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Miami 142 articles

National Medicare fraud crackdown uncovers $233 million in false billings

A federal crackdown on Medicare fraud in eight cities nationwide has led to charges against 89 individuals, including doctors, nurses, and other licensed medical professionals, for their alleged participation in fraud schemes that resulted in about $233 million in false Medicare billings, the U.S. Justice Department has announced. The crackdown was the sixth such operation orchestrated by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force since it was first formed in 2007. The task force now operates under the federal Health Care Fraud Prevention & Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), a joint initiative created by the Justice Department and the Department of Health and ... Read More

Florida sues BP and Halliburton for $5.5 billion over oil spill damages

The State of Florida filed a lawsuit against BP and some of its affiliated companies last week on the third anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon explosion, which killed 11 workers and turned much of the northern Gulf of Mexico into a sea of sticky black crude. The state is seeking to recover $5.48 billion in actual and potential revenues it estimates it lost as a result of the giant 2010 oil spill. Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the northern District of Florida, Panama City. It names as defendants BP Exploration & Production ... Read More

Junior Seau’s family sues NFL, helmet maker over brain trauma

The family of famed linebacker Junior Seau, who killed himself in May at age 43, is suing the National Football League (NFL) and Riddell Inc., a major football helmet manufacturer, over brain injuries that doctors say likely played a role in his death. Mr. Seau spent 13 seasons playing for the San Diego Chargers before he was traded to the Miami Dolphins, where he spent three years, and the New England Patriots for the final four years of his professional career. Like former Chicago Bears Safety Dave Duerson, Mr. Seau shot himself in the chest, quite possibly so that his ... Read More

Small Key West pharmacy exposes billions in health care fraud

A small pharmacy in the Florida Keys earned the distinction of being the top whistleblower in the country for its role in exposing prescription drug fraud that costs state and federal governments billions of dollars in taxpayer funds. According to a report published by the National Law Journal, a small Key West pharmacy named Ven-A-Care has reported several fraudulent overcharging practices that resulted in state and federal governments recovering more than $2.5 billion from pharmaceutical companies. According to the consumer watchdog group Public Citizen, Ven-A-Care blew the whistle on Boehringer Ingelheim when it found the company overcharging government health care programs for ... Read More

Healthcare fraud crackdown leads to 91 criminal charges involving $430 million

Another U.S. government crackdown on Medicare and Medicaid fraud resulted in the criminal charges against 91 health care professionals, including several doctors and nurses, for allegedly cheating the federal programs out of $430 million. The latest sweep was similar in scope to a May crackdown that uncovered more than $450 million in false billing and other fraud directed at federal programs to help the elderly and poor with health care costs. Both sweeps are part of the government’s ramped-up efforts to recover money from the taxpayer-funded programs and deter medical professionals from further fraud, abuse, and waste. Earnest Gibson, President ... Read More

Change in daily routine led to baby’s car-entrapment death, Miami authorities say

The father of a 6-month old girl who died after being left inside a hot car for several hours will not be charged in his daughter’s death. Miami-Dade police say that a change in Lazaro Ramos’ daily routine is ultimately to blame for the baby’s death. Mr. Ramos strapped Rosalyn Ramos into her rear-facing car seat Tuesday morning before taking his 5-year-old son to school. After dropping the boy off at Doral Academy Preparatory School, however, Mr. Ramos proceeded to work instead of dropping his daughter off at a day-care center. The baby’s lifeless body wasn’t discovered until Mr. Ramos ... Read More

False BP oil spill claims and other disaster fraud gets couple 13-year sentence

A South Florida couple received a 13-year prison sentence Wednesday for filing multiple fraudulent claims in connection with the 2010 BP oil spill. Joseph Harvey, 53, and Anja Karin Kannell, 42, of Lighthouse Point, Florida, successfully collected about $366,000 on $1.26 million of false claims from the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF), which administered a $20-billion fund established to mediate and settle claims brought by individuals and businesses harmed by BP’s massive oil spill. Both Harvey and Kannell were found guilty on numerous counts of mail fraud, wire fraud, access device fraud, and aggravated identity theft in connection to the ... Read More

Authorities fear Hurricane Isaac will dredge up submerged BP oil

As Hurricane Isaac churns along the Gulf Coast, scientists and state authorities are concerned there is a good chance that it will dredge up oil and tar that settled on the ocean floor after BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and unleashed a mammoth oil spill in 2010. “Winds will push water away from the center of a storm, which causes an upwelling as the ocean tries to adjust,” Nick Shay, professor of meteorology and physical oceanography at the University of Miami, told Huffington Post. “It brings whatever is near the bottom up higher in the water column and currents can ... Read More

Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee holding oil spill claims seminars in June

Members of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (PSC) who negotiated a settlement with BP over its 2010 Gulf oil spill are offering a series of one-day seminars this month to explain details of the agreement. The seminars, which kick off Monday, June 18 in New Orleans, will be offered in eight cities throughout the Southeast and are open to lawyers and certified public accountants. According to organizers, the seminars will provide an in-depth analysis of the Settlement Program, guiding attendees through the process and helping them identify a broad range of businesses and individuals, even those far from the coast, who ... Read More

Psychotic behavior a possibility with some synthetic drugs

It is perhaps the most disturbing story to come out in recent months – a drugged out maniac stripping naked and then eating off the face of a homeless man on a Miami causeway. One researcher warns that the attacker’s psychotic rage may not be as random as generally thought. “Absolutely bizarre, if not demonic behavior,” Dr. Deborah Marsh, founder and director of the University of Miami Brain Endowment Bank, told CBS4 News. She says the symptoms the attacker displayed are indicative of ones experienced by people who have gotten high off synthetic drugs, many of which are imported from and ... Read More