Federal Government
Las Vegas Man Pleads Guilty In North Carolina Fraud Case PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Thursday, 22 April 2021 16:22
A Las Vegas, Nevada man pleaded guilty today to Conspiracy to Commit Health Care Fraud and Wire Fraud, Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering, and Aggravated Identity Theft, and further agreed to forfeit the proceeds of his crimes.
  In additional to cash, forfeitable property included the defendant’s interest in a British Aerospace Bae 125-800A Aircraft, a 2017 Aston Martin DB 11 sports car; a 2016 Ford F-150 Super-Crew pickup truck; real property held in the name of Assured Healthcare Systems in Hertford County, North Carolina; real property located in Charles County, Maryland; as well as various other items of designer jewelry and luxury items seized from the defendant’s penthouse condominium in Las Vegas.
According to court documents, Timothy Mark Harron, 52, admitted to conspiring with his wife, Latisha Harron, to carry out a massive fraud upon the North Carolina Medicaid Program (“NC Medicaid”) by billing the government for fictitious home health services.  Harron further admitted to working with his wife to launder the proceeds of the fraud into, among other things, a private jet, luxury jewelry and clothing, and properties in Ahoskie and Rich Square, North Carolina.  Latisha Harron has already pleaded guilty to similar charges and is awaiting sentencing.
According to the charges, Latisha Harron created, and was operating, Agape Healthcare Systems, Inc. (“Agape”) an alleged Medicaid home health provider, in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina.  As charged, to enroll Agape as a Medicaid provider, Latisha Harron fraudulently concealed her prior felony conviction for Identity Theft.  In 2012, Harron moved out of North Carolina to Maryland.  Despite that move, Harron continued to bill NC Medicaid as though Agape was providing home health services to North Carolina recipients.
As charged, in May of 2017, Latisha Harron moved to Las Vegas, Nevada to live with the defendant Timothy Mark Harron, and that the two were married in 2018.  The indictment alleges that Harron was also a previously convicted felon, and that this fact was concealed from the NC Medicaid on enrollment documents.  Harron pleaded guilty to allegations that he and his wife worked together to expand the Agape fraud upon NC Medicaid -- fraudulently billing the program for millions in just the few years in which he participated in the scheme.  
As charged, Harron admitted that he and his wife carried out the fraud by exploiting an eligibility tool that was entrusted only to NC Medicaid providers.  Specifically, Harron and his wife searched publicly available sources, such as obituary postings on the internet by North Carolina funeral homes, to locate recently deceased North Carolinians.  Harron admitted that the two would then extract from the obituary postings certain personal information for the deceased, including their name, date of birth, and date of death.  Then, utilizing the extracted information, the defendants would then query the NC Medicaid eligibility tool to determine whether the deceased individual had a Medicaid Identification Number.  If the deceased North Carolinian had a valid Medicaid Identification Number and was otherwise eligible for Medicaid coverage during their life, the defendants would use that individual’s identity to “back-bill” NC Medicaid, through Agape, for up to one year of fictitious home health services that were allegedly rendered prior to the death of the individual.  NC Medicaid then disbursed millions to Agape, all of which flowed into accounts controlled by the Harrons.
As charged, the fraud was carried out via the internet from locations around the globe, including their corporate office building in Las Vegas, their penthouse condominium in Las Vegas, a corporate office in North Carolina, and from various hotels and luxury resorts in and outside of the United States.
Harron further pled guilty to laundering the proceeds of the Agape fraud into various luxury items.  These expenses included a $900,000 wire for the purchase of a British Aerospace Bae 125-800A private jet, hundreds of thousands of dollars in Tiffany & Co. and Brioni clothing and jewelry, thousands of dollars on Eastern North Carolina business properties, and thousands of dollars in gym equipment. 
Harron pleaded guilty to (1) Conspiracy to Commit Health Care Fraud and Wire Fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349, which carries a maximum punishment of up to 20 years in prison, (2) one count of Aggravated Identity Theft, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A, which carries a maximum punishment of not less than, nor more than 2 years in prison consecutive to other sentences, and (3) Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1956(h), which carries a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison.
Acting United States Attorney G. Norman Acker, III made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Richard E. Myers II accepted the plea.  The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, and the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office Medicaid Investigations Division, are all investigating the case.  Assistant U.S. Attorney William M. Gilmore is the prosecutor on this case.  Assistant U.S. Attorney John Harris represents the United States with respect to forfeiture aspects of the case.
Drug Conviction Gets Elizabeth City Man 10 Year Federal Sentence PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Thursday, 22 April 2021 10:59

Christopher Neil McLean, age 47, of Elizabethtown, North Carolina was sentenced April 19, 2021 in Federal District Court in Raleigh.  McLean was sentenced to 120 months in federal prison on three counts of an indictment charging:  conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine; possession with intent to distribute fifty (50) grams or more of a mixture and substance containing methamphetamine and aiding and abetting; and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. 

According to court documents, over the weekend of May 30, 2020, Paige Anderson, previously sentenced to 72 months in federal prison, and McLean would travel to Sanford, NC to pick up a large amount of methamphetamine and return the methamphetamine to Bladen County for distribution.  On June 1, 2020, law enforcement officers conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle by McLean and Paige Anderson was the passenger.  Law enforcement observed McLean leaning towards the center console of the vehicle.  Officers were unable to see McLean’s hands upon approach and commanded that McLean show his hands.  A K-9 was deployed after McLean and Paige Anderson were secured and the vehicle searched.  During the search of the vehicle, law enforcement found approximately 90 grams of methamphetamine, plastic baggies, glass pipes, digital scales, a firearm and $1,189.  Law enforcement officers found the firearm and holster in the center console area of the car.   Following the stop, McLean provided an unprotected statement indicating that he had a lot of methamphetamine in his car. 

G. Norman Acker III, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge James C. Dever III. The Bladen County Sheriff’s Office and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) investigated the case and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Murphy Averitt  prosecuted the case.

This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) operation and the Take Back North Carolina Initiative of The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina.  This initiative emphasizes the regional assignment of federal prosecutors to work with law enforcement and District Attorney’s Offices on a sustained basis in those communities to reduce the violent crime rate, drug trafficking, and crimes against law enforcement.

NC Delegation Backs Bill To Consolidate Ft .Bragg Into One Federal Judicial District PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 21 April 2021 16:16
Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Richard Burr (R-NC) and U.S. Representatives Deborah Ross (D-NC) and Richard Hudson (R-NC) introduced bipartisan legislation supported by the entire North Carolina delegation to reduce the burden on defendants by consolidating Fort Bragg into one federal judicial district whose courthouse is in Fayetteville. 
Fort Bragg is located in six North Carolina counties: Cumberland, Harnett, Hoke, Moore, Scotland, and Randolph. Cumberland and Harnett are located in the Eastern District, while the other four counties are in the Middle District. A similar redistricting occurred several years ago when Congress moved FCI Butner into the Eastern District.
“The current judicial district boundaries cause significant logistical issues for court operations and hardships for defendants,” said the Members. “Rather than having their matters heard in Fayetteville, which is often closer to their homes and work, defendants arrested or cited in the Middle District portion of Fort Bragg are forced to travel to Durham, Greensboro, or Winston-Salem. The boundaries also make it difficult for the court to ensure defendants receive notice of their rights. This bipartisan legislation alleviates these issues by redefining the Eastern and Middle judicial districts of North Carolina so that any matter occurring on Fort Bragg Military Reservation will be heard in the Eastern District.”
The bill is co-sponsored by U.S. Representatives G. K. Butterfield (D-NC), Greg Murphy, MD (R-NC), David Price (D-NC), Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Kathy Manning (D-NC), David Rouzer (R-NC), Dan Bishop (R-NC), Patrick McHenry (R-NC), Madison Cawthorn (R-NC), Alma Adams (D-NC), and Ted Budd (R-NC). 
Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 April 2021 16:27
Greensboro Vaccination Distributes 100,000+ COVID 19 Doses PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 20 April 2021 10:46
More than 100,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered through the federally supported vaccination center that opened March 10, 2021 in Greensboro, N.C. The center has been successful in reaching underserved communities with recipients praising the staff and service.
“This vaccination center has been a model site showcasing the best of local, state and federal partnerships. And it has demonstrated how instrumental on-the-ground, trusted partners are to reaching historically underserved communities and facilitating access to vaccines,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. 
“Many organizations working together have made this clinic a tremendous success,” said North Carolina Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry. “Each day the team finds new ways to improve and implements those ideas to make a stronger operation.”
Federal and state partners have worked closely with community-based organizations in the area to ensure vaccine appointments for underserved communities. Of the 103,132 doses administered to date at the Four Seasons Town Centre, more than 22% have gone to Black or African American individuals, who make up a 23% of North Carolina’s population, and more than 15% to people from Hispanic/LatinX communities, who make up almost 10% of the state’s population. 
To reach more marginalized and underserved communities, the main vaccination center is supporting additional sites at the CityGate Dream Center and Eric Lane in Alamance County (in partnership with Cone Health/Alamance Regional Medical Center) and Winston Salem State University in Forsyth County (in partnership with the Forsyth County Department of Public Health, Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center). These locations have distributed an additional 22,325 doses, of which more than 28% have gone to people who are Black or African American and 30% to Hispanic/LatinX individuals.
In a recent survey of 1,280 people who received vaccinations through the Greensboro center, more than 95% rated their experience as excellent, and almost 98% said that would be very likely to recommend the vaccine center to a friend or family member. More than 88% of people reported spending less than 30 minutes at the site to receive their vaccine. 
“Our good results changed our outlook on the vaccines, and we are now encouraging others to do the same,” noted one survey responder. Additional comments included: 
“This operation is worthy of every superlative.”
“Best experience I’ve had getting a shot.”
“Atendieron muy bien! 10/10”
The Greensboro clinic will be extended through May 27th and will continue to provide the Pfizer vaccine. While appointments are encouraged and available online at GSOmassvax.org or by phone at 888-675-4567, walk-in and drive-up vaccines are also available without appointment.
Guilford County was selected for a vaccination site by FEMA and the CDC as an area with significant underserved or marginalized populations. The site is organized and operated by the state and staffed through the U.S. Department of Defense. It is supported with resources from Guilford County, the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, including the Division of Emergency Management and the North Carolina National Guard, and NCDHHS.
COVID-19 vaccines are now open to everyone in North Carolina ages 16 and older. For more information, visit YourSpotYourShot.nc.gov.

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