Extra Extra : Fraud

Extra Extra Monday: ATF stings, voter fraud and the new subprime bubble

Investigation: ATF drug stings targeted minorities | USA TODAY

The nation's top gun-enforcement agency overwhelmingly targeted racial and ethnic minorities as it expanded its use of controversial drug sting operations, a USA TODAY investigation shows.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has more than quadrupled its use of those stings during the past decade, quietly making them a central part of its attempts to combat gun crime. The operations are designed to produce long prison sentences for suspects enticed by the promise of pocketing as much as $100,000 for robbing a drug stash house that does not ...

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'Staggering' pain claims in Brooklyn stoke suspicion

A USA TODAY analysis reveals that some of Medicare's top-earning specialists are in the New York City borough and sharing thousands of Medicare patients in volumes much higher than the norm. In hundreds of cases, patients have seen several pain specialists on the same day, shuffling between therapists who have billed Medicare for tens of thousands of procedures. In one case, a chiropractor and an occupational therapist saw the same patients on the same day more than 11,000 times in 18 months.

These high-earning occupational therapists, chiropractors and physical therapists have given Brooklyn an unusual distinction. It either ...

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Fraud victims spend millions on attorneys and accountants trying to recoup losses

Being a fraud victim can be financially and emotionally devastating — then you get sucked into the U.S. legal system.

For some investors, the experience can be maddening as they watch lawyers and accountants eat up $380 an hour and more in fees and expenses paid from recovered investor money as cases drag on.

But for some investors who are left with little money when the scam they invested in falls apart, the system of court-appointed receivers taking over fraudulent operations can work wonders in getting back at least some of their funds — even if it sometimes takes years.

Welfare cash pulled from ATMs inside Colorado pot shops

FOX31 Denver compared Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cash transactions against locations of marijuana dispensaries and found that 19 different marijuana retail stores had at least one welfare recipient walk into their business.

Welfare recipients are also withdrawing money at liquor stores and strip clubs, the station reported.

Thousands of welfare fraud tips purged at Wash. Department of Social and Health Services

More than two years after KING 5’s series of investigative reports about welfare fraud – and Washington State government’s lax oversight – the Seattle TV station looked into the progress of pledged reforms. The follow-up investigation uncovered that a re-vamped state fraud unit is struggling with enormous case backlogs and has dumped thousands of potential tips about fraud.

How fraud flourishes in Medicare's drug plan

Medicare’s massive drug program has a process so convoluted and poorly managed that fraud flourishes, giving rise to elaborate schemes that quickly siphon away millions of dollars. Among the findings of an ongoing investigation by ProPublica and NPR: 

 

  •  ProPublica identified scores of doctors whose prescribing in Medicare’s drug program bore the hallmarks of fraud
  • The cost of one Miami doctor’s medications jumped from $282,000 to $4 million in one year , but her lawyer said Medicare didn’t ask any questions
  • Scammers sometimes charge Medicare for drugs they don’t dispense and then resell them to pharmacies ...
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Some non-profits found to keep significant losses quiet

Charities and other non-profits often try to keep their losses quiet to avoid spooking donors, but a Washington Post investigation by Joe Stephens and Mary Pat Flaherty used a new IRS tax return checkbox to find more than 1,000 organizations that reported significant diversions of assets. The Post’s online database is being used by news organizations around the country (and abroad) to report on charities in their area that were victimized.

Nursing home residents' trust funds lack oversight