WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Aug. 24 stood by its decision to not review the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ ruling in favor of an insurer in the appellant’s breach of contract lawsuit seeking $750,000 as a beneficiary under an accidental death policy (Abdul Salam Badmus v. Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company [MOOIC], No. 17-7884, U.S. Sup.).
NEW YORK— A physician who falsely claimed that he was the owner of two clinics that submitted bills to Medicare for services that were either not provided or medically necessary was sentenced Aug. 21 by a federal judge in New York to 366 days in prison and ordered to pay $1.8 million in restitution, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Aug. 22 (United States v. Mustak Y. Vaid, et al., No. 16cr763, S.D. N.Y.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. — A Pennsylvania Superior Court panel on Aug. 16 vacated a woman’s conviction for insurance fraud, finding that Medicare does not qualify as an insurer for the purposes of the statute she was accused of violating (Pennsylvania v. Rameeza S. Chowdhury, No. 577 MDA 2017, Pa. Super., 2018 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2962).
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. — A pharmacist and pharmacy owner on Aug. 14 pleaded guilty in Illinois federal court to two counts of health care fraud for submitting false claims for prescriptions that were not authorized by a physician (United States v. Steven P. Gibson, No. 18-cr-30127, S.D. Ill.).
CINCINNATI — A federal judge in Michigan did not err when sentencing a man to 72 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft as part of a scheme to fraudulently obtain unemployment insurance benefits, a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Aug. 13, finding that the judge did not err when denying the defendant’s motion to withdraw the plea and properly calculated the man’s sentence (United States of America v. Edward C. Galka, No. 17-2216, 6th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 22491).
CONCORD, N.H. — A federal judge in New Hampshire on Aug. 13 dismissed six of an ophthalmologist’s eight counterclaims against an insurance company seeking to rescind a policy issued to him and his practice, finding that he could not pursue claims under Massachusetts law because New Hampshire law applies to the suit and because the insurer’s complaint cannot form the basis for counterclaims of libel, defamation and false light (General Star Indemnity Co. v. Adam P. Beck M.D., et al., No. 18-cv-108-JD, D. N.H., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136019).
RALEIGH, N.C. — A North Carolina appeals panel on Aug. 7 vacated a man’s conviction for insurance fraud after finding that the state failed to present sufficient evidence to show that he made a fraudulent statement to his insurance company about the cause of a fire that destroyed a diner he helped operate (North Carolina v. Eric Ferrer, No. COA17-655, N.C. App., 2018 N.C. App. LEXIS 760).
BENTON, Ill. — An Illinois woman on Aug. 10 pleaded guilty to one felony count of health care fraud in Illinois federal court after withdrawing her earlier plea of not guilty (United States of America v. Betsy Gutowski, No. 17cr40046, S.D. Ill.).
CAMDEN, N.J. — A federal judge in New Jersey on Aug. 6 vacated an entry of default against a doctor and a clinic accused of submitting fraudulent bills to the Government Employees Insurance Co. (GEICO), finding that the defendants raised meritorious defenses to the insurer’s allegations and that the company’s complaint contained “shotgun pleadings” (Government Employees Insurance Co. v. Pennsauken Spine & Rehab PC, et al., No. 17-11727, D. N.J., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 131529).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California appeals panel on Aug. 1 affirmed a woman’s conviction on three counts of insurance fraud, holding that evidence presented during the trial sufficiently showed that she was not a passenger in a vehicle when it was struck by another vehicle (People of the State of California v. Deborah Carter, No. C083541, C084717, Calif. App., 3rd Dist., 2018 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5269).
RALEIGH, N.C. — A federal judge in North Carolina on July 30 ordered a home health care services company and its operators to pay $2.9 million for violating the federal and North Carolina false claims acts when submitting fraudulent bills for services that were provided in violation of Medicare policies or not provided at all and falsifying documents to conceal the fraud (United States, et al. v. Compassionate Home Care Services Inc., et al., No. 14-CV-113-D, E.D. N.C.).
ALEXANDRIA, Va.— A jury in Virginia federal court on July 30 convicted the former owner of a sleep study clinic on one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, one count of filing a false tax return and seven counts of health care fraud (United States of America v. Young Yi, et al., No. 17cr224, E.D. Va.)
MILWAUKEE — A federal judge in Wisconsin on July 27 amended a man’s sentenced for wire fraud and aggravated identity theft as part of a scheme to fraudulently obtain unemployment insurance benefits, finding that his appellate counsel acted deficiently when failing to argue that his sentence should be adjusted to reflect for time he served in state prison (Calvin V. Sanders v. United States of America, No. 18-cv-919, E.D. Wis., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125657).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A trial court judge did not abuse his discretion when ordering a man to repay $5,502 to his employer for temporary disability benefits he unlawfully received, a California appeals court panel ruled July 24, finding that the evidence presented by the state sufficiently supported the amount (People of the State of California v. Michael William Williams, No. C086000, Calif. App., 3rd Dist., 2018 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5057).
TAMPA, Fla. — A federal magistrate judge in Florida on July 20 recommended accepting a woman’s guilty pleas to two counts of health care fraud, finding that she is knowledgeable about the offenses for which she is charged (United States of America v. Lisa McLaren Janick, No. 17cr502, M.D. Fla.).
CINCINNATI — A Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 16 granted requests from the Washington Legal Foundation (WLF) and National Association for Home Care & Hospice Inc. (NAHCH) to submit amicus curiae briefs in support of a nursing home facility’s request for an en banc hearing as to whether a former worker sufficiently alleged that the company made material misrepresentations under the False Claims Act (FCA) when failing to timely submit physician certification to support treatment provided to patients (United States, ex rel. Marjorie Prather v. Brookdale Senior Living Communities Inc., et al., No. 17-5826, 6th Cir.).
BANGOR, Maine — An ambulance company has agreed to pay the federal government and state of Maine $16,776.74 to resolve claims that it submitted false bills to Medicare and Maine’s Medicaid program, MaineCare, from January 2015 through April 2016 to pay the salary of an employee who had previously been excluded from participating in federal and state health care programs, according to a notice of settlement filed July 17 in Maine federal court (United States v. County Ambulance Service Inc., No. 18-cv-280, D. Maine).
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — An Ohio appeals panel on June 29 overturned a ruling awarding summary judgment to Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Co., finding that the company’s policy application did not specifically state that a misrepresentation would void the policy (Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Co. v. Barbara Pusser, et al., No. 17 MA 0117, Ohio App., 7th Dist., 2018 Ohio App. LEXIS 2988).
LAS VEGAS — A man who was convicted on two felony counts of insurance fraud should be resentenced, a 2-1 Nevada Court of Appeals ruled June 22, finding that the state failed to present sufficient evidence showing that the value of items the defendant attempted to obtain proceeds from exceeded $650 (Tarek Diab Gohar v. Nevada, No. 73872, Nev. App., 2018 Nev. App. Unpub. LEXIS 511).
SAN FRANCISCO — A California appeals court panel on July 16 affirmed a trial court’s ruling requiring a flower shop owner to pay $14,200 in restitution to a former employee after she pleaded no contest to fraud charges stemming from her failure to pay for unemployment and workers’ compensation insurance, finding that while the former employee’s work records “were a mess,” the trial judge properly calculated the amount needed to make the victim whole (People of California v. Cynthia Ann Smith, No. A153490, Calif. App., 1st Dist., 5th Div., 2018 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 4769).