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Northern Ohio’s U.S. Attorney’s Office Garnered $48 Million This Year

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The U.S. attorney’s office for the Northern District of Ohio is more than paying for itself.

U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach said Tuesday that his office made $48.6 million in civil and criminal collections in the budget year that ended September 30.

The money collected is nearly triple the office’s annual budget. The office is also aided by work done by other federal agencies, such as the FBI, DEA, and ATF.

The bulk of the money, $22 million, came from civil actions to collect from people who overbilled the government or cheated on federal programs, such as Medicare.

Criminal collections yielded $20 million.

The largest source was more than $7 million in assets that were collected from former Dr. Jorge Martinez, a Bath Township physician sentenced in 2006 to life in prison because the massive doses of painkillers he prescribed led to the deaths of two patients.

Dr. Martinez, an anesthesiologist, prescribed OxyContin, Zoloft, and Valium for patients at his clinics in Mansfield, Lima, Parma and Boardman. He then billed Medicare, Medicaid, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, and private insurers for the injections. He was convicted of health care fraud.

Attorneys recovered more than $4 million in a Medicare overbilling case against Forum Health. Forum Health identified and disclosed that its hospitals were overpaid in more than 900 cases because of a billing error.

The office recovered $2.4 million from the Rural Metro Corp. after the company billed Medicare for unnecessary ambulance services from eight offices in Ohio.

Agents also collected $5.5 million in forfeiture cases.

The most prominent forfeiture case was the September auction of the forty-three-carat “Golden Eye” diamond seized in a drug investigation. The diamond was once owned by Paul Monea of Alliance, who was convicted in 2007 of money laundering and conspiracy. Mr. Monea attempted to sell the diamond to an undercover agent posing as a broker for a drug cartel. The diamond sold in the auction for $2.8 million. Most of the money was given to law enforcement agencies in Canton, which aided in the case.

Via Cleveland.com.


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