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May 31, 2020

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U.S. Attorney’s office for Oregon collects $19M in cases, fines in 2016

$11.5M came from civil actions; $7.5M from criminal cases

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The U.S. Attorney’s Office for Oregon has collected $19.1 million from criminal and civil court cases in fiscal year 2016, with the largest collection stemming from a civil fraud case against senior living facility operator Holiday Corporation.

Holiday Retirement Corp. agreed to pay $8.86 million to settle a fraud case. An investigation prompted by former employees’ allegations revealed Holiday had improperly received veteran benefit payments for care that was never provided and for people ineligible to receive such benefits.

Holiday Retirement had falsified information indicating that veterans were entitled to benefits for assistance with their daily living, when in fact Holiday used those funds for rent, according to federal prosecutors.

Holiday Retirement operates more than 300 independent-living, assisted-living and memory care centers in the United States and Canada. Fourteen of those centers are in Oregon, where Holiday was founded in 1971.

In another case, Tran Pharmacy and its owner settled civil and criminal cases by paying over $800,000 to federal and state agencies. They were accused of billing Medicare and Medicaid for prescriptions that were filled with fish oil capsules.

In another civil case, Skamania Public Utility District was accused of overstating power line miles to the Bonneville Power Administration and, as a result, receiving a greater discount on its power costs than it was entitled to receive. To settle the case, Skamania Public Utility District paid $725,236 to the government.

Of the $19.1 million that the Oregon U.S. Attorney’s office collected this fiscal year, $ 7.5 million came from criminal cases and $11.5 million from civil actions.

The District of Oregon also collected $2.39 million from asset forfeiture actions. Forfeited assets are deposited into a federal fund and used to restore money for crime victims and for other law enforcement purposes.

The U.S. Attorney’s Financial Litigation Unit collects restitution for victims of crimes. Sometimes, defendants pay right away. Other times, it takes collection efforts to get the money.

This year, for example, a Gresham psychologist Carol Landesman was ordered to pay $113,770 in restitution for creating false invoices and sending them to a Catholic diocese for counseling services she never provided. She paid the restitution in full at her sentencing.

Across the nation, the U.S. Department of Justice’s 94 U.S. Attorney’s offices reported this month that it had collected nearly $15 billion in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30.

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