte, and Anderson.  Centurion also caused TRICARE to be billed additional fraudulent amounts through one or more other pharmacies.  Monte and Anderson of Centurion were sentenced to 2 years and 1.5 years, respectively, and Monte forfeited more than $3 million in property.  Baldizzi was sentenced to 1 year in prison, ordered to forfeit $100,000, and will surrender his license to practice medicine.  Mazariegos and Nundy of LifeCare were sentenced to 1 year in prison and 5 years probation, respectively, and paid over $12.8 million in restitution and forfeiture.  USAO MD FL

December 18, 2019

Abhijit Prasad was sentenced to 3 years in prison following his conviction for visa fraud and related charges.  Prasad submitted 19 applications for H-1B visas for individuals he claimed would be performing work for Cisco Systems although Cisco had no expectation that the foreign workers would perform work for them and, in some cases, Prasad submitted forged documents purporting to be from Cisco.  Prasad was also ordered to forfeit $1.9 million.  USAO ED Cal; USAO ND Cal

December 16, 2019

A Wisconsin man charged with leading a 12-year fraud scheme to win $260 million in government construction contracts intended for small businesses has been sentenced to 6.5 years in prison and ordered to forfeit assets worth almost $4 millionBrian Ganos orchestrated the formation of three construction companies—Nuvo Construction Company, Inc., C3T, Inc., and Pagasa Construction Company, Inc.—and headed them with straw owners who qualified as disadvantaged individuals or service-disabled veterans in order to win government contracts.  USAO EDWI

Unitrans International Inc., Anham FZCO, et al. — Government Contract Fraud ($45 million)

Our attorneys represented Rory Maxwell, John Bush, and Supreme Foodservice GmbH in a qui tam action under the False Claims Act against Unitrans International Inc., a privately held Virginia defense contracting company, and Anham FZCO, an associated Dubai Free Zone company, for making false certifications of compliance with the U.S. sanctions regime against Iran to induce the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency and the U.S. Army to award Anham wartime contracts to provide food and transportation to U.S. troops.  Our whistleblower clients also alleged Anham knowingly and falsely represented construction progress on its Bagram warehouse in related bid proposals to the government.  In December 2019, Unitrans agreed to pay $45 million to resolve criminal and civil allegations related to this alleged misconduct, which includes $27 million to resolve our whistleblower clients’ False Claims Act allegations.  Read more about the case at the Department of Justice website here and in The Washington Post here.

December 12, 2019

For selling defective, Chinese-made products to the U.S. Department of Defense on fraudulently obtained contracts, Timothy Kelly, a California business manager for Emerson Company, has been sentenced to 2.5 years in prison.  Together with company owner Daniel Norton, who was sentenced to 8 years in prison, the two have also been ordered to pay $2.38 million in restitution, forfeit $333,000 in a bank account, and forfeit a $725,000 house in Hawaii.  USAO SDOH

December 10, 2019

Dr. Paul J. Mathieu and occupational therapist Lina Zhitnik have been sentenced to, respectively, 4 years and 1.2 years in prison, for their roles in a $30 million scheme to defraud Medicare and New York's Medicaid program.  Mathieu falsely posed as the owner of three medical clinics, which were actually owned by Aleksandr Burman, and Mathieu and Zhitnik falsely claimed to have treated thousands of patients at those clinics.  Over six years, Mathieu prepared or assisted in the preparation of false and fraudulent medical charts, issued referrals for expensive and unnecessary additional testing by providers also participating in the scheme, and wrote prescriptions for unnecessary medical supplies that were filled by a company also owned by Burman.  Another doctor participating in Burman's scheme, Ewald J. Antoine, was previously sentenced.  USAO SDNY
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