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Tag: Detroit

Thieves Break into Homeland Security Agents’ Cars in Detroit’s Corktown Area

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT – Detroit’s popular Corktown business district continues to have problems with car thefts and break-ins.

The latest: Two unmarked cars belonging to federal agents from the Department of Homeland Security were broken into Wednesday night at Corktown as agents were dining at the new Batch Brewery at 1400 Porter St., Mara MacDonald of WDIV reports. Laptops and other equipment were taken, sources tell the station.

The Department Homeland Security ordered the vehicles towed and taken to a location where investigators will look for evidence, MacDonald adds.

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Federal Judge Terrence Berg Shot and Wounded in Detroit

Terrance Berg/doj photo

By Allan Lengel
Deadline Detroit

DETROIT – U.S. District Court Judge Terrence Berg, a former federal prosecutor and former acting U.S. Attorney, was shot and wounded Thursday night on Detroit’s northwest side.

George Hunter of the Detroit News reports that it was an attempted robbery. He was shot in the leg outside his home in the city’s University District and taken to Sinai-Grace Hospital. He’s undergone surgery.

Two robbers tried to force Berg inside his home, but he didn’t comply with their demand. One shot him in the leg and both men fled. Berg’s wife and teenage son were inside.

Berg was appointed by President Obama and has been on the bench since 2012. It’s unclear what the circumstances are behind the shooting.

Berg, a very affable person, was born in Detroit in 1959.

More details to come.

Hate crime? FBI Asked to Investigate Stabbing Attack by Muslim in Metro Detroit

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT – The FBI has been asked to investigate the assault of two men in suburban Detroit who were stabbed after saying they weren’t Muslim, The Washington Times reports.

Terrence Lavaron Thomas, a Muslim, was charged Tuesday with unlawful intent and possession of a controlled substance following the stabbing at a bus stop in Southfield, a suburb of Detroit.

Southfield Police are asking the FBI to determine whether a hate crime was committed.

“The victims in this case said that the suspect asked them if they were Muslim,” said Southfield Police Chief Eric Hawkins. “They responded that they were not, and then there was some back-and-forth between the victims and the suspect.”

Thomas is accused of stabbing one of them three times in the back. Another man who tried to intervene was stabbed in the hand.

Police said the trio did not know each other.

Suburban Detroit Man Accused of Threatening to Behead NYPD Officer

Alvaro Eduardo Guzman-Telles via Facebook

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A suburban Detroit man with Asperger’s syndrome faces up to five years in prison after the FBI said he threatened on Facebook to behead a New York police officer who placed Eric Garner, an unarmed black man, in a fatal chokehold, the Detroit News reports.

Alvaro Eduardo Guzman-Telles also is accused off posting on Facebook that people should kill police officers.

“Kill all cops on sight. No matter the circumstances,” Guzman-Telles is accused of writing.

The NYPD’s police union wanted to “convey our deepest appreciation to (the FBI) for following up and making an arrest in a case of a threat against one of our officers.”

His dad said the threats were empty and just an expression of his free speech rights.

“It’s just words. He was venting,” his father told The News. “It is symbolic language. That does not mean he was going to do that.”

Weekend Series on Crime History: The Detroit Mafia

Dr. Evil Pleads Guilty to Massive Medicare Fraud and Giving Unnecessary Chemo Treatment

Featured_dr._farid_fata_7302Dr. Farid Fata/ photo from his website.

By Allan Lengel
Deadline Detroit

DETROIT – Medicare fraud is pervasive in Detroit and elsewhere in the country. The U.S. Attorney’s Office here is constantly prosecuting cases, some involving some very big amounts of money.

But no case in recent times has garnered more attention in Detroit than the Medicare fraud scandal involving oncologist/hematologist Dr. Farid Fata of Oakland County, who was not only accused of bilking Medicare  of tens of millions of dollars, but of also misdiagnosing patients, telling them they had cancer when they didn’t,  and of giving unnecessary chemotherapy to people, some of whom didn’t even have cancer or couldn’t have possibly benefited at the stage of cancer they were in.

The case was simply a scary reminder that someone in a position of authority and trust can take advantage of people in their most vulnerable state.

On Tuesday, Dr. Fata, 49, of Oakland Township, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to several counts of health care fraud, money laundering and conspiracy, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Specifically, Fata pleaded guilty to 13 counts  of health care fraud, one count of conspiracy to pay or receive kickbacks and two counts of money laundering. Sentencing is set for Feb. 23 where he could face some serious prison time and fines.

“At a time when they are most vulnerable and fearful, cancer patients put their lives in the hands of doctors and endure risky treatments at their recommendation,”  Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division said in a statement.

 “Dr. Fata today admitted he put greed before the health and safety of his patients, putting them through unnecessary chemotherapy and other treatments just so that he could collect additional millions from Medicare.  The mere thought of what he did is chilling.  Thanks to the quick action of our partners, he was arrested and has now admitted his guilt.”

Fata operated a cancer treatment clinic, Michigan Hematology Oncology, which had offices in Rochester Hills, Clarkston, Bloomfield Hills, Lapeer, Sterling Heights, Troy and Oak Park.  He also owned a diagnostic testing facility, United Diagnostics PLLC, in Rochester Hills. 

Authorities said that Fata submitted approximately $225 million in claims to Medicare between August 2007 and July 2013. In the end, Medicare paid out more than $91 million to Fata, of which over $48 million was for chemotherapy and other cancer treatments.

In court on Tuesday, the doctor read aloud an admission that he submitted false Medicare and insurance claims and ordered “medically unnecessary” treatments, according to the Detroit News. 

The plea came just weeks before his Oct. 14 trial.

The News quoted Liz Lupo, the daughter of a former Fata patient who died of lung cancer in 2007. She expressed disappointment in the plea.

“He’s not being charged with enough,” she said. “He pled guilty to a handful of patients when there were thousands. We wanted to hear the details about how he was allowed to (do this).”

 

FBI Investigating Body Donor Program in Portland Following Similar Probes in Detroit, Arizona

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 The FBI is investigating a body donor program in Portland following similar probes in Detroit and Arizona.

Oregonlive.com reports that the FBI launched an investigation into Legacy Health.

But authorities are tightlipped about the probe of Legacy Health.

“Other than confirming that there is an FBI investigation into the Legacy Body Donation Program, there isn’t much more I can say,” said FBI special agent David Porter, a spokesman in the bureau’s Detroit field office.

The investigation involves health screenings of the bodies and failure to notify families of how bodies were being used, Oregonelive.com reports.

Rumors have put a negative light on body donation services.

“People are confused. They just want to verify that we’re not one of those organizations they’ve read about,”  Corrina Patzer, director of business services for Lions VisionGift, said. “It impacts transplants, it impacts donations.”

The investigation appears to have its roots in two similar cases in Detroit and Arizona.

Former FBI Special Agent James P. Mallon Jr. Dies at 66 After Battle with Cancer

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

James P. Mallon Jr., a retired FBI special agent who helped crack down on organized crime, died after a battle with cancer on Friday, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

Mallon was working in Detroit when the FBI tapped him to work in the Organized Crime program in Atlantic City, where he shined.

Mallon “was very instrumental in helping set up an FBI undercover operation that resulted in the indictment and conviction of former Atlantic City Mayor Michael Matthews,” in 1984.

Mallon was born in Philadelphia and earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting. After college, he initially worked as a certified public accountant.

Mallon’s career as an FBI special agent began in 1972. He worked in offices in Buffalo, Newark and Detroit.