From the monthly archives: October 2012

Young voters who first cast a Presidential ballot in 2008 could be in for a rude surprise when they head to the polls this year.  A HeadCount survey found that seven out of ten had moved in the last four
years, and 43 percent of those potential voters haven’t updated their voter registration since.

When asked if they are confident that they are registered to vote at their current address, more than half of those who have moved – 52% – said no or that they were unsure.
With new voter ID laws in some states requiring voters to prove they live at the address where they are registered, millions could be stopped from voting on Election Day.
Moreover, a full 46% of all those surveyed said they are unsure of the ID requirements to vote in their state. Among those, 62% has not updated their voter registration or were unsure if they had. Even those who have updated their voter registration could have trouble at the polls if they have not also obtained a new drivers license or valid ID listing their new address. While most states will accept any valid ID,
rules vary and voters are encouraged to always bring a secondary proof of address – such as a utility bill – if their voter registration does not match their ID. State-by-state voter ID laws can be found here. The survey focused exclusively on young Americans who first became eligible to vote for President in 2008. That age group includes approximately 15.5 million citizens, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, roughly half of whom voted four years ago. “State legislatures around the country have passed laws in the past four years that make it harder for people to register and vote. This study shows a significant portion of young Americans could be turned away because of these new laws,” said Ben Hovland, Senior Counsel with the Fair Elections Legal Network. HeadCount stages voter registration drives at concerts by artists such as Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews Band, and Jay-Z. They train their volunteers to ask attendees: “Are you registered to vote at your current address?” The last part of the question causes many people to pause and realize they are unsure. With that in mind, HeadCount has turned to musicians and entertainers to stage a large-scale social media campaign aimed at making it easy for anyone to update their voter registration or register for the first time. On Tuesday September 25th – dubbed “National Voter Registration Day” – over 100 musicians, comedians and actors will make tweets and Facebook posts with links to a website where people can fill out voter registration
forms. Each tweet and post will also include a photo of the celebrity holding up a clipboard that says “Register to Vote.” The entertainers involved collectively have over 100 million Facebook fans and Twitter followers.
The campaign will include many of the top-drawing concert acts in rock, and hip hop, as well as some of the most popular stand-up comics and Hollywood stars. Some of the photos can be previewed at HeadCount’s
Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/headcountorg

National Voter Registration Day will involve thousands of volunteers from hundreds of organizations registering voters in their communities. It stands to be the largest one-day voter registration drive in history. In
addition to the on-line activity, HeadCount will stage voter registration campaigns in more than 30 cities around the U.S., deploying at transportation centers, retail stores and concerts. Any individual who wishes to volunteer can sign up or get more information by clicking here.

 

Medicare Fraud Strike Force operations in seven cities have led to charges against 91 people—including doctors, nurses, and other licensed professionals—for their alleged participation in Medicare fraud schemes involving $429.2 million in false billing. FBI Associate Deputy Director Kevin Perkins joined Attorney General Eric Holder, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and other government officials at a Washington, D.C. press conference announcing the takedown.

The largest number of defendants were charged in Miami—a total of 33 for their alleged participation in various fraud schemes involving a total of $204.5 million in false billings for home health care, mental health services, occupational and physical therapy, and durable medical equipment. Other defendants were charged in Los Angeles (16), Brooklyn (15), Dallas (14), Baton Rouge (4), and Chicago (2).

According to court documents, defendants were charged in schemes to submit claims to Medicare for treatments that were medically unnecessary and often never provided. In many cases, patient recruiters, Medicare beneficiaries, and others were allegedly paid kickbacks in return for supplying beneficiary information to the providers who submitted the fraudulent claims.

Perkins, who called the strike force’s partnerships “a critical piece of our strategy” to “protect the integrity of Medicare and the health care system at large,” also offered steps that the public—especially Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries and their family members—can take to help prevent fraud:

  • Beware of suspicious activity, including marketers offering money, gifts, or free services to patients;
  • Review explanation of benefits forms sent by your insurance company (and contact your company immediately if you see any suspect billings);
  • Protect your insurance card information the same way you would protect your credit card information;
  • Report any suspicious activity to your local FBI office or HHS’ Office of Inspector General.
 
 

El Centro, October 3, 2012 – The Imperial County Fish and Game Commission at their October

2, 2012 meeting voted unanimously to elect Clem Muller, Jr. as its 2012-13 Chair and Frank

Bailey as its 2012-13 Vice Chair.

 

Brian Barrett, Chairman for the 2011-12 year has done an outstanding job addressing many issues that have come before the Commission.  The opportunity to continue those efforts have been transferred to Clem Muller, Jr. as the new Chairman. Chairman Muller has spearheaded the Jr. Trout Fishing Derbies for the past five years.

(2012-13 Vice Chair Frank Bailey, 2012-13 Chair Clem Muller, Jr., and 2011-12 Chair Brian Barrett)

 

 

ABOUT the Imperial County Fish and Game Commission – The Imperial County Fish and Game Commission is made of up to eleven members, appointed and confirmed by the Board of Supervisors.  The Commissioners are individuals involved in private enterprise with expertise in various wildlife-related fields.  The Commissioners’ ultimate decisions must reflect not only the biological needs of our fish and wildlife, but also the wishes, needs and desires of all those who enjoy  these  resources with  the  interest, understanding and  involvement of  everyone who appreciates our magnificent fish and wildlife resources.

 

United States Attorney Laura E. Duffy announced that Customs and Border Protection Officer Thomas P. Silva pled guilty today before Magistrate Judge William V. Gallo to concealing a person from arrest, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1071; and wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343. As part of his plea, Silva also agreed to forfeit over $16,000 in illegal proceeds from his criminal activity and pay $7,329.37 in restitution to Farmers Insurance, the victim of his wire fraud scheme.

In entering his plea, Silva admitted to concealing a wanted fugitive from arrest while on duty at the San Ysidro port of entry. In particular, Silva admitted allowing the fugitive to enter the United States from Mexico without inspection—despite verifying the fugitive’s status using CBP’s computer systems. Silva further assisted the fugitive by purposefully entering inaccurate information related to the fugitive’s car in CBP’s computer system in an effort to help the fugitive elude arrest.

Silva also admitted in his plea agreement to engaging in a separate scheme to defraud Farmers Insurance of over $7,000 by falsely reporting that his Nissan Titan pickup truck had been stolen from a local San Diego community. Silva admitted, however, that he had, in fact, taken the truck to Mexico prior to reporting it stolen in furtherance of his fraudulent scheme. Thereafter, Silva filed the false claim with Farmers Insurance, which the insurance company then paid based on his misrepresentations.

FBI Special Agent in Charge Daphne Hearn commented, “We are a nation of laws and justice. The laws of this land are in place to promote the welfare of our communities and protect our citizens. No one is above the law, especially not those who have sworn to enforce it. The FBI and our law enforcement partners are committed to pursuing anyone who illegally lines his or her own pockets at the expense of the public good.”

“The vast majority of our officers are highly skilled, hard-working professionals dedicated to our mission to protect the American public,” said Chris Maston, CBP director of field operations for San Diego and Imperial Valley Counties. “We will not tolerate corruption within our workforce and we will actively ferret out and prosecute to the fullest extent of the law any employees who commit unethical or unlawful acts.”

United States Attorney Duffy praised the members of the Border Corruption Task Force, a federal task force comprised of law enforcement officials from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, CBP-Internal Affairs, CBP-Field Operations, the Transportation Security Administration, and the Drug Enforcement Administration for their outstanding work to uncover Silva’s criminal activity. Duffy added that her office has a “zero tolerance” policy for government employees who flout the laws they are sworn to enforce.

The plea is subject to final acceptance by United States District Judge Anthony J. Battaglia. A sentencing hearing is scheduled before Judge Battaglia on Dec. 14 at 9 a.m.

Defendant in Criminal Case No. 10mj3306-WVG
Thomas P. Silva

Summary of Charges
Count one: Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343-wire fraud
Maximum penalties: 20 years in custody; $250,000; $100 special assessment; three-year term of supervised release.

Count two: Title 18, United States Code, Section 1071-concealing person from arrest
Maximum penalties: five years in custody; $250,000 fine; $100 special assessment; three-year term of supervised release.

Investigating Agencies
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Customs and Border Protection
Transportation Security Administration
Drug Enforcement Administration

 
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