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Taxes, loans were reported subjects of feds’ Deal investigation

Taxes, loans were reported subjects of feds' Deal investigation
December 8, 2011 --

Federal prosecutors were reportedly investigating tax and loan issues regarding Gov. Nathan Deal as recently as June, newly disclosed documents show. References to the federal inquiry, and details on a state investigation of Deal’s campaign finances, are revealed in a case file recently closed by Georgia Inspector General Deron Hicks.

Ex-Dawson County court clerk admits stealing $120K

Ex-Dawson County court clerk admits stealing $120K
June 17, 2011 --

Dawson County’s longtime court clerk admitted today to stealing $120,000 of court funds from 2006 through 2009. Becky McCord, 62, faces up to 10 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to federal tax evasion and bankruptcy fraud.

ATL doc billed Medicare, Medicaid for dead patients

June 6, 2011 --

Dr. Robert J. Williams pleaded guilty in federal court today to two counts of health care fraud. Authorities say Williams collected $975,000 from Medicare and Medicaid for group therapy, much of which was never performed. Many of the patients were deceased when the services were allegedly provided.

Ex-DeKalb deputy chief admits bribes, awaits sentencing

Ex-DeKalb deputy chief admits bribes, awaits sentencing
April 1, 2011 --

A former deputy DeKalb County police chief has admitted taking a businessman’s bribes. Ex-Lt. Donald E. Frank faces up to five years in federal prison. Sentencing has not been scheduled, which often means that prosecutors want to see whether a defendant can supply useful information — and, if necessary, testify — about criminal activity by others.

ATL physician accused of $975K health care scam

March 5, 2011 --

An Atlanta physician scammed Medicaid and Medicare for $975,000 for group therapy for nursing home patients, many of whom were either dead or hospitalized, federal prosecutors say. Dr. Robert Williams, 72, was arraigned Friday in federal court on fraud charges that could cost him 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Ga. settles suit, pledges to fix community-based mental health care

Ga. settles suit, pledges to fix community-based mental health care
October 19, 2010 --

Georgia today agreed to expand community care to keep thousands of people with mental illness out of its substandard, and sometimes deadly, psychiatric hospitals. The agreement settles a 3-year-old lawsuit brought by the Justice Department after my pals Andy Miller (left) and Alan Judd at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution rolled out a shocking series of stories about the state’s failures in mental health care.

Ex-DeKalb cop charged with passing funny money

Ex-DeKalb cop charged with passing funny money
May 27, 2010 --

The feds Wednesday arraigned a former DeKalb County police detective and her husband for allegedly passing counterfeit $100 and $50 bills at the Macy’s at Perimeter Mall. Lawana Clinton, 39, and husband Jason each face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Clinton was a detective at the time of the incident.

Feds: Ex-DeKalb deputy chief Donald Frank took bribes

May 19, 2010 --

Donald E. Frank, former deputy police chief for DeKalb County, was arraigned today for allegedly accepting two bribes from a small business owner. Prosecutors said Frank, 46, solicited the bribes from co-defendant Amin Budhwani, 46, in October 2008. The indictment describes each of the alleged bribes as “something of value of $5,000 or more.” Frank, who was demoted to lieutenant last year, was placed on administrative leave without pay.  UPDATE: DeKalb County announced today (May 26) that it has fired Frank.

Feds: Nursing homes used patient-care money to buy luxury cars, $1.3M home

April 16, 2010 --

Managers of three nursing homes in Rome and Brunswick conspired to rip off Medicaid and Medicare for $30 million intended for patient care, federal prosecutors said today. Continuing food shortages were so severe that employees used their own money to buy groceries so patients could  eat, investigators said. George and Rhonda Houser, the couple that ran the homes, allegedly diverted cash to buy Mercedes-Benz cars for themselves and a $1.3 home in Atlanta for Houser’s ex-wife. The homes were ordered closed in 2007.

2 DeKalb court officials sentenced in extortion scheme

November 23, 2009 --

Two former DeKalb County court officials will serve more than two years in federal prison for fixing criminal charges in exchange for cash. Probation officer Natalie Nicole Dunn and Keith L. Hughes, coordinator of DeKalb’s Office of Pretrial Services, were sentenced today for asking a drug defendant for a $25,000 payoff to get the charges dismissed. Read the news release …

2nd Polk County deputy pleads guilty, faces federal prison

November 6, 2009 --

A second former Polk County deputy faces prison for crimes involving the sheriff’s department. Kenneth Lane Gravett, 42, of Cedartown pleaded guilty today to mail fraud for filing a false theft report so he could collect an insurance claim on his Harley Davidson. Last month, Joshua David Lowe, 25, was sentenced to 21 months in prison for beating a jail inmate who had been strapped into a restraint chair. Read the news release on Gravett’s plea…

Ponzi schemes: McDonough lawyer to prison, Hoschton broker pleads guilty

November 5, 2009 --

Federal prosecutors announced action in two unrelated Ponzi schemes this afternoon: Former McDonough attorney Steven H. Ballard, 53, was sent to prison for five-plus years for a scam that netted more than $1 million, and former Hoschton mortgage broker Edward William Farley, 47, pleaded guilty to fraud charges involving more than 150 victims and $20 million in losses. Farley will be sentenced in February. Read the news releases…