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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of West Virginia

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

U.S. Attorney’s Office Collects More Than $13 Million In Fiscal Year 2014

1125 Chapline Street, Federal Building, Suite 3000 ● Wheeling, WV 26003
(304) 234-0100 ● Contact: Tara Tighe, Public Affairs Specialist

WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA – Through a combination of civil and criminal actions, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of West Virginia collected more than $13 million during Fiscal Year 2014, United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced today.

The office collected $5,378,951.98 from civil actions, $957,890.18 from criminal actions, and $1,521,711.40 from civil and criminal asset forfeitures for a total of $13,095,953.31.

“My office has many talented and hardworking people dedicated to recovering funds for victims of crimes and for the federal treasury,” said U.S. Attorney Ihlenfeld. “We’ll remain aggressive in 2015 to prosecute and hold accountable all those who seek to profit from illegal activities.”

Large criminal collections from 2014 include:

• $333,787.32 paid by Joseph Yurigan, D.C. of New Alexandria, PA as a result of his conviction for submitting fraudulent claims to Medicare and Medicaid. Yurigan was convicted in 2013, and paid a total of $836,265.95 in Fiscal Years 2013 and 2014. In addition to restitution paid to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, individual victims included Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, the WV Offices of the Insurance Commissioner, and Brickstreet Insurance.

Large civil collections for FY 2014 include:

• $2,000,000.00 paid by Judy’s Drug Store as a result of a civil settlement with Judy’s Drug Store, Inc., Darin Judy, Emily Judy, Kimberly Arbaugh and Casey Watts. The defendants paid to settle accusations that Judy’s Drug Store repeatedly filled prescriptions for controlled substances, such as oxycodone and hydromorphone, not written for legitimate medical purposes. The pharmacists filled these prescriptions outside the scope of professional practice. The federal investigation into Judy’s Drug Store arose after the U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecuted and obtained a conviction against Hardy County, West Virginia physician, Rajan Masih, in 2011. Dr. Masih was convicted of distributing controlled substances for other than legitimate medical purposes and outside the scope of professional practice. Dr. Masih wrote many of the prescriptions for controlled substances improperly filled by Judy’s Drug Store.

• $1,600,000.00 paid by Chesapeake Appalachia for civil violations of the United States Clean Water Act and West Virginia’s Water Pollution Control Act and West Virginia’s requirements governing water quality standards, by discharging pollutants, including dredged or fill material, and/or controlling and directing the discharge of pollutants, including dredged or fill material, into waters of the United States and/or the State, without authorization, at various locations in Boone, Kanawha, Lewis, Marshall, Mingo, Preston, Upshur and Wetzel counties of West Virginia.

• $1,000,000.00 civil penalty paid by Devender Batra, M.D. and Belmont Cardiology, Inc., after causing East Ohio Regional Hospital and Ohio Valley Medical Center to submit fraudulent claims to Medicare from January 2009 to August of 2010, for prohibited referrals for various health services in violation of the Federal False Claims Act.

• $660,000.00 paid by the Ohio Valley Health Education & Services Corporation (OVHS&E), Ohio Valley Medical Center (OVMC), and East Ohio Regional Hospital (EORH) in Fiscal Year 2014 on a case that was settled in FY 2012. Since settlement, these entities have paid over $2.0 million and still owe $1.7 million dollars to the federal government for violations of the Stark Act and improper compensation arrangements with physicians.

Large criminal asset forfeitures for FY 2014 include:

• $192,325.00 in forfeited assets from Anita Ambler, a former bookkeeper at the Mountaineer Racetrack, who was convicted by a federal jury trial in April of 2013 on eleven counts of “Mail Fraud”, ten counts of “Wire Fraud”, and four counts of “Transacting in Criminal Proceeds.” In addition to the forfeiture, Ambler was required to pay a money judgment of $1,305,090.15.

• $76,625.00 in assets seized from Kimberly Mull, who entered a guilty plea to the offense of “Conspiracy to Distribute Schedule I and Schedule II Controlled Substances,” which included the sale and distribution of heroin, cocaine, and oxycodone pills. The source state for most of the heroin referenced in the Mull indictment was Pennsylvania, while the pain pills came from Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia. As part of her sentence, Mull was ordered to pay $11,000 to the Ohio Valley Drug Task Force as reimbursement for funds that were paid to her during the controlled purchases of narcotics. She must also pay a money judgment of $50,000 to the United States of America.

• $75,000.00 in forfeited assets seized from David Tamm, a former vice-president at Fairmont State University, who was convicted of stealing funds from the school through the use of state-issued purchasing cards as well as funds from federal education grants. In addition to the forfeiture, the Court also imposed a money judgment in the amount of $639,174.33.

U.S. Attorneys’ Offices throughout the country are responsible for enforcing and collecting civil and criminal debts owed to the U.S. and criminal debts owed to federal crime victims. The law requires defendants to pay restitution to victims of certain federal crimes who have suffered a physical injury or financial loss. While restitution is paid directly to the victim, criminal fines and felony assessments are paid to the department’s Crime Victims’ Fund, which distributes the funds to state victim compensation and victim assistance programs.

Attorney General Eric Holder announced today that the Justice Department collected $24.7 billion though civil and criminal actions in the fiscal year ending September 30, 2014.

Updated January 7, 2015