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Federal Government
Illegal Alien Sentenced For Voting In Two Elections PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 14 August 2018 11:18
Robert J. Higdon, Jr., the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, announces the sentencing of Roberto Hernandez-Cuarenta, 57, of Zebulon, North Carolina, for two counts of voting by alien. Hernandez- Cuarenta was sentenced to time served on both counts which is four months of imprisonment.
 
On November 6, 2012 and November 8, 2016, Hernandez-Cuerta, knowing he was not a United States Citizen, did knowingly vote in two elections held in part for the purpose of electing a candidate for the Office of President, Vice President, and Member of the House of Representative.
 
The evidence presented at sentencing showed that the defendant was granted a Special Agricultural Worker application in June of 1992. He was subsequently given legal and permanent resident status as a seasonal agricultural worker. However, Hernandez-Cuarenta was never naturalized as a United States
Citizen and there are no pending applications or petitions on behalf of the defendant for United States Citizenship. He is a citizen of Mexico.
 
Mr. Higdon commented: “The right to vote is a precious privilege available only to citizens of the United States. When a non-citizen votes in a federal election it serves to dilute and devalue the vote of American citizens and places the decision making authority of the American electorate in the hands of those who have no right to make those choices. My office will do its part to protect the rights of every American citizen to cast their vote freely and to have it counted fairly.” There are no pending applications or petitions on behalf of the defendant for United States citizenship.
 
The case was investigated by the North Carolina Board of Elections and the Homeland Security Investigation Raleigh Office. Assistant United States Attorney Ethan Ontjes is handling the case for the government.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 August 2018 11:21
 
Compassionate Home Care Services Hit With $3 Million Federal Court Judgment PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 14 August 2018 10:18
A federal court awarded a nearly $3 million judgment against Compassionate Home Care Services, Inc., Carol Anders, and Ryan Santiago for their participation in a fraud on the North Carolina Medicaid program in violation of the federal and North Carolina False Claims Acts.
 
The evidence at trial showed that between 2008 and 2013, Compassionate Home Care Services, Inc. billed the North Carolina Medicaid program $585,082.73 in fraudulent claims, including not only claims for services provided in violation of Medicaid policies, but also claims for services that were never provided at all. Anders ran the company and was responsible for the false billings. Worse, when the government began investigating, Anders and her son, Santiago, falsified hundreds of documents in an effort to conceal the fraud.
 
The federal and North Carolina False Claims Acts mandate that the government recover three times the damages caused by the fraud, plus civil penalties for every false or fraudulent claim. Applying those provisions and other applicable law, Chief United States District Judge James C. Dever, III awarded the government a judgment of $2,921,248.19.
 
Before the trial, Chief Judge Dever found that the defendants were liable for their participation in the scheme, concluding that the defendants “knowingly billed for services not rendered, knowingly billed for certain services provided to patients by unlicensed, non-certified aides, and knowingly billed for services provided to patients by close family members.” Chief Judge Dever also found that the defendants “falsified documents to conceal their obligation to repay the government and used false documents to support false claims previously submitted.”
 
“These defendants,” U.S. Attorney Higdon stated, “defrauded taxpayers of this State and this Country out of more than $500,000. They bilked a Medicaid program that is designed to protect children, the elderly, and the poor.” Mr. Higdon warned that “we will not tolerate providers who seek to fill their coffers with funds allotted to help people in need. We will not allow providers to undermine the solvency of our government programs to satiate their greed. We will continue to use every tool in our arsenal to aggressively pursue health care fraud, and to recover the taxpayer dollars lost to it.”
 
“When North Carolina’s taxpayers pay into the Medicaid program, they expect that money to be used correctly for people’s health care,” said North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein. “Instead, these defendants defrauded taxpayers by charging for services that were not provided. My office takes Medicaid fraud seriously, and we will continue to fight against misuse and waste.”
 
The investigation of this case was conducted by Financial Investigators and sworn agents of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation assigned to the Medicaid Investigations Division of the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office, and Special Agents with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General. The Robeson County Sheriff’s Department provided substantial assistance in the investigation. The investigation and prosecution of this matter was handled in a partnership between the United States Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of North Carolina and the Medicaid Investigations Division of the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office. Special Deputy Attorney General Stacy Race and Assistant Attorney General Lareena Phillips, both of whom also serve as Special Assistant United States Attorneys, and Assistant United States Attorney Michael Anderson, represented the United States of America and the State of North Carolina in this case.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 August 2018 10:20
 
Ocracoke Man Charged With Growing Marijuana Of Federal Property PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 14 August 2018 09:55
Federal law enforcement arrested James Daniel Garrish charging him with cultivating marijuana on federal property, the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
 
If convicted of that charge, he would face a maximum term of 5 years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and a term of up to three years supervised release following any term of imprisonment. Additionally, Garrish was charged with introducing plants into the park ecosystem, littering, trespassing, and defacing and damaging real property. Each of these charges carries up to 6 months’ imprisonment, a $5,000 fine, up to one year supervised release, and/or up to 5 years’ probation.
 
Mr. Higdon stated: “Criminal acts which blemish the beauty of our public seashore and the safety of its visitors will not be ignored,” and he reinforced the committment of his office to partnering with all law enforcement agencies in the Eastern District of North Carolina to keep its communities safe.
 
Investigation of this case is being conducted by the National Park Service. Assistant United States Attorney Daniel Smith is representing the government.
 
 
Governor Requests Federal Aid For Western Counties Struck By Flooding And Mudslides PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 08 August 2018 10:24

Governor Roy Cooper has requested a major federal disaster declaration for 13 Western North Carolina counties that were affected by heavy rains, flooding and mudslides in May.

The request is for federal disaster assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help local governments repair damaged infrastructure and to help homeowners, renters and business owners repair homes that were damaged by the floodwaters. It includes Avery, Buncombe, Caldwell, Henderson, Jackson, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Watauga, and Yancey counties.

“Many people in our western counties are still trying to recover from these floods and mudslides and we want to get them all the help that we can,” Governor Roy Cooper said.

Widespread rainfall of 10 to 20 inches in many locations produced North Carolina’s wettest May on record dating back to 1940, according to the North Carolina State Climate Office and the North Carolina Division of Emergency Management. The heaviest rains came at the end of the month when moisture from Subtropical Storm Alberto soaked an already saturated western North Carolina.

Governor Roy Cooper declared a State of Emergency on May 30th for western North Carolina after heavy rains caused mudslides in multiple communities, closed portions of I-40 east of Asheville and triggered evacuations in Old Fort and near Lake Tahoma in McDowell County. Roads were closed in many counties due to downed trees and mudslides.

Teams from local and state emergency management agencies have been surveying damage and compiling damage reports since late May in order to submit a comprehensive request for a federal disaster declaration.

“There was extensive damage to many public roads, bridge and culverts due to an extended period of heavy rains,” said state Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry. “About 175 homes were damaged or affected, and we are requesting assistance for those homeowners as well.”

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 August 2018 10:27
 
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