Owner of Los Angeles Medical Supply Company Convicted in $4 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme

A federal jury in Los Angeles convicted a Los Angeles man and owner of a medical supply company today for his role in a $4 million Medicare fraud scheme.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker of the Central District of California, Special Agent in Charge Christian J. Schrank of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-Office of Inspector General’s (HHS-OIG) Los Angeles Region and Assistant Director in Charge David L. Bowdich of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office made the announcement.

According to evidence presented at trial, Valery Bogomolny, 43, used his company, Royal Medical Supply, to bill Medicare $4 million between January 2006 and October 2009 for power wheelchairs (PWCs), back braces and knee braces that were medically unnecessary, not provided to beneficiaries or both.  The evidence further showed that Bogomolny created false documentation to support his false billing claims, including creating fake reports of home assessments that never occurred.  Bogomolny personally delivered PWCs to beneficiaries who were able to walk without assistance and signed documents stating that he had delivered equipment when the equipment was not actually delivered.  Bogomolny ultimately received $2.7 million from Medicare on these false claims.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Feb. 29, 2016, before U.S. District Judge S. James Otero of the Central District of California, who presided over the trial.

The case was investigated by the FBI and HHS-OIG and was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, under the supervision of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section.  Trial Attorneys Fred Medick and Ritesh Srivastava of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section are prosecuting this case.

Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, now operating in nine cities across the country, has charged nearly 2,300 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $7 billion.  In addition, the HHS Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the HHS-OIG, is taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.

Six Convicted on Business Opportunity Fraud Charges

Verdict Brings Total of 22 Individuals Convicted in Scheme 

A jury in Central Islip, New York, convicted six men yesterday on felony charges of conspiracy and fraud in the sale of candy vending machine business opportunities, the Department of Justice announced.

Edward Morris “Ned” Weaver, 42, of Perrysburg, Ohio, and Lawrence A. Kaplan, 57, of Brooklyn, New York, were convicted of conspiracy, six counts of fraud and one count each of making false statements to federal agents during a related criminal investigation.  Scott M. Doumas, 43, of East Setauket, New York, was convicted of one count of conspiracy and one count of mail fraud.  Richard R. Goldberg, 43, of Bay Shore, New York, and Richard Linick, 73, of Coram, New York, were each convicted of conspiracy and one count of wire fraud.  Paul E. Raia, 64, of Brookhaven, New York, was convicted of conspiracy and two counts of wire fraud.

The convictions followed a six-week trial before U.S. District Court Judge Joan M. Azrack in federal court in the Eastern District of New York.  Each of the defendants faces a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in prison on the conspiracy count and 25 years in prison on the fraud counts.  Weaver and Kaplan face a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison on the false statements charges.

“These defendants promised their victims the American dream, but knew that what they in fact were offering was a worthless business opportunity,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division.  “The Department of Justice will continue to prosecute those who seek to scam out of everyday Americans the hard-earned money in their retirement accounts and life savings.”

According to evidence presented at trial, managers, sales representatives and operators of “locating companies” associated with Multivend LLC, d/b/a Vendstar, made material misrepresentations about the profits customers would make from bulk candy vending machines. During the telemarketing calls, Vendstar’s sales representatives falsely claimed to operate their own profitable vending machine businesses.

Additional evidence at trial described how Vendstar advertised nationwide in newspapers and on the Internet.  Vendstar sales representatives promised to provide consumers with everything they needed to operate a successful business, including vending machines, an initial supply of candy, assistance in finding locations for the vending machines, training and ongoing customer assistance.  The locating companies who worked with Vendstar to close deals had no special skills, tools or expertise in finding locations and generally placed consumers’ machines wherever they could as quickly as they could, often in businesses that had not consented to housing the machines and that soon demanded that the machines be removed.  The vending machines generated little business and Vendstar’s customers lost all or nearly all of their investments.  The typical customer paid about $10,000 for the business opportunity.

Prior to this trial, 16 other Vendstar managers, Vendstar sales representatives and locating company operators pleaded guilty to federal felony charges for related conduct at Vendstar.  Evidence presented at trial established that from 2005 to 2010, the Vendstar scheme cost consumers $60 million.

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Mizer commended the U.S. Postal Inspection Service for their investigative efforts.  The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Patrick Jasperse and Alan Phelps of the Civil Division’s Consumer Protection Branch.

Army Captain Pleads Guilty to Gratuities Charge

A Colorado Springs, Colorado, man pleaded guilty today in federal court before U.S. District Judge Terrence W. Boyle of the Eastern District of North Carolina to solicitation and receipt of a gratuity, announced Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Thomas G. Walker of the Eastern District of North Carolina.

In connection with his plea, Captain David Anthony Kline, 32, admitted that while serving as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army stationed at Kandahar Air Field (KAF) in Afghanistan, he sought and accepted $50,000 in gratuities from a contractor who was doing business with the U.S. military.  Specifically, from January 2008 to April 2009, then-1st Lt. Kline was deployed to KAF where he oversaw the handling of transportation movement requests (TMRs) directing the transport of supplies from one location to another across Afghanistan.  Although contracting procedures technically did not permit the authorizing officer to specify the particular Afghan trucking company that would perform the transportation, in practice, Kline and others were able to designate the Afghan company of their choice.  Kline admitted that he sought and accepted $50,000 in U.S. currency from an Afghan national who owned a trucking company doing business on government contracts at KAF, in return for Kline’s facilitation of the award and payment of numerous transportation contracts.

The case was investigated by the Defense Criminal Investigation Service, Army Criminal Investigation Command, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction and FBI.  The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorney Wade Weems of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Banumathi Rangarajan of the Eastern District of North Carolina.

Two Former Rabobank Traders Convicted for Manipulating U.S. Dollar, Yen LIBOR Interest Rates

A federal jury convicted two former Coöperatieve Centrale Raiffeisen-Boerenleenbank B.A. (Rabobank) derivative traders – including the bank’s former Global Head of Liquidity & Finance in London – today for manipulating the London InterBank Offered Rates (LIBOR) for the U.S. Dollar (USD) and the Yen, benchmark interest rates to which trillions of dollars in interest rate contracts were tied.  Five former Rabobank employees have now been convicted in the Rabobank LIBOR investigation.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division and Assistant Director in Charge Paul Abbate of the FBI’s Washington Field Office made the announcement.

“Today’s verdicts illustrate the department’s successful efforts to hold accountable bank executives responsible for this global fraud scheme,” said Assistant Attorney General Caldwell.  “This investigation—which also resulted in the recent conviction of a bank executive in the U.K.—exemplifies the department’s work with our international partners to protect our global markets from fraud.  The verdicts also demonstrate the department’s ongoing efforts to hold individuals who use their corporate positions to commit fraud personally responsible for their actions.”

“The department will continue to pursue aggressively those involved in illegal schemes that undermine the integrity of financial markets,” said Assistant Attorney General Baer.  “And we will hold individuals criminally accountable for directing illegal corporate behavior.”

“These convictions make clear that bank executives and traders will be held accountable for manipulating world interest rates for their own personal benefit,” said Assistant Director in Charge Abbate.  “Today’s verdict is a testament to the dedication of the special agents, analysts and prosecutors who worked tirelessly to uncover manipulation and fraud in the global financial system.”

After a four-week trial, a jury in the Southern District of New York found Anthony Allen, 44, of Hertsfordshire, England, and Anthony Conti, 46, of Essex, England, guilty of conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud and substantive counts of wire fraud.

As the trial evidence showed, LIBOR is an average interest rate, calculated based upon submissions from leading banks around the world and reflecting the rates those banks believe they would be charged if borrowing from other banks.  At the time relevant to the charges, LIBOR was calculated for 10 currencies at 15 maturities, ranging from overnight to one year, and was published by the British Bankers’ Association (BBA), a London-based trade association, based on submissions from a panel of 16 banks, including Rabobank.  Allen, Conti and Paul Robson, who previously pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charge, each determined Rabobank’s LIBOR submissions on various occasions.

LIBOR serves as the primary benchmark for short-term interest rates globally and is used as a reference rate for many interest rate contracts, mortgages, credit cards, student loans and other consumer lending products.  Rabobank invested in various derivatives contracts that were directly affected by the relevant LIBOR rates on a certain dates.  If the relevant LIBOR moved in the direction favorable to the defendants’ positions, Rabobank and the defendants benefitted at the expense of the counterparties.  When LIBOR moved in the opposite direction, the defendants and Rabobank stood to lose money to their counterparties.

Evidence at trial established that Allen, who was Rabobank’s global head of liquidity and finance and the manager of the company’s money market desk in London, oversaw a system in which Rabobank employees who traded in these LIBOR-linked derivative products influenced the employees who submitted Rabobank’s LIBOR contributions to the BBA.  These traders asked Allen, Conti, Robson and others to submit LIBOR contributions that would benefit the traders’ or the banks’ trading positions.

Sentencing is scheduled for March 10, 2016.

In addition to Allen and Conti, three other former Rabobank employees have been convicted in the Rabobank LIBOR investigation.  Robson, Lee Stewart and Takayuki Yagami each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy in connection with their roles in the scheme.  Two other former Rabobank employees, Tetsuya Motomura, 42, of Tokyo, and Paul Thompson, 48, of Dalkeith, Australia, have also been charged.  Rabobank entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the department on Oct. 29, 2013, and agreed to pay a $325 million penalty to resolve violations arising from Rabobank’s LIBOR submissions.

The case was investigated by special agents, forensic accountants and intelligence analysts in the FBI’s Washington Field Office.  The prosecution is being handled by Senior Litigation Counsel Carol L. Sipperly and Assistant Chief Brian R. Young of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Trial Attorney Michael T. Koenig of the Antitrust Division.  The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs and Deputy Chief Daniel Braun and Assistant Chief Brent Wible of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section are thanked for their substantial assistance in this matter.

The Justice Department expresses its appreciation for the assistance provided by various enforcement agencies in the United States and abroad.  The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Division of Enforcement referred this matter to the department and, along with the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority, played a major role in the LIBOR investigation.  The Securities and Exchange Commission also played a significant role in the LIBOR series of investigations, and the department expresses its appreciation to the United Kingdom’s Serious Fraud Office for its assistance and ongoing cooperation.   The department has worked closely with the Dutch Public Prosecution Service and the Dutch Central Bank in the investigation of Rabobank.  Various agencies and enforcement authorities from other nations are also participating in different aspects of the broader investigation relating to LIBOR and other benchmark rates, and the department is grateful for their cooperation and assistance.

This prosecution is part of President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force.  President Obama established the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes.  The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources.  The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes.  For more information about the task force visit: www.stopfraud.gov.

Former Contracting Officer Sentenced for Bribery in Connection with Awarding of U.S. Postal Service Contracts

A Glenn Dale, Maryland, man and former U.S. Postal Service contracting officer was sentenced today to 15 months in prison for receiving bribes in connection with the awarding of mail delivery contracts.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein of the District of Maryland and Special Agent in Charge Paul L. Bowman of the U.S. Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General made the announcement.

In May 2015, Gregory Cooper, 59, pleaded guilty to accepting more than $25,000 in bribes from a co-defendant who owned two companies that bid on and secured transportation contracts with the Postal Service for mail delivery.  Those bribes came in a variety of forms, ranging from fitness equipment delivered to Cooper’s Maryland home to a semester’s worth of college tuition for Cooper’s daughter, in addition to $15,900 in cash.  Cooper admitted that in exchange for these payments, he gave favorable consideration to his co-defendant’s companies in the bidding process for nine Postal Service contracts, all of which were awarded to the co-defendant’s companies.

In addition to his prison sentence, U.S. District Judge George J. Hazel of the District of Maryland ordered Cooper to forfeit the amount of the bribes, $25,931.76, and to serve three years of supervised release following his prison sentence.

This case was prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Mark J. Cipolletti and Monique Abrishami of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys David Salem and Arun G. Rao of the District of Maryland.  The case was investigated by special agents from the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General.

SEC Announces Whistleblower Award of More Than $325,000


Washington D.C., Nov. 4, 2015 

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced a whistleblower award totaling more than $325,000 for a former investment firm employee who tipped the agency with specific information that enabled enforcement staff to open an investigation and uncover the extent of the fraudulent activity.

The whistleblower provided a detailed description of the misconduct and specifically identified individuals behind the wrongdoing to help the SEC bring a successful enforcement action.  The whistleblower waited until after leaving the firm to come forward to the SEC, however, and agency officials say the award could have been higher had this whistleblower not hesitated.

“Corporate insiders who become aware of securities law violations are encouraged to come forward without delay in order to prevent misconduct from continuing unabated while investors suffer more harm,” said Andrew Ceresney, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement.  “Whistleblowers are afforded significant incentives and protections under the Dodd-Frank Act and the SEC’s whistleblower program so they can feel secure about doing the right thing and immediately reporting an ongoing fraud rather than letting time pass.”

Sean X. McKessy, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower, added, “This award recognizes the value of the information and assistance provided by the whistleblower while underscoring the need for whistleblowers to report information to the agency expeditiously.”

Since its inception in 2011, the SEC’s whistleblower program has paid more than $54 million to 22 whistleblowers who provided the SEC with unique and useful information that contributed to a successful enforcement action.  Whistleblowers are eligible for awards that can range from 10 percent to 30 percent of the money collected when the monetary sanctions exceed $1 million.  All payments are made out of an investor protection fund established by Congress that is financed entirely through monetary sanctions paid to the SEC by securities law violators.  No money is taken or withheld from harmed investors to pay whistleblower awards.

By law, the SEC protects the confidentiality of whistleblowers and does not disclose information that might directly or indirectly reveal a whistleblower’s identity.

For more information about the whistleblower program and how to report a tip, visit www.sec.gov/whistleblower.

Florida Investment Advisor Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison for Orchestrating $9 Million Investment Fraud Scheme

A Tampa, Florida, area investment advisor was sentenced to 18 months in prison today for perpetrating a $9 million investment fraud scheme involving Facebook stock.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney A. Lee Bentley III of the Middle District of Florida, Special Agent in Charge Paul Wysopal of the FBI’s Tampa Field Office and Inspector in Charge Ronald J. Verrochio of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) Miami Division made the announcement.

Gignesh Movalia, 40, a registered investment advisor, was also ordered by Chief U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday of the Middle District of Florida to pay $5,394,419 in restitution and to three years of supervised release following his prison sentence.  Movalia pleaded guilty on Aug. 13, 2015, to one count of investment advisor fraud.

In connection with his guilty plea, Movalia admitted that he founded OM Global Investment Fund LLC in 2009 and subsequently used the fund to defraud investors.  Specifically, in 2011 and 2012, Movalia raised more than $9 million from 130 investors by falsely claiming to have access to pre-initial public offering shares of Facebook Inc.  Rather than using this money to buy Facebook shares as promised, however, Movalia invested the money in other securities and concealed that fact from investors.  By September 2013 when it went into receivership, the OM Global Fund lost approximately $9 million, with $6 million of those losses as a result of the fraud scheme.

The case was investigated by the FBI and USPIS, with assistance provided by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Miami Regional Office.  The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorney Andrew H. Warren of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section.

Wealthy Max Limited Files Suit Against The Treasury, Mint And Bureau Of Customs And Border Protection In The U.S. District Court In Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIAOct. 29, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — The Wealthy Max Limited (Wealthy Max) legal defense team today filed a lawsuit against the US Treasury, US Mint and Bureau of Customs and Border Protection along with Jacob J. Lew, Secretary of the Department of the Treasury, Rhett Jeppson, Deputy Director of the US Mint, and R. Gil Kerlikowske, Commissioner of US Customs and Border Protection for improperly seizing three shipments of damaged coins that were sent to the Mint under the Mutilated Coin Redemption Program with a total value of $3.25 million.  The suit argues that the government violated the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000 (“CAFRA”) and the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the Constitution by failing to notify Wealthy Max of the seizure within 60 days or file a civil forfeiture complaint within 90 days.  Wealthy Max is involved in recovering mutilated coins that are a by-product of the metal recycling business in China.  The company has an unblemished 13 year record with over 150 shipments of mutilated coins accepted by the US Mint.  The three shipments that have been mysteriously seized were delivered on June 26 and October 16, 2014 and March 25, 2015.  Multiple requests to the relevant government authorities by the company for the status of its shipments and later for the return of its property have been ignored.

“Wealthy Max has filed this suit against the US government authorities to recover its property, or receive compensation, as is its right under the law,” said Bradford L. Geyer of GeyerGorey LLP.  “CAFRA was enacted to prevent just this type of government overreach in the seizure of private property.  The rules are clear, if the government seizes property it has to provide notification to the owner within 60 days and file a complaint for forfeiture within 90 days.  In this case the government has utterly failed to comply with the law.” The total value of the three shipments is over $3.25 million, which Wealthy Max would have used to source additional coins for redemption in the program.  That these funds have been indefinitely frozen has had a significant negative impact on the company’s business and opened the US Mint’s program to questions about its trustworthiness. “For the last 13 years Wealthy Max has been a participant in good standing in the Mint’s program, which makes the government’s de facto confiscation of its property all the more disappointing.  This action is a clear violation of CAFRA and of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the Constitution, and as such needs to be corrected as soon as possible.  For the sake of fairness and justice the government will need to either return the shipments or compensate our client for their full value,” concluded Geyer.