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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Wisconsin

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Grand Jury Returns Indictments

MADISON, WIS. – A federal grand jury in the Western District of Wisconsin, sitting in Madison, returned the following indictments today.  You are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Physician Charged with Medicare Fraud

Ravi Murali, 38, Edgerton, Wisconsin, is charged in a 12-count indictment for his role in a health care fraud scheme while working as a physician for various telemedicine companies.  The indictment alleges that from January 2017 to January 2020, Murali signed orders for medical braces (such as ankle braces, knee braces, back braces, shoulder braces, wrist braces, and hand braces) for Medicare beneficiaries that contained false statements.  The indictment alleges that the false statements included that Murali had spoken with the Medicare beneficiary, that he had established a valid prescriber-patient relationship with the Medicare beneficiary, that he medically assessed the Medicare beneficiary, and that he conducted various examinations and diagnostic tests of the Medicare beneficiary.  The indictment alleges that these representations were rarely, if ever, true, and Murali ordered braces for Medicare beneficiaries regardless of medical necessity, fraudulently billing Medicare for over $26 million, of which Medicare actually paid over $13 million.  Murali was paid approximately $30 for each telemedicine consult he completed.

If convicted, Murali faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison on each count.  The charges against him are the result of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Zachary J. Corey is handling the prosecution.

Madison Man Charged with Drug & Gun Crimes

Verdell Thomas, 20, Madison, Wisconsin, is charged in a five-count indictment with drug crimes involving crack cocaine and gun crimes.  The indictment alleges that Thomas distributed crack cocaine on three occasions in April 2020, and that on May 7, he possessed crack cocaine with intent to distribute.  The indictment further alleges that on May 7, he possessed a loaded 9mm pistol in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and that he was a felon in possession of a firearm.

If convicted, Thomas faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison on each crack cocaine charge, 10 years on the felon in possession of a firearm charge, and a mandatory minimum penalty of five years on the charge of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.  Federal law requires that any sentence imposed on the charge of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime be served consecutive to any sentence imposed on the charge of possessing crack cocaine with intent to distribute.

The charges against Thomas are the result of an investigation by the Dane County Narcotics Task Force.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Rita M. Rumbelow is handling the prosecution. 

Menomonie Man Charged with Heroin & Gun Crimes

David Hartwig, 32, Menomonie, Wisconsin, is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, with possessing heroin with intent to distribute, and with possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.  The indictment alleges that on May 6, 2020, he possessed a 9mm pistol and ammunition, and heroin with intent to distribute.    

If convicted, Hartwig faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison on the charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, 20 years on the heroin charge, and a mandatory minimum penalty of five years on the charge of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.  Federal law requires that any sentence imposed on the charge of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime be served consecutive to any sentence imposed on the charge of possessing heroin with intent to distribute. 

The charges against Hartwig are the result of an investigation by the Dunn County Sheriff’s Office, Menomonie Police Department, West Central Drug Task Force, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Taylor L. Kraus is handling the prosecution.

Madison Man Charged with Illegally Possessing Firearm

Anthony Krohn, 36, Madison, Wisconsin, is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.  The indictment alleges that he possessed a loaded .22 caliber handgun on June 1, 2020. 

Krohn was charged with this offense in a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Madison on June 4.  Federal law requires that felony offenses charged by criminal complaint be charged by an indictment returned by a grand jury.

The affidavit accompanying the complaint alleged that at approximately 2:12 a.m. on Monday, June 1, 2020, police officers were dispatched to the area of South Fairchild and West Doty Streets in Madison in reference to a person with a gunshot wound, and found a person later identified as Krohn bleeding from a wound in his leg with a gun on the ground next to him.  The affidavit further alleges that Krohn told a law enforcement officer that he had shot himself. 

If convicted, Krohn faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison.  The charge against him is the result of an investigation by the Madison Police Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Corey C. Stephan is handling the prosecution.

Edgerton Man Charged with Illegally Possessing Firearm

Kyle C. Olson, also known as Kyle Charles Quade, 28, Edgerton, Wisconsin, is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.  The indictment alleges that he possessed a loaded .45 caliber handgun and ammunition on May 31, 2020.

Olson was charged with this offense in a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Madison on June 4.  Federal law requires that felony offenses charged by criminal complaint be charged by an indictment returned by a grand jury.

The affidavit accompanying the complaint alleged that at approximately 11:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 31, 2020, police officers stationed in the area of 220 West Gilman Street to respond to the civil unrest occurring in downtown Madison observed an individual later identified as Olson remove a handgun from the trunk of his car and place the handgun in his back waistband. 

If convicted, Olson faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison.  The charge against him is the result of an investigation by the Madison Police Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Corey C. Stephan is handling the prosecution.

The indictments charging Thomas, Hartwig, Krohn, and Olson, a.k.a. Quade, have been brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the U.S. Justice Department’s program to reduce violent crime.  The PSN approach emphasizes coordination between state and federal prosecutors and all levels of law enforcement to address gun crime, especially felons illegally possessing firearms and ammunition, and violent crimes and drug crimes that involve the use of firearms. 

Portage Man Charged with Child Pornography Crimes

Thomas E. Kerl, Jr., 38, Portage, Wisconsin, is charged with six counts of distributing child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography.  The indictment alleges that on four occasions in November 2019 and two occasions in January 2020, Kerl used Twitter to send a direct message containing a video or an image of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct.  The indictment also alleges that on June 3, 2020, he possessed a phone containing visual depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct, and at least one of the depictions involved a minor who had not attained 12 years of age. 

If convicted, Kerl faces a mandatory minimum penalty of five years and a maximum of 20 years in federal prison on each distribution count, and a maximum of 20 years on the possession charge.  The charges against him are the result of an investigation by the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation and the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Altman is handling the prosecution.

Two Madison Men Charged with Interstate Transportation of Stolen Goods

Carl Carter, 36, and Ahmeeshadye Curtis, 33, both of Madison, Wisconsin, are charged with conspiring to transport stolen goods in an amount in excess of $5,000 across state lines, knowing the goods had been stolen.  The indictment alleges that from November 28 to December 24, 2019, Carter and Curtis committed burglaries of stores in various states and would then transport the goods they stole across state lines, travelling from Wisconsin to Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Iowa, and Minnesota.  The indictment alleges that the conduct included two burglaries in Wisconsin on November 28, 2019, of a Sam’s Club and a U.S. Cellular store in Janesville. 

The indictment also charges Carter and Curtis with transporting stolen goods with a value of $5,000 or more from Minnesota to Wisconsin on December 17, 2019.    

If convicted, Carter and Curtis face a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison on the conspiracy charge, and a maximum of 10 years on the charge of transporting stolen goods across state lines.  The charges against them are the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Janesville Police Department, Wauwatosa Police Department, and the police departments in Creston, Iowa; Cedar Falls, Iowa; Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio; Minnetonka, Minnesota; and Woodbury, Minnesota.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Zachary J. Corey is handling the prosecution.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Health Care Fraud
Updated June 17, 2020