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Dead, fired attorneys’ Medicare fraud probe linked to White House

Senator McCaskill knew about dead attorneys before Senate Gonzales hearing

by Tom Flocco

Lee’s Summit, Missouri—May 10, 2007—Tom Flocco.com—
According to Medical Supply Chain CEO Samuel Lipari who is suing hospital supply company Novation LLC, Missouri Democratic Senator Claire C. McCaskill knew that seven U.S. attorneys—two assistants who turned up dead, three assistants who resigned or were fired and two U.S. attorneys who were also forced out—had something in common: all seven were investigating Medicare and Medicaid fraud in the United States healthcare system involving overcharging for hospital supplies and medical fees amounting to billions of dollars in fraud.

Senator
Claire C. McCaskill
(D-MO)
Lipari’s suit against Novation has ties to the White House in that the President’s brother Jeb Bush joined the board of directors of Novation member Tenet Healthcare on April 12, 2007 and George W’s cousin’s company wrote software for hospital equipment global reference numbers, raising questions as to why Jeb Bush has become associated with a company involved in multiple lawsuits and fraud probes.

President Bush’s first cousin Jonathan Bush is CEO of Athena Health in Watertown, Massachusetts, the developer of Novation’s “CodeRyte” software program that “runs on an algorithm built into the system,” which “can read the data entry, find any required associations and automatically contact on-staff coders who can read the work and determine the appropriate code.”

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s association with Novation’s Tenet Healthcare comes after Tenet was audited in 2004 by the California Department of Health Services after overcharging the state’s Medicaid program, Medi-Cal, by $11.9 million at Redding Medical Center, linked to a Tenet probe by fired San Diego U.S. Attorney Carol Lam, a 45-agent FBI raid and multiple subpoenas signed by a Dallas assistant U.S. attorney found dead the day before Senate healthcare anti-trust hearings.

San Diego and Memphis papers reported that Tenet Healthcare Corporation of Dallas has agreed to pay $21 million as part of a civil settlement with the federal government over allegations of kickbacks to doctors. The settlement also requires Tenet to close or sell the hospital where the kickbacks allegedly took place, Alvarado Hospital Medical Center in San Diego.

The settlement averts a third criminal trial over an alleged kickback scheme between 1992 and 2002 to pay doctors for referring patients to Alvarado. Two previous trials, in 2004 and 2005, ended in deadlocked juries.
Samuel Lipari

“The implication for fraud involving hospital equipment costs, multiple fee structures and insurance claims is quite high,” alleged Lipari, after we told him that Novation was one of the first in the healthcare group purchasing industry to endorse Athena Health and Jonathan Bush’s CodeRyte Global Locator Numbers (GLN) which are 13-digit reference numbers used to identify legal entities such as registered hospitals, specific hospital departments, warehouses or particular rooms or beds in a hospital.


U.S. intelligence sources allege that electronic medical coding can be manipulated to over-bill or essentially defraud the U.S. healthcare system in the same manner as election fraud activists have proven that electronic voting machines can be manipulated to fix U.S. elections, but also vote counts in foreign countries such as last week’s French national election.

A highly placed U.S. intelligence agent was asked to inquire among other federal insiders as to the full extent of healthcare fraud over the last ten years, after which the agent later said, “Intelligence officials in a position to know have estimated the real dollar figure to be about $ .5 trillion in stolen Medicare and Medicaid funds,” adding, “healthcare entities have defrauded the United States government to the extent that the whole system faces either bankruptcy or hyper-inflated costs.”

Senate Judiciary obstruction of justice

The Senate Judiciary Committee failed to question Attorney General Gonzales about the two suspicious deaths and three abrupt departures of assistant U.S. attorneys at the Dallas-Fort Worth U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) offices all within 90 days during an $84 billion Medicare fraud probe.

The Senate’s actions raise questions as to why McCaskill failed to pass Lipari’s March 26, 2007 letter to McCaskill explaining the fraud probe over to Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) prior to the April 19 Gonzales Judiciary Committee hearing.

California’s Redding Medical Center is one of thousands of U.S. hospitals, nursing homes and clinics subject to the far-reaching Justice Department Medicare fraud probe researched by Fort Worth Civil Enforcement Head Thelma Colbert which resulted in multiple subpoenas signed by her boss, Dallas U.S. Attorney’s office Criminal Chief Shannon Ross—after which Ross was found dead on September 13, 2004, the day before Senate hearings on healthcare anti-trust violations—and just 55 days after Colbert turned up dead in her swimming pool on July 20, 2004.

The Senate Judiciary Committee also failed to interrogate Gonzales about circumstances involving the quick departures (35 days after Ross’ death) of three assistant U.S. attorneys in Colbert’s Fort Worth office—Leonard Senerote, Michael Uhl and Michael Snipes—and whether the Attorney General had them fired, forced them to resign or they were intimidated by the deaths of Colbert and Ross.

Given recent lengthy prison terms for several high corporate executives, the stakes are obviously high in a healthcare fraud case with ties to the White House; but were the stakes high enough to necessitate decimating the whole civil fraud unit in Dallas-Fort Worth?

The Democratic Senate Judiciary majority failed in its oversight by never questioning the Attorney General as to why he covered up the Colbert and Ross deaths, and why Lipari’s Medicare fraud probe and the Dallas-Fort Worth subpoenas have been derailed, essentially going nowhere.

No U.S. legal entity has questioned whether McCaskill or Leahy obstructed justice in the Senate’s Gonzales hearing under 18 United States Code 4 guidelines for reporting federal crimes, or whether meritorious evidence that the White House purposely quashed the Texas fraud case was also covered up, despite deaths and firings within a compact timeline.

It is not known whether the Dallas-Fort Worth subpoenas or Lipari’s Novation suit have been totally disrupted; but the Redding Medical Center findings indicate that a probe into electronic medical coding manipulation potentially linked to Medicare and Medicaid over-billing should be ordered by Congress to protect Medicare and Medicaid for America’s seniors.

Last Thursday we talked to Senator McCaskill’s deputy chief of staff Dana Postar who said, “We will get back to you with a statement regarding the disposition of Mr. Lipari’s case and any investigation into his charges,” after we told her about the first two stories at TomFlocco.com.

The previous week we also talked to McCaskill’s press spokesperson Maria Speiser who told us, “We never received Mr. Lipari’s letter but I know about the case,” to which Lipari replied, “Senator McCaskill has the letter. In the presence of my attorney, I signed their ‘privacy waiver” seeking my signed permission for her office to commence an investigation of my case which we mailed to Sen. McCaskill’s office.”

While neither staffer has called us back with a statement, Sam Lipari told us that “Cory from Senator McCaskill’s constituent services staff called me on May 1, the day after your second story was posted online, asking ‘What can we do to help you?’ “

“Maybe Sen. McCaskill will question the Gonzales cover-up of the deaths and firings in Texas and help get my case back in gear,” said Lipari, adding, “her office also sent me another privacy waiver for an FBI investigation.”

Today the House Judiciary Committee will have the opportunity to question Mr. Gonzales.

We have a feeling that the questions for the Attorney General on Thursday morning will be somewhat tougher.

Maybe Chairman John Conyers will actually ask Gonzales what he knows about the five dead and fired U.S. attorneys probing Medicare fraud in Dallas Fort Worth and perhaps he will attempt to get to the bottom of Sam Lipari’s case.

The Bush-Clinton crime families have already stolen enough taxpayer funds from the U.S. Treasury; so it is hoped that the People’s House of Representatives will prevent further looting of Medicare and Medicaid funds so that America’s seniors will continue to be afforded proper medical care in their old age.


Federal whistleblower Mary Schneider contributed additional research for this report.




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