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In Operation Brace Yourself, DME and medical brace manufacturers were alleged to have paid “kickbacks” and “bribes” to doctors and nurse practitioners working with telemedicine companies for exchange for Medicare patient referrals for medically unnecessary braces.

In Operation Double Helix, patients nationwide were allegedly lured into providing their DNA for testing in a widespread genetic testing fraud scheme powered by a large telemarketing network. The doctors and nurse practitioners involved were paid to write orders prescribing the testing without any patient interaction or with only a brief telephone conversation.

Healthcare fraud remains a key target of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). The DOJ uses civil penalties, as well as criminal charges, to punish healthcare fraud. The DOJ views healthcare fraud as a major issue.

When you think of drug crimes, you may picture college kids getting caught with marijuana, or dealers on the street corner with pockets full of methamphetamines. However, police sometimes charge respected professionals with drug crimes.

It has been a year since a high-profile opioid sting resulted in the federal prosecutors charging dozens of medical professionals with drug crimes. Most charges centered on prescribing opioids unnecessarily. Lately, an increasing number of health professionals are seeking treatment for using the substances themselves. If you are a doctor or nurse charged with a drug offense of any kind, you may have questions.

Should I talk to police?

Meg Strickler, a chair of the ABA section of International Law, Government and Public Interest Committee, is hosting a webinar tomorrow.

The US has recently authorized economic and travel sanctions against the members of the International Criminal Court who are investigating war crimes committed in Afghanistan. Are these sanctions lawful and justified? Should the US fear the jurisdiction of international courts? Our panelists will discuss these recent developments in the sphere of US foreign policy and international law.

Click the link for more details or to register. Discussion begins Friday, August 7, 2020 at 1:30pm EST:

Federal agencies can use the “national security” exception to avoid search warrants and use unobtrusive stingrays and dirtboxes to obtain cell phone numbers, owners’ names, and owners’ addresses. Without targeting a suspect, they can access large swaths of data by using this technology in crowds. They can even use that data after participants leave a gathering to track and investigate the people in attendance.

What are Stingrays and Dirtboxes?

https://theintercept.com/2020/07/31/protests-surveillance-stingrays-dirtboxes-phone-tracking/

When a nurse struggles with substance use, he or she may worry that seeking help will result in career damage. In fact, self-reporting a problem with drugs or alcohol can help protect your ability to practice as a nurse.

Learn how a DUI or drug diversion arrest could impact your Georgia nursing license.

Understanding mandatory reporting requirements

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law on March 27, 2020.

A major part of the CARES Act provided for a total of $669 million in federal funds to be designated for financial relief for small and medium-sized businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The crush of applications meant the fund ran out in minutes. Lenders scrambled to handle applications and disburse money to struggling businesses, with 4 million disbursements made by the middle of May. However, many companies that were eligible were unable to access assistance. Public outcry about nationally recognized businesses receiving funds led to the Small Business Administration and Treasury Department establishing a “Safe Harbor” return program whereby businesses could return loans. The Safe Harbor deadline, originally set for May 7, was extended twice but ended on May 18.

Now, federal authorities are investigating and filing fraud charges against those thought to have taken advantage of the new program. Applicants who falsely certified any part of the loan request could face criminal charges, fines, and restitution. In addition, as forgiveness applications are submitted and approved, use of PPP funds for anything other than allowed business purposes could subject applicants to investigation.

After the Hack: A Data Breach Post Game Show

As chair of the Cyber Crime committee at iTechlaw, Meg Strickler gives her insight on data breaches from various perspectives on an iTechlaw webinar this week.  She and the other panelists discuss:

  1. The criminal charge of BEC (Business email compromise) fraud

Whether you have an illness, injury or medical disorder, modern medicine likely offers a few different ways to treat it. For many conditions, prescription drugs reduce symptoms or eliminate them altogether. Accordingly, if you need medication to improve your quality of life, seeing a physician is critical.

Doctors receive extensive training on diagnosing and treating medical conditions. They also understand how to check for drug interactions and allergies. As such, even if you think you know what prescription drugs to take, you should not take matters into your own hands. That is, not only may forging a prescription cause you physical harm, but it may also lead to serious criminal consequences.

Valid prescriptions must meet certain criteria

In late 2018, the Georgia Bureau of Investigations opened a new cyber center, training a new unit of investigators to take on cases of alleged cybercrime. The move was an attempt to stem the tide of theft, fraud and other offenses committed electronically. 

According to a special agent in charge of the new investigation unit, cybercrime costs the state of Georgia at least $38 million per year. However, that estimate could be severely low. 

Misleading numbers 

If charged with embezzlement, you could face a federal court, or a state court could hear your case, depending on the circumstances. In either case, embezzlement is a serious matter, as well as a complicated one.

Embezzlement begins with property in your lawful possession, though not belonging to you. If you were to then use it in a way that goes against your agreement with the property owner, there could then be an embezzlement case against you.

The requirements to prosecute an embezzlement charge are different from those of a comparable crime like larceny. Here are some important distinctions that set embezzlement apart.

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