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Senate ignored 5 Texas asst. U.S. attorney deaths and firings at Gonzales hearing

Medicare fraud plaintiff filings cite FBI electronic surveillance, illegal searches tied to obstruction of justice by DOJ lawyer replacing Missouri U.S. attorney prosecuting same case

by Tom Flocco

Washington—April 25, 2007—Tom—
Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats failed to question Attorney General Alberto Gonzales about five Texas assistant U.S. attorneys—two of whom were found dead and three fired within a space of 90 days during 2004— while they were prosecuting the same Medicare fraud and money laundering case with Kansas City U.S. attorney Todd P. Graves who announced his resignation on March 10, 2006 under pressure from the Justice Department.

Reminiscent of the notorious but overlooked Clinton administration “body count” statistics, Thelma Quince Colbert, head of the Fort Worth Justice Department (DOJ) civil litigation unit prosecuting companies defrauding government funded programs like Medicare, reportedly drowned in her swimming pool on July 20, 2004; and less than two months later Shannon Ross, criminal chief of the adjacent Dallas DOJ office was found dead in her home on September 13, 2004 after signing subpoenas seeking evidence in the Texas-based Novation LLC Medicare fraud case involving several other medical supply companies.

35 days later on October 18, 2004 Gonzales fired three white collar crime prosecuting assistant U.S. attorneys in then-deceased Thelma Colbert’s Fort Worth office—Leonard Senerote, Michael Uhl and Michael Snipes, raising serious questions as to why Senate Democrats failed to interrogate Gonzales regarding the curious decimation of the DOJ’s Dallas-Fort Worth corporate fraud unit resulting from two deaths and three firings within three months, all linked to the same money laundering case.

In reference to the suspicious death cover-up of former Congressman and MSNBC host Joe Scarborough’s staff aide Lori Kaye Klausutis, previously interviewed a high government agent with impeccable intelligence credentials who described how corrupt officials use “roster doctors employed as secret CIA medical operatives for sensitive and controversial deaths involving government officials to cover up evidence and keep American citizens and families from learning the truth about a loved one’s death,” cover-ups which can then be “employed to blackmail particular government officials also involved.”

The nature of the timeline of events tied to the same fraud case alone should in and of itself open the Senate Judiciary majority to severe criticism by its Party faithful for either its incompetence or intended failure to approve a separate Special Counsel to examine the Novation case for criminal prosecution and potential obstruction of justice by alleged “roster doctors.”

Interestingly, fired San Diego U .S. attorney Carol Lam was also prosecuting Medicare fraud at Tenet Healthcare Alvarado hospital, with Lam’s prosecution resulting in the Department of Health and Human Services threatening to cut Medicare and Medicaid benefits to Alvarado. [Case # 03CR15870; U.S. District Court, Southern California]

Related parts of this story have been bubbling on the internet somewhat beneath the mainstream news surface; but the heretofore unexamined close proximity of timeline events related to the case, preceding its apparent cover-up last week by the Senate Judiciary Committee, will likely force a more public examination of its curious coincidences—either in or out of the courtroom.

Lam’s California Medicare case was serious enough that Alvarado’s parent corporation, Tenet Healthcare, reportedly agreed to sell or close down the hospital and pay $21 million to settle criminal and civil charges brought by the now fired San Diego U.S. attorney.

According to the Kansas City Western District case, nearly all of St. Luke hospital’s $100 million supply budget was being purchased through Novation LLC, then St. Luke’s merged with University of Kansas Hospital after CEO Irene Cumming of Kansas City Hospital was given a job by University Health System Consortium on March 19, 2007.

Lam played a central role in the firings scandal because she was reportedly conducting testimony before grand juries linking indicted former Bush CIA Executive Director Kyle “Dusty” Foggo and convicted Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff to a Capitol Hill sex ring, Israeli espionage, GOP Under Secretary of Defense for policy Douglas J. Feith, a forged British intelligence dossier used by Mr. Bush to deceive Americans into supporting war against Iraq and an attempt to plant weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq before the war via an intelligence pipeline through Dubai and Turkey.

Graves was prosecuting Medicare fraud related to Medical Supply Chain’s civil antitrust suit against Novation, Volunteer Hospital Association (VHA), University Health System Consortium (UHC) and Neoform, Inc. regarding allegations that the companies had formed a cartel to monopolize hospital supplies to defraud Medicare via payments and kickbacks to corporate administrators.

This, while Gonzales was never questioned regarding meritorious evidence reportedly acquired in Medical Supply’s legal discovery that the Bush Justice Department obstructed justice, spied on judicial prosecutions and fired senior assistant U.S. attorneys in a case directly affecting increased healthcare costs for all senior citizens.

Disregarding the public trust

Senate Judiciary Democrats also failed to ask Gonzales whether the DOJ deaths and firings in Dallas-Fort Worth were linked to Graves’ Medicare prosecution activity in the Novation case filed on March 9, 2005 and his forced resignation prior to being replaced on March 23, 2006 by DOJ lawyer Bradley J. Schlozman under new Patriot Act interim appointment guidelines.

In an April 18, 2005 affidavit, Medical Supply Chain, Inc. founder and plaintiff Samuel Lipari described interception of electronic communications and searches by law enforcement officials which were employed to interfere with and obstruct his prosecution of Medical Supply Chain, Inc. v. Novation LLC, et al. [US District Court for the Western District of Missouri, No. 05-0210-CV-W ODS]

U.S. Attorney Scholzman was accused by Lipari on October 12, 2006 in the U.S. Court of Appeals Eighth Circuit in St. Louis for failing to prosecute Novation LLC when Lipari brought evidence to Schlozman’s office regarding corrupt Medicare practices provided to him by Novation insider executives who came forward to assert to the Gonzales Justice Department that hospital supply funds had been laundered through publicly traded electronic hospital supply marketplace Neoforma, Inc. that was then controlled by Novation, VHA, UHC and UHC.

Scholzman has reportedly never prosecuted a legal case and previously served as a deputy in the DOJ civil rights division where he helped overrule career government lawyers in approving then House GOP Majority Leader Tom DeLay’s controversial Texas congressional redistricting plan to gain additional Texas Republican seats in Congress.

Gonzales reacted to widespread criticism of his misuse of the USA PATRIOT ACT by announcing on January 16, 2007 that Schlozman would be replaced by John Wood, reportedly two days prior to his testimony to Congress.

This, after Samuel Lipari had been complaining since October 12, 2006 in Missouri’s Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals that Scholzman had continued to obstruct justice on behalf of the Bush administration in spite of the clear-cut evidence of corruption he had brought to Schlozman which had been provided by Novation insiders.

Senate Judiciary Democrats may have also avoided additional obstruction of justice issues when they failed to ask Gonzales about the undisclosed content of his reported meeting on March 22, 2007 in St. Louis when he spoke with Scholzman and U.S. Attorney Catherine L. Hanaway regarding the official conduct of Schlozman.

Despite clear evidence of previous wrongdoing and ongoing obstruction of justice, the Senate Judiciary Committee permitted Schlozman to remain in office until April 11, 2007 when Gonzales officially replaced him with Missouri GOP Senator Kit Bond’s cousin, John Wood—another attorney who reportedly never prosecuted a legal case, who was sworn in as U.S. Attorney for Missouri’s Western District.

Medicare case produced evidence

Reports out of Kansas City revealed that during the Medical Supply case legal discovery filed on March 9, 2005, company founder Samuel Lipari discovered a Justice Department memo revealing that Gonzales had targeted ten U.S. attorneys, including Graves, with three names having been redacted from the list.

A January 9, 2006 email from Gonzales chief of staff Kyle Sampson to Harriet Miers and William Kelley at the White House showed the original ten; and attorneys such as Graves who voluntarily resigned under pressure were simply redacted from Gonzales’ target list of those refusing to resign, ultimately resulting in the suspect and uncommon firings occurring so late into a presidential term.

The Medical Supply discovery also turned up a December 4, 2006 email from Gonzales Chief of Staff Kyle Sampson targeting Carol Lam for removal, after which she was fired on December 7, 2006 with six other U.S. attorneys who also refused to resign.

It remains to be seen whether public outrage over obstruction of justice or worse—involving assistant U.S. attorney deaths and firings tied to the same Medicare fraud case occurring along a compacted timeline—will be superseded by Democrat anger over their Party’s incompetent or intentional soft Senate Judiciary oversight at a time when the Bush administration could self destruct, possibly blowing the chance for a Democrat majority for the next generation.

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