medical fraud, fraud, Illinois Criminal Defense AttorneySeveral federal agencies, working together, announced a major nationwide health care fraud sweep which resulted in the arrests of almost 250 people. Among those arrested were physicians, nurses, and pharmacists, who were all accused of defrauding both Medicare and Medicaid systems. According to investigators, the effort uncovered more than $700 million in allegedly fraudulent billing.

Many of those charged allegedly billed the government for services that were never received and medical equipment which was never provided to patients. Prescription drug fraud was also targeted by investigators, with more than 40 of the defendants who were arrested accused of defrauding Medicare’s drug benefit program. Investigators say this program has become one of the fastest growing targets of fraudulent activity, with many of the prescription painkillers dispensed ending up being sold illegally on the streets to drug addicts.

Federal and state agencies were involved in the massive arrests, including the FBI, the U.S. Health and Human Services inspector general’s office, U.S. attorneys’ offices across the country, and dozens of state Medicaid fraud units. The arrests spanned the nation and involved many states. Examples of the fraud allegedly committed include:

  • Administrators of a mental health center in Miami who paid middlemen to recruit fraudulent Medicare patients. Over a six year period, the center billed Medicare $64 million.
  • A company in New Orleans sent blood sugar monitoring devices to patients enrolled in Medicare – whether they needed or asked for them or not. The company billed Medicare $38 million for those devices.
  • A Los Angeles physician allegedly made fraudulent referrals for medical equipment. Among the unneeded equipment he prescribed were 1,000 electric wheelchairs.

There were 25 people from Illinois who were arrested in the health care fraud sweep. Among those arrested were 11 home health care providers, who are accused of billing for services that were never provided to Medicaid recipients.

If you have been charged with any kind of white collar crime, you need an experienced Oak Brook criminal defense attorney representing you. Call the offices of McPherson Harry & Associates, P.C. today at (630) 472-9700.

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Posted in Fraud, Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney, White Collar Crime | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

underage, underage drinking, Illinois Juvenile Crimes Defense AttorneyIn Illinois, it is against the law for anyone under the age of 21-years-old to consume, be in possession of, or deliver alcohol. Depending on the nature of the violation – as well as the charging agency – anyone found guilty violating the law faces punishment of receiving an ordinance violation, punishable by a fine, all the way to a Class 4 felony, which can be punishable by one to three years in prison. Under the state’s’ Zero Tolerance policy, anyone under the age of 21 who is found guilty of consuming or possessing alcohol receives an automatic suspension of their driver’s license for three to six months – even if they were not drinking and driving.

If a young person is charged with underage drinking, it is important to consult with an attorney regarding defenses to the charge. For example, under the law, if the young person is drinking under the supervision and approval of at least one of their parents, then they cannot be charged with violating the law.

There have been several cases, however, where the court found that exception did not apply. In one case, People v. Finkenbinder, a 19-year-old who lived at home with his parents had his mother’s permission to consume alcohol at a family party his parents were hosting at their home. The mother and son were not in the same rooms of the house during the entire party, but the mother said she witnessed her son drink two to three beers. At approximately 3 a.m., the young man was arrested by a police officer who found him walking the streets. He admitted to the officer he had been drinking. The officer performed two breath tests; one test read .09 and the second .097. The young man then admitted to having shots of alcohol, in addition to three beers. The court ultimately ruled that the underage drinking law exception did not apply to this case since the mother was not only unaware her son had consumed the shots of alcohol, but was also unaware that he had left the house.

Because of the consequences of underage drinking, many teens will not seek medical help in the event that they, or someone they are with, have consumed too much alcohol and are in serious danger. However, Illinois lawmakers are seeking to change that with a new law. The law would grant amnesty to underage drinkers who call 911 seeking medical help, and also grant amnesty to the person who is need of medical help. The new law would also give law enforcement the ability to decide situations when the law could be applied. Both the House and Senate have approved the bill and it is now on the governor’s desk awaiting his approval.

If your child has been arrested for underage drinking, contact an experienced Oak Brook juvenile justice attorney. Call the offices of McPherson Harry & Associates, P.C. today at (630) 472-9700.

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Posted in Illinois Criminal Defense Lawyer, New Law, Underage Drinking | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

speeding, work zone, Illinois criminal defense attorneyAlong with the warm weather comes road construction. Whether it is a road requiring repair from the ravages of winter weather, or the expansion of an existing roadway, Illinois drivers can count on seeing the orange cones all over the state during the spring, summer, and fall months. They can also count on severe penalties for ignoring the state’s rules for driving in road construction zones.

Under Illinois law, a road construction zone requiring decreasing the posted speed limit is one in which either the Department of Transportation, Toll Highway Authority, or other local agency has posted signs which alert drivers that they are approaching a maintenance or construction speed zone. Such a zone also includes areas in which one of the aforementioned agencies has posted signs stating that the established posted speed limit is not safe or reasonable due to current or expected conditions in the area.

However, in order to be in compliance with the law, the signage which posting agencies use must fall within the guideline of the statute. The sign must be of an approved design and must clearly state that the driver is approaching a road construction area. The signage must also indicate what the maximum speed limit allowed in the road construction area is, as well as what the minimum fine could be for failing to comply.

Drivers who violate road construction zone speed limits could face serious penalties. A first time violator can be fined up to $275.00. A second or subsequent offense carries a fine of $750.00. However, if that second or subsequent offense occurs within two years of the prior offense, and workers were present in the area when the offense occurred, the Illinois Secretary of State can suspend the violator’s driver’s license for 90 days.

Because of the strict penalties, it is important to contact an experienced Oak Brook traffic offense attorney if you have received a violation for speeding in a construction zone. We can help increase your chances of defending against that ticket and having the violation dismissed. Call the offices of McPherson Harry & Associates, P.C. today at (630) 472-9700.

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Posted in Illinois Criminal Defense Lawyer, Safety Tips, Traffic Violations | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off