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Medicare fraud case underscores false billing, kickbacks

Texas often features in stories involving large health care fraud cases (please see our October 3 blog post for a representative entry). The state is home to legions of medical centers and care providers spanning every specialty and, in a sense, ground zero for criminal and civil regulators.

That was once again evidenced via a recently concluded federal court case. In that matter, a jury convicted a prominent Harris County physician on several criminal counts tied to a long-term Medicare fraud scheme. Those charges included conspiracy to commit health care fraud and to solicit/receive kickbacks.

What does the FBI consider corporate fraud?

Running a company requires a significant commitment. You may spend your workdays doing what you can to help it succeed. Then one day, you hear either from someone or from an agent directly that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has questions regarding your business practices.

Perhaps the agent asking questions suspects corporate fraud, and you begin to wonder whether you need to seek out legal representation before the inquiry goes any further. The simple answer to that question is that doing so would more than likely be a good idea in order to protect your rights and the company's rights.

Ponzi scheme: Texas men targeted in both criminal, civil cases

Federal and state agencies prominently elevated financial crimes to a top-tier investigatory category several year ago, during the so-called Great Recession that spawned a major economic crisis.

We note on a Hilder & Associates website page focused upon Ponzi scheme investigations and defense that potent task forces from both the criminal and civil realms conduct aggressive probes against alleged wrongdoers.

Don't Shoot the Whistleblower Messenger

The President's disturbing and aggressive counterattack against the White House Whistleblower reporting the President's potential wrongdoing crosses acceptable norms and guts the underlying core of whistleblower laws by discouraging citizens from coming forward for fear of governmental retaliation. Intimidation and retaliation against a conscientious citizen is not acceptable behavior and may amount to a federal criminal offense.

Spotlighting bribery: the fundamentals of a criminal act

Many crimes contain elements and requirements that are inherently complex and not widely understood by the general public. Understanding a charge involving the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), for example, can be difficult even for attorneys who don’t regularly deal with that statutory law.

That is not the case with the white collar crime of bribery. Although the specifics of a given bribery charge/case might be complex and at issue, the fundamental meaning and thrust of bribery can be grasped even by many children.

Environmental law: intensive scheme linked with harsh penalties

Texas business principals know as well as their peers in any other state the vast nature of environmental regulatory laws and the punishing exactions that can be visited upon alleged offenders.

The state is an obvious focus for enforcers with oversight in that singular legal realm. Texas is the largest state by far in the continental United States. The topography of the Lone Star State is dramatically diverse, with features ranging from expansive plains to mountainous regions. The state’s waterways are extensive. Texas’ geography allows for activities ranging from hunting, fishing and ranching to agricultural pursuits, mining, oil/gas operations and more.

As an executive, fraud investigations could put you under scrutiny

Running a Texas business is no easy feat, and you undoubtedly work more than your fair share of hours in order to ensure that operations continue as they should. Because of your dedication to the business, you have seen a great deal of success that you hope will continue.

Unfortunately, you cannot control the actions of all your employees, and as a result, some workers may take actions that reflect badly on you and the company as a whole. In particular, if one suspects fraudulent activity to have occurred within the business, you could quickly come under suspicion as a higher-up.

Should proof standard be changed in VA whistleblower cases?

We underscored in our immediately preceding blog post the collective headache that principals at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs are experiencing owing to whistleblower-linked woes. We noted in our Hilder & Associates September 9 entry that the VA has come in for withering criticism recently following its demonstrably failed vow "to better protect whistleblowers."

Rory E. Riley-Topping has a recipe for curing that ill. She states that the standard of proof relevant to whistleblower allegations concerning the agency should be materially adjusted.

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Contact Houston White Collar Lawyers for Experienced Representation

If you or your company is under investigation, charged or indicted for federal or state crimes, or you want to ensure future compliance, contact Hilder & Associates, P.C., for more information or to schedule an appointment with an experienced Houston white collar criminal defense lawyer.

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