Boca Raton Federal Bust; Wolf of Wall Street Connection
In situations such as the circumstances of the article written below, the hiring of a criminal defense attorney who is an expert within the federal legal system is crucial to fight any charges brought forward by the government. For persons living in the Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County areas as well as any of the surrounding regions of South Florida my extensive experience as a former Assistant United States Attorney working for the prosecution gives my clients' a strong advantage when countering any allegations charged by the federal government.
If you've read my blog in the past you already know that there are numerous stories that involve federal Health Care Fraud cases. This category of criminal activity has many more detailed articles written about it than any other subject that appears on my online publication due to the fact that South Florida is the leader in arrests, plea deals and convictions for this particular criminal offense. The amounts of money that is defrauded on a continuing yearly basis from the Medicare system is staggering
Yet again this week, it has been reported that the FBI spent a great deal of time working in our area, at the offices of Med-Care Diabetic and Medical Supply Inc. A spokesman for the bureau confirmed that they were indeed "conducting law enforcement activity" at the location. By Thursday, photos and videos could be found in South Florida major news publications and Websites showing agents carrying boxes and files out of Med-Care's offices which is located on Clint Moore Road in Boca Raton. The raid took place the previous day.
When interviewed by the press, an FBI spokesman declined to discuss the ongoing investigation although Med-Care is already in the midst of an unresolved lawsuit accusing the company of making false-claims, thus defrauding the federal Medicare program.
A statement by an attorney for the company said that Med-Care "has always been fully transparent in cooperating with regulatory or governmental inquiries that it receives." He went on to say that "this inquiry is no different. ... The process used today was unexpected, but the company is cooperating, and will continue to cooperate, fully. The company has nothing to hide. "
According to a disclosure of Court documents, one of Med-Care's executives is Daniel Porush who was depicted as of one of the main characters in the 2013 movie "The Wolf of Wall Street". The movie was based on a book written by Jordan Belfort, who was played by Leonardo DiCaprio. In the movie Porush's character was portrayed by Jonah Hill.
The film is the story of Belfort's life who was the son of two accountants from Bayside, Queens-NY, who started out as a small time stockbroker, trading penny stocks, rising through the ranks and growing his small firm to become a major player on the street when he founded the Stratford-Oakmont brokerage firm with his partner Donny Azoff (Porush) in the early 1990's. The company grew rapidly, filing lucrative IPO's (initial public offerings) for private companies entering the world of Wall Street.
Their meteoric rise to the top allowed them to host extravagant staff parties at the firm's offices, with the use of drugs including cocaine and Quaaludes becoming prevalent and common place. The partners purchased expensive cars, yachts and beachfront properties. The company's trading methods seemed sketchy to say the least but they advanced the firm's rapid growth, creating their fortune and ultimately gaining the attention of the industry's leading financial magazine (Forbes). Forbes wrote a major article about the firm in which Belfort was termed a "sleazy Robin Hood" by the author, and displayed his picture on that month's cover. But this dramatic escalating notoriety also drew the unwanted attention of the feds.
Ultimately, the FBI moved in and Belfort and Azoff were arrested. In the end Azoff cut a plea deal for the charges of securities fraud and ten counts of money laundering. He spent thirty-nine months in prison. Belfort was sentenced and served twenty-two months.
The current false claims whistleblower lawsuit was filed last year by an ex-employee of East End Associates, a company affiliated with Med-Care. It was picked up by the feds due to allegations in that case which involved the theft of federal Medicare funds.
The pending lawsuit alleges that Med-Care operated telemarketing call centers in New York and South Florida, specifically Boca Raton. Medicare beneficiaries were contacted through operators working at their facilities in a sales pitch to receive different types of medical equipment that was deceptively unnecessary. The devices were not requested by the beneficiaries before the cold calls were made. The lawsuit maintains that the quantities delivered were excessive in range as part of the conspiracy. In many cases Medicare was billed for equipment that was never even delivered to the unaware prospective customers.
The Plaintiff describes in the lawsuit how she and others who worked the phones were told they "did not need to always follow the script and should say whatever they needed to say, and make whatever representations they needed to make, to obtain billing information (including Medicare billing information) and to secure a sale."
Med-Care was reimbursed more than 80 million dollars by Medicare over the more than three year period between 2009 and 2012, a good part through the proceeds gained through the company's telemarketing scheme, according to the lawsuit.
The company's procedures have also been examined by a congressional committee.
*Links to theatrical information about the movie "The Wolf of Wall Street" and its cast were researched through the IMDb Website acknowledged in their own words as "the world's most popular and authoritative source for movie, TV and celebrity content."
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