OPA! Greek Fest returns to Rochester, drive-thru model

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – If you love Greek food this is the perfect weekend for you.

The original Rochester Greek Fest has returned. The decades-long tradition began on Friday afternoon and ends on Sunday.

For the second year in a row, the annual event takes place exclusively in drive-through. But according to the Greek festival Website, The menu is bigger this year. People can buy authentic Greek food like gyros, baklava, and kabobs.

All money raised by the Greek Fest will go to a nonprofit organization which offers free accommodation to the patients of the Mayo Clinic.

“The tradition has existed since 1957. You speak of more than 50 years of camaraderie and friendship,” said organizer Ari Kolas. “And we want to preserve our ethical culture. Together with all the new cultures of our church. This is our biggest party of the year. We love to share it with everyone in the community. “

The Greek festival takes place on Friday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Govt Arrested and Charged for Bribery and Cash-Laundering Scheme | OPA

A South Florida resident was arrested yesterday in Miami for his alleged role in a scheme to bribe Venezuelan officials and laundering money to obtain contracts from Venezuela’s state and state-controlled energy company Petróleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA), and Venezuela’s state and state-controlled food company who bought groceries for Venezuela, Corporación de Abastecimiento y Servicios Agrícola (CASA).

According to court documents, Naman Wakil, 59, of Miami, a Syrian national and legal permanent resident in the US from 2010 through at least September 2017, conspired with others to seek bribes to CASA officials and officials in joint ventures between PDVSA and. various foreign companies in Venezuela’s oil-rich Orinoco belt. Wakil allegedly paid these bribes to obtain contracts to sell food to CASA for at least $ 250 million and to do business with the PDVSA joint ventures, including receiving grossly inflated contracts (worth at least $ 30 million) to provide goods and services for the PDVSA joint ventures. Wakil laundered funds related to the bribery program to and from bank accounts in South Florida, including the purchase of 10 South Florida residential units, a $ 3.5 million airplane and a $ 1.5 million yacht. Wakil also used part of the funds to make payments to or for the benefit of Venezuelan officials.

Wakil is charged with three counts of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), violate the FCPA, conspiracy to commit money laundering, international advertising money laundering, and involvement in criminally derived property transactions. If convicted, Wakil faces a maximum sentence of 80 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine each sentence based on U.S. sentencing guidelines and other legal factors.

Wakil made his first appearance in federal court at 1:30 p.m. today before US judge Lauren Louis in Miami.

Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Department of Justice’s Department of Criminal Investigation, Acting U.S. Attorney Juan Antonio Gonzalez for the Southern District of Florida, Special Agent in charge Anthony Salisbury of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Miami Field Office, and Acting Special Agent in charge Tyler R. Hatcher of the IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) Miami Field Office made the announcement.

Trial Attorney Alexander Kramer of the Department of Justice Fraud and U.S. Assistant Attorney Michael Berger of the Southern District of Florida are pursuing the case.

The criminal fraud department is responsible for investigating and prosecuting all FCPA matters. For more information on the Department of Justice’s FCPA enforcement efforts, please visit www.justice.gov/criminal/fraud/fcpa.

An indictment is just an accusation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Three Florida Males Charged in $46 Million Well being Care Fraud, Kickback, and Cash Laundering Conspiracy | OPA

Three telemarketing company owners were charged with allegedly participating in a $ 47 million healthcare fraud, kickback and money laundering system that referred medically unnecessary cancer genetic tests to laboratories in exchange for kickbacks.

In an indictment unsealed today, Christian McKeon (35) and Athanasios Ziros (42) from Boca Raton (Florida) are charged with a conspiracy to commit health fraud, a conspiracy to pay and receive setbacks, and multiple charges of fraud. and backlash in healthcare, conspiracy to commit money laundering and the number of money laundering offenses. In a piece of information unsealed today, Gregory Orr, 64, is charged by Boca Raton with a conspiracy to pay and receive setbacks and a substantial number of setbacks for his alleged role in the system.

According to the indictment, McKeon and Ziros allegedly participated in a program to run a telemarketing campaign for Medicare beneficiaries to get them to accept cancer genetic testing, whether the tests were medically necessary or for a Medicare reimbursement Question came. Under the program, McKeon and Ziros telemedicine companies have allegedly offered and paid illegal kickbacks and bribes in exchange for medical instructions for expensive cancer genetic testing. Doctors’ instructions were written by doctors hired with telemedicine companies even though those telemedicine doctors had no prior relationship with beneficiaries, did not treat beneficiaries for cancer or cancer symptoms, and did not use the test results to treat beneficiaries and did not conduct a proper visit to telemedicine.

According to court records, all three men sold these signed cancer genetic testing medical instructions to laboratories in exchange for illegal setbacks. The charges and information state that the defendants caused one of the laboratories to file claims with Medicare for approximately $ 46 million, of which over $ 27 million was paid. The indictment also alleges that the lab paid McKeon, Ziros, and other setbacks totaling over $ 14 million, and that McKeon and Ziros laundered those unlawful receipts knowing that the transactions in question were intended to the manner, source and control of hiding and disguising the proceeds.

McKeon appeared before Judge William Matthewman of the US District Court for the South Florida District, West Palm Division, for the first time today. Ziros and Orr are expected to appear before Judge Matthewman on May 5th.

Charges of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and substantial money laundering each carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Charges of healthcare fraud and backlash violations each carry a maximum possible sentence of 10 years in prison. Eventually, the conspiracy to pay and receive setbacks carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. A federal district judge determines each sentence based on U.S. sentencing guidelines and other legal factors.

Deputy Attorney General Nicholas L. McQuaid of the Department of Justice’s Department of Criminal Investigation; US Assistant Attorney Juan Antonio Gonzalez of the Southern District of Florida; Special Agent in Charge George L. Piro of the FBI Field Office in Miami; and special agent in charge Omar Perez of the US Department of Health (HHS), Inspector General’s Office (HHS-OIG), Miami, announced this.

Trial attorney Patrick Queenan of the Criminal Division’s fraud division is pursuing the case. U.S. Assistant Attorney Richard Brown from the Southern District of Florida is handling the decay aspect of the case.

The Fraud Section heads the Medicare Fraud Strike Force. Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, which maintains 15 strike forces in 24 districts, has indicted more than 4,200 defendants who billed the Medicare program a total of nearly $ 19 billion. In addition, the HHS Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, in partnership with the HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and reduce the presence of fraudulent providers.

Any physician or health care professional involved in suspected fraudulent telemedicine or genetic testing marketing programs should call to report this behavior to the FBI helpline at 1-800-CALL-FBI.

An indictment and information are just accusations, and all defendants are presumed innocent until found unequivocally guilty in a court of law.

CEO Sentenced to Jail in $150 Million Well being Care Fraud, Opioid Distribution, and Cash Laundering Scheme | OPA

The chief executive officer of a Michigan and Ohio-based group of pain clinics and other medical providers was sentenced to 15 years in prison today for developing and approving a company policy to re-inject patients unnecessarily in exchange for prescriptions for over 6.6 million doses administering medically unnecessary opioids.

Mashiyat Rashid, 40, of West Bloomfield, Michigan, was the CEO of the Tri-County Wellness Group of medical providers in Michigan and Ohio. In addition to serving his sentence, Rashid was also ordered to pay Medicare more than $ 51 million in restitution and forfeit property to the United States that resulted from revenues from the healthcare fraud program, including over 11 commercial real estate, $ 5 million. Residential Properties and a Detroit Pistons Season Pass membership.

Rashid pleaded guilty in 2018 to a number of conspiracies to commit healthcare and cable fraud; and to a number of money laundering. 21 other defendants, including 12 doctors, have been convicted so far, including four doctors convicted after a month-long trial in 2020. Rashid is the second defendant to be convicted.

According to court records, Rashid was the CEO of the Tri-County Wellness Group from 2008 to 2016, where the clinics wanted to offer prescriptions of Oxycodone 30 mg to patients, some of whom were in legitimate pain and others were drug dealers or opioid addicts, but forced patients to undergo unnecessary re-injections in exchange for prescriptions.

The study found that in some cases, patients experienced more pain from the gunshots than from the pain they allegedly treated. that audible screams from patients were observed in all clinics; and that some patients developed adverse conditions including open holes in their backs. Patients, including opioid addicts, who told doctors they didn’t want, needed, or benefited from the injections were denied medication by the defendants and their co-conspirators until they agreed to submit to the expensive and unnecessary injections. The evidence also showed that the defendants repeatedly performed these unnecessary injections on patients, as Tri-County paid more for facet joint syringes than any other medical clinic in the United States.

The evidence at the trial showed that the Tri-County clinics made a point of making money through patient care. The tri-county clinics deliberately targeted the Medicare program, recruiting patients from homeless shelters and soup kitchens. The evidence at the trial showed that Rashid only hired doctors who were willing to disregard patient care when looking for money. Rashid motivated doctors to follow the Tri-County Protocol, offer opioid prescriptions, and give unnecessary injections by offering to split Medicare reimbursements for these lucrative procedures. The specific injections used had nothing to do with the medical needs of the patients but were selected for administration as they were the highest paying injection methods. A former Tri-County employee testified at the trial of Rashid’s co-defendants that the clinic’s practices were “barbaric.”

Deputy Attorney General Nicholas L. McQuaid of the Department of Justice’s Department of Criminal Investigation; Acting US attorney Saima Shafiq Mohsin of the Eastern District of Michigan; Special Agent in Charge Lamont Pugh III of the US Department of Health’s Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG) in Chicago; Special Agent in Charge Timothy Waters of the FBI’s Detroit Field Office; and the special agent in charge Manny Muriel of IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) Detroit announced this.

HHS-OIG, FBI and IRS-CI conducted the investigation. Deputy Chief Jacob Foster of the National Rapid Response Strike Force and trial attorney Tom Tynan of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Division were pursuing the case.

The fraud department heads the Health Care Fraud Strike Force. Since its inception in March 2007, the Health Care Fraud Strike Force, which maintains 15 strike forces in 24 districts, has indicted more than 4,200 defendants who billed the Medicare program a total of nearly $ 19 billion. In addition, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services are working with the HHS-OIG to take steps to increase accountability and reduce the presence of fraudulent providers.

CEO Sentenced for $150 Million Well being Care Fraud and Cash Laundering Scheme | OPA

The CEO of a Texas-based group of hospice and home health care facilities was sentenced today to 15 years in prison for incorrectly telling thousands of patients with long-term terminal diseases that they had less than six months to live to admit the patients to the hospice Programs they were otherwise not qualified for, thereby increasing revenue for the company.

Henry McInnis, 50, of Harlingen, Texas, was convicted of a federal jury in Brownsville, Texas in November 2019 of one conspiracy each: conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, obstruction of justice, and six counts of healthcare fraud.

McInnis co-conspirator, Rodney Mesquias, 50, who owns the hospice and home health facilities, was also convicted after the November 2019 trial. He was sentenced Two other co-conspirators have pleaded guilty and are awaiting conviction.

“As CEO of the company, McInnis has directly overseen a reprehensible criminal system that included filing fraudulent bills of over $ 150 million, forging patient records and paying unlawful setbacks,” said Acting Attorney General Nicholas L. McQuaid of the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division. “McInnis has hunted down some of the most vulnerable members of our society, including many who have suffered from mental impairment and who have been falsely and cruelly told by co-conspirators that they only have months to live. Today’s Significant Sentence shows that the department continues to seek to prosecute individuals at all levels of corporate governance who engage in criminal activities where profits take precedence over patient care. ”

“Families try to give comfort and support to their sick loved ones when all other medical options are gone,” said Christopher Combs, special agent in charge of the FBI’s San Antonio office. “It is incomprehensible and evil to chase after the most vulnerable in our community to commit fraud against government-funded programs. The FBI is committed to protecting our communities from those who may not have the strength to protect themselves. “

“McInnis and the reprehensible and fraudulent acts of his co-conspirator to defraud Medicare were not without harm: Vulnerable beneficiaries were unnecessarily admitted to hospice care, leaving them unable to access the necessary medical care,” said Miranda L. Bennett, the US special agent Ministry of Health and Human Services Inspector General’s Office (HHS-OIG) in the Dallas area. “With our law enforcement partners, we will continue to investigate those who put illicit profits above the well-being of patients in our healthcare system.”

From 2009 to 2018, McInnis, Mesquias, and others launched a program that resulted in over $ 150 million in false and fraudulent claims for hospice and other health services. McInnis served as the chief executive officer and administrator, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Merida Group, a large healthcare company with dozens of locations across Texas.

McInnis had no medical training and previously worked as an electrician. However, he was the de facto Nursing Director of the Merida Group. Witnesses in court testified that McInnis directed staff to admit unskilled patients to the hospice and home health setting, keep unskilled patients on service for extended periods of time, and fire and reprimand staff who refused to participate in the program .

McInnis also oversaw and enforced a company-wide practice of forging medical records to hide the system. Several witnesses testified that McInnis ordered staff to modify medical records to create the impression that the patients were terminally ill. In reality, some were employed or even participated in sporting events. The jury also heard that McInnis stated that the purpose of the forged records was to enable the Merida Group to audit insurance companies.

As CEO, McInnis also passed a policy that paid for illegal setbacks. They sent bribes to doctors under the guise of medical director fees to certify unskilled patients for hospice and home health. In some cases, they were wrongly offering payouts to marketers in exchange for recruiting patients who could be transferred to extremely expensive hospice services.

HHS-OIG, FBI, and Texas Health and Human Services Commission conducted the investigation. Deputy Chief Jacob Foster and Trial Attorney Kevin Lowell of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Department and U.S. Assistant Attorney Andrew Swartz of the Southern District of Texas are pursuing the case.

The fraud department heads the Health Care Fraud Strike Force. Since its inception in March 2007, the Health Care Fraud Strike Force, which maintains 15 strike forces in 24 districts, has indicted more than 4,200 defendants who billed the Medicare program nearly $ 19 billion. In addition, the HHS Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, in partnership with the HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and reduce the presence of fraudulent providers.