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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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May 14, 2021

Dusko Bruer, who owned and operated an agricultural machinery company, was sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to pay $2.8 million in restitution following his conviction on tax evasion charges.  Between 2003 and 2009, Bruer's company did not file or pay either corporate or employment taxes.  Bruer was not paid a salary; instead, he used funds from corporate bank accounts for personal expenses.  Bruer also failed to report foreign bank accounts that he owned and controlled, and to which he transferred millions of dollars between at last 2006 and 2015.   DOJ

May 13, 2021

Financial services company State Street Corporation will pay a $115 million criminal penalty and enter into a deferred prosecution agreement following its voluntary disclosure to authorities that, over the course of 17 years, the bank defrauded its clients out of $290 million.  State Street  admitted that it secretly marked up “out-of-pocket” (OOP) expenses charged to clients, despite telling clients that OOP expenses were passed through without markups. State Street executives took steps to conceal the mark-ups from clients, including by misleading clients when they inquired about what they were being charged for OOP expenses. As part of the settlement, defendant agreed to cooperate with ongoing investigations, to enhance its compliance program, and to retain an independent corporate compliance monitor for a period of two years. DOJ

May 12, 2021

Technology company MobileActive will pay $500,000, and its principal Katrin Verclas will serve two years in prison in civil and criminal resolutions arising from the defendants' scheme to defraud the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor ("DRL").  In 2010, MobileActive applied for and was awarded a $1.4 million DRL grant to develop and promote a "mobile security toolkit" for human rights organizations and activists to use in assessing and mitigating risks associated with mobile communications. After claiming $1.2 million in grant funds, Verclas failed to respond to requests for information from the State Department; she has admitted that she failed to comply with grant requirements, and directed the funds to her personal use while concealing the nature of the transactions from MobileActive's bank.  USAO MD

Catch of the Week: Final Merida Hospice Fraudster Sentenced in $150 Million Scheme

Posted  04/23/21
Hands in handcuffs behind back of white man in business suit
Jose Garza, the former operations manager of Merida Group, a Texas-based hospice, and home health chain, just landed a 27-month prison sentence for his role in a $150 million hospice fraud scheme. Garza is the latest to receive a sentence in connection with the decade-long Merida Group scheme, which saw people with long-term illnesses falsely told they would die soon, while executives at the company pocketed millions...

April 20, 2021

A construction firm in California that allegedly violated federal contracting rules has agreed to pay $2.5 million to resolve civil and criminal charges relating to the misconduct.  In order to qualify for contracts set aside for service-disabled, veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSB), the owners of Stronghold Engineering, Inc. (SEI) colluded with Kadena Pacific, Inc. (KPI)—owned by a qualifying veteran and the father of SEI owner Beverly Bailey—to obtain fourteen contracts from the VA that were intended for SDVOSBs.  USAO CDCA

April 14, 2021

The owner of a Florida-based telemarketing call center, Ivan Andre Scott, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after being convicted of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud in connection with a $3.3 million fraud scheme against Medicare.  According to evidence presented at trial, Scott made telemarketing calls to Medicare beneficiaries to persuade them to take expensive genetic tests, paid illegal kickbacks to telemedicine companies in exchange for doctor authorizations, and received illegal kickbacks from laboratories in exchange for providing them with the genetic tests.  DOJ

April 13, 2021

After pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, James Spina of Dolson Avenue Medical (DAM) in New York has been sentenced to 9 years in prison and ordered to pay over $9.7 million in restitution and over $9.1 million in forfeiture.  Because he did not meet legal requirements for owning and operating a medical corporation, Spina went to great lengths to conceal his role in DAM and at least four other medical corporations, which he then used to run a widespread fraud scheme against Medicare and other health insurers.  The misconduct involved submitting fraudulent claims for medically unnecessary services and services not rendered, double billing for services, fabricating medical records, and obstructing audits by Medicare and other health insurers.  USAO SDNY

Catch of the Week: Founders of Poop-Testing Startup uBiome Face Fraud Charges

Posted  03/24/21
specimen jar
San Francisco-based uBiome and its founders Jessica Richman and Zachary Apte claimed they were “inventing the microbiome industry” and “making products that improve people’s lives.” Once considered a Silicon Valley success story, today, uBiome is bankrupt and its founders face various federal securities fraud and related criminal conspiracy charges. The biotech startup sold home medical tests including...

March 4, 2021

Sohrab Sharma, a co-founder of Centra Tech, which claimed to offer products including a debit card that would allow users to make retail purchases using cryptocurrency, has been sentenced to eight years in prison following his guilty plea to charges arising from Centra’s fraudulent representations to participants in its unregistered initial coin offering of “Centra Tokens” or “CTR tokens,” which raised more than $25 million from victims.  Sharma and his co-defendants falsely claimed that Centra Tech had an experienced executive team, agreements with card issuers, and licenses to operate in 38 states when, in fact, Centra Tech had none of these things.  USAO SDNY

March 2, 2021

North Carolina durable medical equipment provider A Perfect Fit for You, Inc. and its owner Margaret Gibson have agreed to pay a total of $24.14 million to resolve civil claims that they falsely billed Medicaid for DME that had never been ordered or delivered, including by using the personally identifying information of Medicaid recipients who had been dead for years.  In addition, to resolve criminal charges of healthcare fraud, the company will pay an additional $2 million fine and $10.1 million in restitution to the North Carolina Medicaid program.  USAO ED NC
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