DETROIT — A federal judge in Michigan on Jan. 14 approved a stipulation between the federal government and six doctors accused of health care fraud for writing prescriptions for opioids that were not medically necessary that set a trial date of July 9, finding that the parties agreed that the “ends of justice served by granting the requested continuance outweigh the best interests of the public and the defendants in a speedy trial” (United States v. Dr. Rajendra Bothra, et al., No. 18-cr-20800, E.D. Mich.).
LONDON, Ky. — A federal judge in Kentucky on Dec. 20 denied a request for release pending appeal filed by a cardiologist that was convicted of health care fraud for implanting pacemakers in patients who did not need them and sentenced to 42 months in prison, finding that the doctor failed to adequately argue that the conviction would be likely be overturned (United States v. Anis Chalhoub, M.D., No. 16-cr-00023-GFHT-HAI, E.D. Ky., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 215680).
HARRISBURG, Pa. — A Pennsylvania appeals panel on Jan. 11 affirmed a man’s convictions for arson and insurance fraud, holding that the evidence presented to the jury sufficiently supported its decision (Commonwealth v. Jamat Ali Manzoor, No. 1121 MDA 2017, Pa. Super., 2018 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 105).
DETROIT— A Michigan appeals court panel on Jan. 8 upheld Allstate Insurance Co.’s summary judgment award in a case brought by a man who sought personal injury protection (PIP) coverage for injuries that he sustained after he was struck by a vehicle while on his bicycle, finding that the man made fraudulent misrepresentations to the company that warranted a denial of coverage (Emmanuel McCune Jr., et al. v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 340476, Mich. App., 2019 Mich. App. LEXIS 27).
LEXINGTON, Ky. — A Kentucky federal judge on Dec. 17 ordered a hearing to address whether he should again continue a jury trial in a lawsuit alleging that farmers defrauded the United States through the filing of false insurance claims reimbursed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and by making false statements and reports in connection with the federally reinsured crop insurance program (United States v. Bradley Price, et al., No. 18-cr-60, E.D. Ky.).
SEATTLE — A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 14 dismissed a woman’s appeal challenging her guilty plea to 24 counts of health care fraud and aggravated identity theft for billing insurance companies for dental hygiene care that she was not authorized to provide because she stated that she understood the consequences of her plea (United States v. Cherie Renee Dillon, Nos. 17-30122, 17-30235, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 35206).
NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York on Nov. 16 granted a request by the Government Employees Insurance Co. (GEICO) and its affiliates to enjoin pending and future arbitration proceedings brought by an acupuncturist, a clinic administrator and a couple accusing the insurer of failing to pay claims submitted under New York’s No-Fault Insurance Law, finding that any rulings against the insurer during the pendency of its declaratory judgment suit would result in undue harm (Government Employees Insurance Co., et al. v. Igor Mayzenberg, et al., No. 17-cv-2802, E.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 195890).
GREENBELT, Md.— A lawsuit filed by State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. and State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. (collectively State Farm) accusing two chiropractic clinics and their doctors of submitting fraudulent claims was dismissed by a federal judge in Maryland on Dec. 11 after the judge found that the insurer’s lawsuit failed to distinguish whether the defendants were falsifying patients’ medical records or sending bills for treatment that was medically unnecessary (State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., et al. v. Carefree Land Chiropractic LLC, et al., No. 18-cv-1279, D. Md., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 209114)
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A senior living center petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 20, seeking review of a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling reinstating a former employee’s False Claims Act suit, arguing that a divided appellate panel erred in finding that the woman’s allegations satisfied the statute’s requirements for materiality and scienter (Brookdale Senior Living Communities Inc., et al. v. United States of America, ex rel. Marjorie Prather, No. 18-699, U.S. Sup.).
CHICAGO — A panel of the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 29 affirmed a federal judge in Illinois’ decision to deny a chiropractic clinic owner’s request to withdraw his plea of guilty to one count of health care fraud, finding that he could not raise an ineffective assistance of counsel argument and because he was not entitled to a hearing pursuant to the rulings in Kastigar v. United States, 406 U.S. 441, 92 S. Ct. 1653, 32 L. Ed. 2d 212 (1972) and United States v. Palumbo, 897 F.2d 245 (7th Cir. 1990) (United States v. Steven Paul, No. 17-3606, 7th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 33485).
CINCINNATI — A Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Nov. 26 affirmed a doctor’s 19-year prison sentence for conspiracy to commit health care fraud and conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, holding that his counsel did not commit a prejudicial error when failing to present evidence that he was in a coma for two months during 2012 and unable to allegedly prescribe the drugs illegally (United States v. Adelfo Pamatmat, No. 17-1611, 6th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 33113).
SAN FRANCISCO — A California appellate panel on Nov. 29 upheld a man’s sentence of one year in prison and restitution of $10,000 after pleading guilty to one count of insurance fraud, finding that he failed to obtain a probable cause certificate from the trial court (People v. Glenn Josue Barrera-Izaba, No. A151037, Calif. App., 1st Dist., 5th Div., 2018 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 8054).
TULSA, Okla. — The owner of a number of pharmacies and two physicians were indicted in Oklahoma federal court on Dec. 7 for engaging in a scheme involving the payment of illegal kickbacks to physicians who submitted prescriptions for compounded drugs that were later billed to federal health care programs and private insurers for reimbursement (United States v. Christopher P. Parks, et al., No. 18cr251, N.D. Okla.).
CHICAGO — A doctor who once lived in Illinois was indicted in Illinois federal court Dec. 9 on six counts of health care fraud for submitting bills to Medicare for allergy tests he knew were medically unnecessary (United States v. Omar Garcia, No. 18cr833, N.D. Ill.).
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A 2-1 panel of the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals on Dec. 7 found that a man’s conviction for insurance fraud should be vacated because the evidence presented during trial did not establish that he filed a claim with his insurer and because he did not comply with the terms of the policy by submitting a proof of loss statement (State of Tennessee v. Reuben Eugene Mitchell, No. E2017-01739-CCA-R3-CD, Tenn. App., 2018 Tenn. Crim. App. LEXIS 888).
NEW ORLEANS — A federal judge in Texas did not err when sentencing a law office manager convicted on one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and 30 counts of mail fraud as part of his scheme to defraud insurance companies by operating a sham chiropractic clinic to 168 months in prison, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Nov. 16, ruling that the evidence sufficiently showed that the defendant organized the plan and actively recruited individuals to participate (United States v. Earlie Dickerson, Nos. 17-20270, 17-20161, 5th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 32520).
NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York on Nov. 26 stayed 2,300 cases in state court and 20 arbitration proceedings initiated by medical providers and medical device suppliers of a Brooklyn, N.Y., clinic that are seeking $3.2 million worth of claims for reimbursement under the state’s no-fault benefits program from State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. and State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., finding that the court had the authority to do so under the in aid of jurisdiction exception to the Anti-Injunction Act (AIA) (State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., et al. v. Jules Parisien, M.D., et al., No. 18-CV-289, E.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 199566).
NEW ORLEANS — A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Nov. 14 affirmed a man’s convictions for charges of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud as part of a larger scheme to defraud insurance companies by filing claims for automobile accidents that never occurred, ruling that a federal judge in Texas did not err when denying his motion to vacate the sentence and hold an evidentiary hearing regarding whether the government threatened to charge his mother with perjury (United States v. Derrick L. Jimerson, No. 16-41262, 5th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 32218).
DETROIT — Allstate Insurance Co. and two of its affiliates on Nov. 8 sued two chiropractors and a number of clinics in a Michigan federal court, claiming that they engaged in a scheme to submit fraudulent bills for benefits under Michigan’s No-Fault Act that were medically unnecessary or not performed (Allstate Insurance Co., et al. v. Derek L. Bittner D.C., et al., No. 18-13484, E.D. Mich.).
LEXINGTON, Ky. — The U.S. government in a Nov. 8 brief says it does not object to a farmer’s motion in a Kentucky federal court to continue trial to a later date over accusations that he submitted false reports regarding federally reinsured crop insurance policies but deferred to the court’s “sound judgment” (United States v. Christopher G. Hickerson, No. 18-cr-00111, E.D. Ky.).