January 27, 2022

News

News Network

Pharmacy Owner Pleads Guilty to $6.5 million Health Care Fraud Schemes

11 min read
<div>A New York woman pleaded guilty today to perpetrating schemes to defraud health care programs, including obtaining more than $6.5 million from Medicare Part D Plans and Medicaid drug plans.</div>
A New York woman pleaded guilty today to perpetrating schemes to defraud health care programs, including obtaining more than $6.5 million from Medicare Part D Plans and Medicaid drug plans.

More from: April 21, 2021

News Network

  • Celebrating International Women’s Day
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • Secretary Blinken’s Meeting with Moroccan Foreign Minister Bourita
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Chief Engineer and Greek Ship Owner and Operator Charged with Concealing Deliberate Pollution and Failing to Report a Hazardous Condition
    In Crime News
    Empire Bulkers Ltd., Joanna Maritime Limited and Chief Engineer Warlito Tan were indicted today in New Orleans for violations of environmental and safety laws related to the Motor Vessel Joanna, a Marshall Islands registered Bulk Carrier.
    [Read More…]
  • Additional Departures of U.S. Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents from Afghanistan
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • Connecticut Man Charged with Assaulting an Officer During U.S. Capitol Breach
    In Crime News
    A Connecticut man was charged yesterday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia with assaulting an officer during the breach of the U.S. Capitol grounds on Jan. 6, 2021. He will be presented in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York today, before appearing in Washington D.C. 
    [Read More…]
  • Secretary Antony J. Blinken And Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi Before Their Meeting
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • Foreign Assistance: The United States Provides Wide-ranging Trade Capacity Building Assistance, but Better Reporting and Evaluation Are Needed
    In U.S GAO News
    From 2005 to 2010, 24 U.S. agencies provided more than $9 billion in trade capacity building (TCB) assistance to help more than 100 countries reduce poverty, increase economic growth, and achieve stability through trade. To report on TCB funding, the U.S. government conducts an annual survey of agencies and publicly reports the data in a TCB database administered by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). GAO examined (1) how agencies' TCB activities are aligned with the agencies' goals, (2) the extent to which the TCB database provides sufficient information on key trends and funding, and (3) the extent to which USAID monitors and evaluates the effectiveness of its TCB activities. GAO focused on the agencies that reported the most funding for TCB activities since 2005--the Departments of the Army and State, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), and USAID--and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). GAO analyzed U.S. government data; reviewed agencies' strategic, budget, and program documents; and met with U.S. and foreign government officials in select countries.USAID and State conduct TCB activities that are aligned with their primary goals, but TCB is secondary to the goals of other agencies. USAID and State have developed strategic plans that include TCB-focused goals. Aligned with these goals, USAID and State assist countries in negotiating and implementing trade agreements. In addition, USAID assists countries in taking advantage of economic growth opportunities stemming from trade, often in conjunction with other agency goals. TCB is not a primary focus of MCC and the Army, however, they conduct activities to meet their broader agency goals that have trade-related effects. MCC identifies trade-related assistance it considers TCB as part of its programs' poverty reduction goals. The Army implements TCB-related physical infrastructure projects as part of its disaster response objectives and in support of its reconstruction and economic development efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The U.S. government TCB database has reported that annual TCB funding has increased from $1.35 billion in 2005 to $1.69 billion in 2010, but the database does not adequately describe certain factors underlying this growth and other significant changes in the composition of TCB funding. From 2005 to 2010, two agencies--MCC and the Army--began reporting significant TCB funding, primarily for physical infrastructure projects. Their funding comprised 54 percent of total TCB, and physical infrastructure projects comprised 45 percent of total TCB. However, the TCB database does not adequately explain significant factors driving changes in the composition of TCB funding. In particular, the annual TCB survey methodology attempts to identify and quantify just the trade-related components of projects, but this can be difficult in practice, particularly for physical infrastructure projects. Although GAO found the survey data to be generally reliable, these factors can lead to limitations in the data that are not described for its users. Clear reporting and transparent methodology and data collection are essential to understanding levels of funding and changes in the nature of TCB over time. USAID has improved its assessment of TCB activities, including developing performance indicators and taking the positive step of commissioning a multicountry evaluation of the effects of TCB, but it has yet to develop plans to make use of the evaluation's valuable insights. USAID uses trade and investment indicators to assess the immediate results of its TCB activities. However, officials explained that it is difficult to attribute trade-related trends revealed by the indicators to the effects of TCB assistance and collect valid and reliable data to measure progress. To assess longer-term results, USAID has commissioned evaluations of TCB programs in specific countries, but these are limited in number. It recently commissioned a multicountry evaluation of the long-term effectiveness of its TCB activities agencywide. While USAID is beginning to incorporate the evaluation's results in its training, it has yet to develop plans for disseminating best practices to missions and offices on the methods they may use to better manage and assess their activities. Furthermore, it has not made plans for conducting evaluations on an ongoing basis. GAO recommends that the Administrator of USAID publicly report identified limitations and key distinctions in the categories of TCB assistance in the database. GAO also recommends that USAID develop a written plan for using its recent TCB evaluation and for conducting evaluations on an ongoing basis. USAID stated that it has already taken steps consistent with the GAO recommendations.
    [Read More…]
  • Law Enforcement: Federal Agencies Should Improve Reporting and Review of Less-Lethal Force
    In U.S GAO News
    What GAO Found Less-lethal force includes tactics and weapons that are neither likely nor intended to cause death or serious injury such as physical tactics, batons, chemical spray and munitions (e.g., pepper spray and tear gas), and kinetic impact munitions (e.g., rubber bullets). Most of the 10 federal agencies that GAO reviewed have less-lethal force policies that apply to demonstrations. All 10 agencies provide their personnel with less-lethal force training that varied by the agencies' mission. The agencies reported that they equip their personnel on various types of less-lethal force. Further, all 10 agencies have policies and training related to ensuring that their use of less-lethal force minimizes unintended injuries. Examples of Less-Lethal Force The Bureau of Prisons (BOP) is the only agency without a less-lethal force policy that applies to demonstrations. Its policy focuses exclusively on inmates in federal institutions. However, in recent years, BOP deployments beyond its institutions have occurred more often in response to civil disturbances and natural disasters. Updating its policy to address such situations will help ensure that their policy addresses all potential use of force situations facing its personnel. As shown in the photographs below, federal personnel responded to the demonstrations in Washington, D.C., and Portland, Oregon. Federal Personnel in Washington, D.C. (left), and Portland, Oregon (right) Eight of the 10 agencies used less-lethal force during the selected deployments. For those eight agencies, reporting requirements varied and reports often did not include basic information. Reporting requirements varied among agencies within the Departments of Homeland Security (DHS) and Justice (DOJ). This variance impairs departmental oversight. For example, while some agencies require personnel to report their use of a baton in all cases, others in the same department required doing so only if there were serious injury. Most agencies' less-lethal force reporting was missing information that would be useful for determining if the force was applied in accordance with agency policy. Specifically, reports from six agencies— Federal Protective Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Secret Service (USSS), U.S. Marshals Service (USMS), and U.S. Park Police (USPP)—were missing basic information, such as time, location, type of munition used, or circumstances surrounding the use of force. For example, some reports provided a high-level summary of the day but did not identify which officers used force or the types of force each officer used. Further, DHS's oversight over the quality and consistency of use of force reporting was impaired because the department has not established a body to monitor use of force reporting across all of its component agencies, as required by DHS policy. All 10 agencies had processes to determine if less-lethal force was applied in accordance with agency policy, but some of the eight agencies that reported using less-lethal force during selected deployments did not explicitly document their determinations. Specifically, USMS, ICE, and USSS did not document if force was used in accordance with policy. Documenting such reviews will help ensure that they review all reportable uses of less-lethal force. The remaining five agencies that did document less-lethal force determinations—Federal Protective Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection; BOP; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; and USPP—found that nearly all of their incidents were in accordance with policy. The remaining incidents were referred to the relevant Offices of the Inspector General or were pending further administrative actions as of July 2021. Demonstrators in Washington, D.C. (left), and Portland, Oregon (right) Several federal agencies deployed personnel to Washington, D.C., and Portland, Oregon, in response to the demonstrations. Washington, D.C. At least 12 federal agencies deployed, collectively, up to about 9,300 personnel per day in response to the demonstrations from May 26, 2020, through June 15, 2020. Of these, six agencies reported a total of over 120 less-lethal force incidents during this period, including physical tactics, batons, chemical spray, and chemical and kinetic impact munitions. Three of these agencies (BOP, USPP, and USSS) reported using force as part of the effort to clear Lafayette Square on June 1, 2020. Portland, Oregon. At least five federal agencies deployed, collectively, up to about 325 personnel per day in response to the demonstrations from June 26, 2020, through September 30, 2020. Four agencies reported a total of over 700 less-lethal force incidents during this period, including batons, chemical spray, chemical and kinetic impact munitions, diversionary devices, and electronic control devices. Why GAO Did This Study Federal agencies deployed personnel and used less lethal force during demonstrations in response to the death of Mr. George Floyd and others. Two of the largest deployments were in Washington, D.C., and Portland, Oregon. This report examines the extent to which federal agencies (1) developed policies, procedures, and training on the use of less-lethal force during demonstrations; (2) reported their use of such force during deployments to Washington, D.C., and Portland, Oregon; and (3) took action to review their use of less-lethal force for these deployments. GAO also presents information on the federal roles and activities during these deployments. To address these objectives, GAO identified 10 federal agencies that used less-lethal force or deployed large numbers of personnel in Washington, D.C., and Portland, Oregon, from May through September 2020. Specifically, GAO identified four agencies within DHS, four agencies within DOJ, the U.S. Park Police within the Interior, and the National Guard within the Department of Defense. GAO reviewed agency guidance on less-lethal force; analyzed use of force reports and determinations on whether the force was used in accordance with policy; and interviewed agency officials.
    [Read More…]
  • Unmanned Aircraft Systems: FAA Could Strengthen Its Implementation of a Drone Traffic Management System by Improving Communication and Measuring Performance
    In U.S GAO News
    The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is working with industry and public stakeholders to develop a traffic management system for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), also known as drones. The UAS traffic management ecosystem (referred to as UTM) involves developing a framework of interconnected systems for managing multiple UAS operations. Under UTM, FAA would first establish rules for operating UAS, and UAS-industry service providers and operators would then coordinate the execution of flights. Operators would likely be able to access UTM, for example, through smart phone applications to map routes for UAS flights and check for flight restrictions. FAA began collaborating in 2015 with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to establish and implement a framework to research, develop, and test increasingly complex UTM concepts and capabilities with industry stakeholders. For example, in one scenario tested in Virginia, UAS operators using UTM were alerted to a rescue helicopter, allowing the operators to avoid the area. Example of a Traffic Management Scenario Simulating a Real-World Situation for an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) To further develop and implement UTM, FAA conducted tests through its UTM pilot program, completed in November 2020, and is working on a UTM implementation plan. However, industry stakeholders said they need more information on the next steps, and it is uncertain whether FAA's plan will include performance goals and measures. FAA has reported that it plans to use results from the pilot program to inform its implementation plan, statutorily required one year after the pilot program concludes. UAS stakeholders generally agreed with FAA's approach for moving UTM toward implementation. However, they said that they face planning challenges because FAA provides limited information on timing and substance of next steps, such as areas of UTM technology that FAA will focus on during testing. In addition, FAA has not indicated whether the implementation plan will include performance goals and measures, instead stating that such metrics are not statutorily required. Providing more data to the UAS industry and public stakeholders in the short term and including goals and metrics in the plan could help stakeholders make informed decisions and better align their activities with FAA plans for UTM testing and implementation. Why GAO Did This Study UAS have potential to provide significant social and economic benefits in the U.S. FAA is tasked with safely integrating UAS into the national airspace. UTM, as planned, will be a traffic management system where UAS operators and service providers are responsible for the coordination and management of operations at low altitudes (below 400 feet), with rules established by FAA. The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 included a provision for GAO to review infrastructure requirements for monitoring UAS at low altitude. This report examines, among other things, the actions FAA has taken to develop UTM and additional steps needed to achieve UTM's implementation.  GAO reviewed relevant statutes, regulations, and agency documents; assessed FAA's efforts against internal controls for communicating quality information and GAO's work on results- oriented practices and performance measures; and interviewed 19 UAS industry and public stakeholders selected to achieve a range of perspectives. GAO is recommending that FAA: (1) provide stakeholders with additional information on the timing and substance of UTM testing and implementation efforts using FAA's UTM website or other appropriate means, and (2) develop performance goals and measures for its UTM implementation plan. The Department of Transportation generally concurred with these recommendations. For more information, contact Heather Krause at (202) 512-2834 or krauseh@gao.gov.
    [Read More…]
  • Information Technology: Digital Service Programs Need to Consistently Coordinate on Developing Guidance for Agencies
    In U.S GAO News
    What GAO Found For fiscal year 2021, 26 federal agencies reported 7,806 information technology (IT) investments on the federal IT Dashboard, a public website the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) launched in 2009. OMB requires agencies to report their IT investments on the dashboard and categorize them in various ways that help describe their purpose. For fiscal year 2021, agencies reported their investments in one of three portfolio categories: IT infrastructure, security, and management (45 percent); mission delivery (37 percent); and mission support services (18 percent). Additionally, agencies are to classify each of their investments under one of 225 different service categories. The two service categories with the highest planned fiscal year 2021 spending were IT infrastructure ($17.9 billion) and health care delivery services ($3.9 billion). Over the past 10 years, GAO has issued 12 reports that included 275 recommendations to agencies to address issues related to duplicative IT, such as weaknesses in the processes agencies used to reduce contract duplication. GAO also made 117 recommendations in six reports to address issues related to IT management roles and responsibilities, such as unclear responsibilities for chief information officers and acquisition officials. As of October 2021, agencies had implemented a total of 290 (74 percent) of the recommendations. Implementing the remaining 102 would provide agencies greater assurance that they are effectively managing IT acquisitions and operations. Status of GAO Recommendations Related to Duplicative Information Technology (IT) and IT Management Roles and Responsibilities, as of October 2021   Number of related recommendations Number fully implemented Number not fully implemented Duplicative IT 275 238 (87 percent) 37 (13 percent) Roles and responsibilities 117 52 (44 percent) 65 (56 percent) Total 392 290 102 Source: GAO analysis of GAO reports. | GAO-22-104492 OMB's U.S. Digital Service (USDS) and the General Services Administration's 18F program offices help agencies deliver digital services, such as public facing websites and on-line benefit applications. These offices conduct similar activities to fulfill their missions, such as providing IT expertise on agencies' projects, recruiting IT experts, and developing guidance to assist agencies. Although USDS and 18F coordinated on projects and recruiting efforts, they did not always do so to avoid developing duplicative IT guidance. Specifically, neither entity had an established, documented coordination approach, even though they had issued guidance on the same IT acquisition and development topics with similar content. USDS and 18F officials acknowledged the need to improve guidance coordination, but did not have specific plans to do so. Documenting a coordinated approach for developing and issuing guidance would reduce the risk of overlap and duplication, and the potential for conflicting information. Why GAO Did This Study Federal agencies spend more than $100 billion annually on IT to improve mission delivery and support; and enhance infrastructure, security, and management. However, because of longstanding challenges, the federal government's management of IT acquisitions and operations has been on GAO's high-risk list since 2015. The Modernizing Government Technology Act of 2017 included a provision for GAO to review federal IT programs and entities, including USDS and 18F, and the extent to which they duplicate work. This report (1) describes investments identified on the federal IT Dashboard, (2) summarizes prior GAO recommendations and current implementation status on IT duplication and management roles and responsibilities, and (3) evaluates USDS's and 18F's efforts to coordinate IT services to avoid overlap and duplication. To do so, GAO (1) examined IT data reported by 26 agencies on the federal IT Dashboard; (2) identified prior GAO reports that evaluated duplicative IT and IT roles and responsibilities, and determined the number and implementation status of relevant recommendations; and (3) compared USDS and 18F coordination activities with leading collaboration practices identified in GAO's prior work.
    [Read More…]
  • Human Trafficking: Monitoring and Evaluation of International Projects Are Limited, but Experts Suggest Improvements
    In U.S GAO News
    Human trafficking--a worldwide crime involving the exploitation of men, women, and children for others' financial gain--is a violation of human rights. Victims are often lured or abducted and forced to work in involuntary servitude. Since 2001, the U.S. government has provided about $447 million to combat global human trafficking. As GAO previously reported, estimates of the number of trafficking victims are questionable. In this report, GAO examines (1) collaboration among organizations involved in international antitrafficking efforts, (2) U.S. government monitoring of antitrafficking projects and difficulties in evaluating these projects, and (3) suggestions for strengthening monitoring and evaluation. GAO analyzed agency documents; convened an expert panel; interviewed officials; and conducted fieldwork in Indonesia, Thailand, and Mexico.While governments, international organizations, and nongovernmental organizations have recognized the importance of collaborating and have established some coordination mechanisms and practices, they will need to overcome challenges that have impeded collaboration in the past for their efforts to be successful. In two of the three countries GAO visited, it found that host governments--which bear ultimate responsibility for combating trafficking within their borders--have passed national antitrafficking laws and enacted national action plans. However, organizations continue to face numerous challenges when collaborating to combat human trafficking, including varying levels of government commitment and capacity. For example, some governments treat foreign trafficking victims as illegal immigrants and deport rather than protect them. In addition, according to officials in two of the three countries GAO visited, the ministries responsible for coordinating antitrafficking efforts have limited authority and capacity. U.S. government-funded antitrafficking projects often lack some important elements that allow projects to be monitored, and little is known about project impact due to difficulties in conducting evaluations. Project documents GAO reviewed generally include monitoring elements, such as an overarching goal and related activities, but often lack other monitoring elements, such as targets for measuring performance. To oversee projects, State officials supplement their efforts with assistance from U.S. embassy staff, but have not established written guidance for oversight. Officials said that they are working to improve performance measures and develop monitoring guidance. Conducting impact evaluations of antitrafficking projects is difficult due to several factors, including questionable project-level estimates of the number of trafficking victims. These estimates are needed for baselines by which to evaluate how effectively specific interventions are reducing trafficking. Elements in the design of certain projects, such as objectives that are too broad, further impede evaluation. Because of these difficulties, few impact evaluations have been completed, and little is known about the impact of antitrafficking interventions. A GAO-convened panel of experts identified and discussed ways to address the factors that make it difficult to monitor and evaluate antitrafficking projects. Panelists' suggested approaches included improving information on the nature and severity of trafficking and addressing monitoring and evaluation in project design. To improve information on trafficking, panelists suggested methods that have been used to sample other hard-to-reach populations, including domestic violence victims. One suggested method is sampling of "hot spots"--an intensive search for victims in areas known to have high concentrations of victims. To address weaknesses in project design that impede monitoring and evaluation, panelists suggested that officials design projects that clearly link activities to intended outcomes, identify measurable indicators, and establish procedures for setting and modifying targets.
    [Read More…]
  • Kansas Man Indicted on Federal Child Pornography Charges
    In Crime News
    A resident of Topeka, Kansas, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas on federal child pornography charges, Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division announced today.
    [Read More…]
  • Two Virginia Men Convicted for Their Roles in Investment Fraud Scheme
    In Crime News
    A federal jury found two representatives of a purported investment company based in the United Kingdom guilty on Oct. 30 for their roles in an investment fraud scheme by which they stole at least $5 million from victim investors.
    [Read More…]
  • Mexico Travel Advisory
    In Travel
    Reconsider travel to [Read More…]
  • Man Sentenced for Receiving, Soliciting and Promoting Child Pornography
    In Crime News
    A Virginia man was sentenced today to 240 months, or 20 years, in prison, to be followed by a lifetime of supervised release, for downloading images and videos depicting children as young as 4 years old being sexually abused, and for utilizing the Dark Net to solicit and promote child pornography.
    [Read More…]
  • Guyana Travel Advisory
    In Travel
    Do not travel to Guyana [Read More…]
  • Operation Iraqi Freedom: Actions Needed to Facilitate the Efficient Drawdown of U.S. Forces and Equipment from Iraq
    In U.S GAO News
    The drawdown from Iraq is a complex operation of significant magnitude. Established drawdown timelines dictate a reduction in forces to 50,000 troops by August 31, 2010, and a complete withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq by December 31, 2011. While DOD has made progress toward meeting these goals, a large amount of equipment, personnel, and bases remain to be drawn down. Moreover, escalating U.S. involvement in Afghanistan may increase the pressure on DOD to efficiently execute the drawdown. Due to broad congressional interest in drawdown issues, GAO performed this work under the Comptroller General's Authority. GAO examined (1) the extent to which DOD has planned for the drawdown from Iraq in accordance with set timelines, and (2) factors that may impact the efficient execution of the drawdown. To evaluate these efforts GAO reviewed documents and interviewed officials from over 20 DOD organizations in the U.S., Kuwait, and Iraq.Several DOD organizations have issued coordinated plans for the execution of the drawdown and created new organizations to oversee, synchronize, and ensure unity of effort during the drawdown. To date, DOD reports that its drawdown efforts have exceeded its goals. For example, in January 2010, DOD reported that it had exceeded its target figure for withdrawing wheeled and tracked combat vehicles in Iraq, among other items, by over 2,600 pieces, yet a large amount of personnel, equipment, and bases remain to be drawn down. However, DOD has not (1) fully included contracted support in its operational planning for the drawdown, (2) allowed sufficient time in its guidance to ensure that all contracted services can be put on contract in a responsible manner, or (3) clearly defined the roles and responsibilities of various contract validation review boards. Several other issues may impede the efficient execution of the drawdown from Iraq. First, challenges associated with the planned simultaneous transition of several major contracts may lead to the interruption of vital services. Second, DOD has not determined whether the benefits of transitioning its major base and life support contract in Iraq outweigh the costs and risks of doing so. Third, shortages of contract oversight personnel may increase the risk of fraud, waste, and abuse. Fourth, key decisions concerning equipment that will be retrograded from Iraq have yet to be made. And finally, DOD lacks precise visibility over its inventory of equipment and shipping containers. While DOD has begun to address some of these issues, GAO has not fully assessed DOD's actions.
    [Read More…]
  • NASA to Broadcast Mars 2020 Perseverance Launch, Prelaunch Activities
    In Space
    Starting July 27, news [Read More…]
  • Briefing with Special Envoy for the Northern Triangle Ricardo Zuniga on Ongoing Diplomatic Efforts to Address the Root Causes of Irregular Migration from Central America
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Ricardo Zuniga, Special [Read More…]
  • Special Representative for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim’s Trilateral Call with Republic of Korea (ROK) Special Representative Noh and Japan Director General Funakoshi
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]

Crime

Network News © 2005 Area.Control.Network™ All rights reserved.