Federal Government
Wake Forest Man Pleads Guilty To Embezzlement At Credit Union PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 24 June 2020 13:23

A Wake Forest man pleaded guilty today to theft and embezzlement from a credit union.

According to court documents, Johnnie Earl Harrell, 47, served as branch manager of a credit union located in Zebulon, NC.  From 2008 to 2019, Harrell exploited his position to steal and embezzle at least $645,000 in funds belonging to the credit union and its customers. Among Harrell’s victims were individuals convinced by Harrell to rollover existing retirement accounts into annuities.  Harrell never purchased the annuities, but instead converted the funds to personal use.  Harrell prepared fraudulent annuity account statements that were periodically presented to victims to preclude detection of the theft.

Harrell pleaded guilty to theft and embezzlement from a credit union and faces up to thirty years in prison when he is sentenced during the court’s November or December term.

Robert J. Higdon, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Jones accepted the plea. The United States Department of Homeland Security, the North Carolina Department of Insurance Criminal Investigations, and the Zebulon Police Department are investigating the case.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Toby Lathan is prosecuting the case.

 

 
Dunn Physician Agrees To $8.8 Million Settlement For Allegedly False Medicare and Medicaid Claims PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Friday, 29 May 2020 14:30

Dr. Ibrahim Oudeh, his wife Teresa Sloan-Oudeh, and Dr. Oudeh’s medical practice agreed to relinquish approximately $3,300,000 worth of assets and further agreed to a conditional consent judgment in the amount of $5,500,000 to settle civil False Claims Act liability for allegedly false Medicare and Medicaid claims.

 

The United States and the State of North Carolina alleged that Dr. Oudeh, Ms. Sloan-Oudeh, and the practice were liable for more than 40,000 fraudulent claims that were systematically submitted to Medicare and Medicaid between 2010 and 2017. 

 

Specifically, the Governments argued that Defendants falsely obtained approximately $1,900,000 from Medicare for over 37,000 diagnostic tests, an astronomical number of tests for a solo practitioner in a small North Carolina town.  Defendants profited handsomely from them.  They allegedly short-changed the outside physicians who interpreted those tests by paying them less than the practice’s Medicare reimbursement, and then pocketed the difference, all in violation of the federal Anti-Markup Rule.  To boot, the Governments asserted that the vast majority of the more-than-37,000 tests were medically unnecessary. 

 

The Governments also alleged that Defendants falsely billed for office visits.  In some of those instances, Defendants billed more than twenty-four hours’ worth of supposed visits with one physician in a single day.  In others, the evidence showed that the visits were for medication refills rather than for the complex, labor-intensive examinations that Defendants claimed.  Either way, the Governments alleged that Defendants could not have provided the level of patient care for which they sought reimbursement.

 

Finally, the Governments contended that Defendants falsely obtained approximately $640,000 from Medicare and Medicaid after Dr. Oudeh certified almost 4,300 nerve-conduction studies that, by his own admission, he was unqualified to interpret.  Dr. Oudeh also admitted to the Governments that he used the nerve-conduction studies as mere screening tools, in direct contravention of Medicare and Medicaid billing requirements.

 

“The United States takes healthcare fraud very seriously,” said U.S. Attorney Higdon.  “Federal healthcare programs are designed to help patients in need.  They are not boundless coffers that entrepreneurial fraudsters like the Oudehs can pilfer to maximize their fortunes.  Our office will continue to dedicate resources to rooting out and pursuing those who would rob American taxpayers to satiate their greed.  Such abuse will not be tolerated.”

 

This case is not Dr. Oudeh’s first run-in with government authorities.  The North Carolina Medical Board previously entered a consent decree finding that Dr. Oudeh’s medical recordkeeping was deficient and revoking his ability to prescribe certain controlled substances.

 

The federal and North Carolina False Claims Acts mandate that the Governments recover triple the money falsely obtained, plus substantial civil penalties for each false claim submitted.

 

It should be noted that the claims resolved by settlement here are allegations only, and that there has been no judicial determination or admission of liability.

 

This matter was handled between the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina and the Medicaid Investigations Division of the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office (“MID”), including Special Agents with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, and MID Financial Investigators.  Assistant United States Attorneys Neal Fowler and John Harris represented the United States.  Special Deputy Attorney General Lareena Phillips, who also serves as a Special Assistant United States Attorney, represented the United States and the State of North Carolina.

 

***

 
NC Hospitals Get $391 Million In Federal COVID-19 Relief PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Friday, 29 May 2020 13:29

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will award more than $391 million to North Carolina health care providers who provided care for COVID-19 patients, including high-impact hospitals, rural providers, and those treating low-income and uninsured patients. The allocation for rural providers includes rural acute care general hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs), Rural Health Clinics (RHCs), and Community Health Centers located in rural areas.

Senator Tillis previously announced more than $919 million in grants to health care providers and health systems in North Carolina and $34 million in grants to North Carolina health care centers to assist efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic. The funding comes from the CARES Act, legislation supported by Senator Tillis.

“As our hospitals and frontline workers continue their heroic care for COVID-19 patients, we must ensure they have the proper resources to provide for every North Carolinian,” said Senator Tillis. “Hospitals have struggled financially with the delay of elective surgeries and increased costs due to COVID response, and this crucial funding will help provide our hospitals with more resources to ensure the safety of all patients.”

Breakdown of additional funding in North Carolina:

  • High-impact hospitals: $79,025,656
  • Hospitals treating low-income and uninsured patients:$29,992,087
  • Rural providers: $282,581,596
 
NC Housing Authorities Get Federal COVID-19 HUD Grants PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Friday, 29 May 2020 13:24

The Department of Housing and Urban Developmentfor local housing authorities across North Carolina in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

This funding is made available through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Public Housing Operation Fund, which received additional funding in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) that was supported by Senator Tillis. It will provide North Carolina communities with financial resources to manage and maintain resident services, as well as support and respond to the coronavirus pandemic in public housing.

A breakdown of the funds distributed to North Carolina is below.

 

Recipient

City

Award Amount 

Ahoskie Housing Authority

Ahoskie

$                         56,934.00

Andrews Housing Authority

Andrews

$                         15,703.00

Asheboro Housing Authority

Asheboro

$                       111,421.00

Ayden Housing Authority

Ayden

$                       119,043.00

Belmont Housing Authority

Belmont

$                         40,709.00

Benson Housing Authority

Benson

$                       138,299.00

Bladen Housing Authority

Bladenboro

$                         49,642.00

Bladenboro Housing Authority

Bladenboro

$                         41,172.00

Brevard Housing Authority

Brevard

$                       111,390.00

Burlington Housing Authority

Burlington

$                       251,130.00

City of Albemarle Department of Public Housing

Albemarle

$                       116,806.00

City of Shelby, Department of Housing

Shelby

$                         80,179.00

Dunn Housing Authority

Dunn

$                         62,148.00

Eastern Carolina Regional Housing Authority

Goldsboro

$                       440,626.00

Elizabeth City Housing Authority

Elizabeth City

$                       149,223.00

Fairmont Housing Authority

Fairmont

$                         29,374.00

Farmville Housing Authority

Farmville

$                       136,849.00

Fayetteville Metropolitan Housing Authority

Fayetteville

$                       515,646.00

Forest City Housing Authority

Forest City

$                         83,287.00

Hamlet Housing Authority

Hamlet

$                       132,364.00

Hendersonville Housing Authority

Hendersonville

$                       101,845.00

Hot Springs Housing Authority

Hot Springs

$                         21,731.00

Housing Authority of the City of Charlotte

Charlotte

$                       162,844.00

Housing Authority of the City of Concord

Concord

$                       127,405.00

Housing Authority of the City of Goldsboro

Goldsboro

$                       786,191.00

Housing Authority of the City of Greensboro

Greensboro

$                       450,337.00

Housing Authority of the City of Greenville

Greenville

$                       620,090.00

Housing Authority of the City of High Point

High Point

$                       765,027.00

Housing Authority of the City of Kinston

Kinston

$                       458,558.00

Housing Authority of the City of Lumberton

Lumberton

$                       494,357.00

Housing Authority of the City of New Bern

New Bern

$                       210,895.00

Housing Authority of the City of Raleigh

Raleigh

$                       774,882.00

Housing Authority of the City of Wilmington

Wilmington

$                       763,287.00

Housing Authority of the City of Wilson

Wilson

$                       448,375.00

Housing Authority of the City of Winston-Salem

Winston-Salem

$                       871,034.00

Housing Authority of the County of Wake

Zebulon

$                       317,197.00

Housing Authority of the Town of Beaufort

Beaufort

$                         35,939.00

Housing Authority of the Town of Mount Airy

Mount Airy

$                         61,453.00

Housing Programs of the Town of Murphy

Murphy

$                         34,789.00

Kings Mountain Housing Authority

Kings Mountain

$                         80,572.00

Lenoir Housing Authority

Lenoir

$                         98,829.00

Lincolnton Housing Authority

Lincolnton

$                       142,375.00

Madison County Housing Authority

Mars Hill

$                         22,500.00

Madison Housing Authority

Madison

$                         36,246.00

Mars Hill Housing Authority

Mars Hill

$                         19,462.00

Marshall Housing Authority

Marshall

$                         21,849.00

Mid-East Regional Housing Authority

Williamston

$                       125,260.00

Monroe Housing Authority

Monroe

$                       147,749.00

Mooresville Housing Authority

Mooresville

$                         37,591.00

Morganton Housing Authority

Morganton

$                       167,888.00

Mount Gilead Housing Authority

Mount Gilead

$                         17,061.00

Mount Olive Housing Authority

Mount Olive

$                         13,759.00

North Wilkesboro Housing Authority

North Wilkesboro

$                       103,299.00

Northwestern Regional Housing Authority

Boone

$                         46,598.00

Oxford Housing Authority

Oxford

$                       136,592.00

Pembroke Housing Authority

Pembroke

$                       158,361.00

Plymouth Housing Authority

Plymouth

$                       113,030.00

Princeville Housing Authority

Tarboro

$                           5,184.00

Redevelopment Commission of the Town of Tarboro

Tarboro

$                         92,429.00

Roanoke Rapids Housing Authority

Roanoke Rapids

$                         86,593.00

Roanoke-Chowan Regional Housing Authority

Gaston

$                       244,007.00

Robersonville Housing Authority

Robersonville

$                         53,432.00

Robeson County Housing Authority

Lumberton

$                       153,454.00

Rockingham Housing Authority

Rockingham

$                       130,671.00

Rocky Mount Housing Authority

Rocky Mount

$                       593,250.00

Rowan County Housing Authority

Salisbury

$                       150,581.00

Roxboro Housing Authority

Roxboro

$                       135,284.00

Sanford Housing Authority

Sanford

$                       194,401.00

Selma Housing Authority

Selma

$                       102,577.00

Smithfield Housing Authority

Smithfield

$                       118,229.00

Spruce Pine Housing Authority

Spruce Pine

$                         36,562.00

Star Housing Authority

Star

$                         13,515.00

Statesville Housing Authority

Statesville

$                       314,087.00

The Graham Housing Authority

Graham

$                       112,803.00

The Housing Authority of the City of Durham

Durham

$                    1,202,203.00

The New Edenton Housing Authority

Edenton

$                         36,361.00

The New Randleman Housing Authority

Randleman

$                         47,406.00

The New Reidsville Housing Authority

Reidsville

$                         51,653.00

Thomasville Housing Authority

Thomasville

$                       166,526.00

Town of Chapel Hill Department of Housing

Chapel Hill

$                       162,170.00

Troy Housing Authority

Troy

$                         45,088.00

Valdese Housing Authority

Valdese

$                         64,026.00

Vance County Housing Authority

Henderson

$                         45,304.00

Wadesboro Housing Authority

Wadesboro

$                         99,119.00

Washington Housing Authority

Washington

$                       288,708.00

Waynesville Housing Authority

Waynesville

$                         34,055.00

Whiteville Housing Authority

Whiteville

$                         30,549.00

Williamston Housing Authority

Williamston

$                         84,693.00

 

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