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Cleveland Criminal Law Blog

Ophthalmologist in Cleveland charged with Medicare fraud

Medical providers in Cleveland have been charged with Medicare and Medicaid crimes, such as false billing and charging for medically unnecessary care. In the latest incidence of a Medicare-related white collar crime, a ophthalmologist in Cleveland has been indicted on 17 counts of fraud.

The doctor was indicted by a Bolivar County grand jury after an investigation by the state's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. According to the indictment, the doctor billed Medicare for treatments that were not provided to patients. He is also alleged to have created false bills for post-operative periods during which no care was provided and to have charged for treatments that were not medically necessary. The alleged crimes occurred between July of 2011 and July of 2014.

Irate customer allegedly shoots two officers in car dealership

Most people who sell automobiles for a living have witnessed any number of angry customers, but few have seen the kind of anger that was allegedly displayed by an irate customer in a suburban Cleveland BMW dealership. What began as a dispute between a customer and sales personnel turned into a violent crime.

Personnel at the dealership noticed a person in the showroom who was speaking angrily to a salesperson. Police were summoned, and they found the angry customer. Two patrol officers spoke to the man in an attempt to calm him. During the conversation, the customer allegedly drew a handgun and opened fire. Both of the deputies suffered gunshot wounds, one in the leg and one in the abdomen. The police returned fire, and the suspect was also wounded. All three are in stable condition.

Cleveland police officer arrested and charged with drunk driving

Police officers are often expected to enforce the law by setting a good example with their own behavior. Unfortunately, even police officers can occasionally fall victim to human weakness. This unfortunate tendency was recently demonstrated when a Cleveland police officer was arrested and charged with drunk driving after he crashed his personal vehicle on Interstate-71.

The incident occurred at about 9:30 p.m. near the Ohio 176 bridge on I-71. No other vehicles were involved in the accident. The suspect suffered minor injuries that were treated at MetroHealth. Cleveland police did not release any details of the accident and requested the State Highway Patrol to investigate the case to avoid any conflict of interest charges. The officer has been charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated, failure to control his car, and failing to wear a seatbelt.

Drug dealers use human guinea pigs to test illegal drugs

Drug dealers are always looking for ways to test the strength of the illicit drugs they sell. Too strong a dose may kill a customer, and too weak a dose may not produce the desired high. Either way, the dealer may lose a customer. Cleveland police have recently reported several cases where drug dealers used customers as human guinea pigs to test the potency of their drugs. The death of at least one such used allowed police to bring drug charges against the victim's dealer and his distribution ring.

Fentanyl, a powerful opioid, is manufactured in China and smuggled into the United States. Local dealers often used baby formula power and other edible white powders to dilute increase the volume of the drug and thereby add to its street value. In order to estimate the strength of their products, dealers will give samples of the diluted drug to desperate users and watch the effect of the drug. Users who take the drugs realize the danger involved in their actions, but their addictive need for the drug overwhelms their common sense.

Attempts to avoid OUI arrests fail to mislead police

Operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol is a serious offense in Ohio. Even a first offense can lead to license revocation, a large fine and incarceration. Repeated offenses can lead to longer jail terms and larger fines. Perhaps, for these reasons, persons who fear being charged with a drunk driving offense attempt to mislead or hide from the police. Two recent arrests in Cleveland suburbs demonstrate failed efforts to evade arrest and an OVI charge.

At the beginning of September, police officers saw a car weaving over the fog line. The officers stopped the suspect's car. While the officer approached the vehicle, he states that he saw the driver attempt to change places with the passenger, so the passenger would appear to be the driver.

Driver's confusion about location leads to DUI arrest

Most Ohioans assume that tests of a person's blood alcohol content level, through either a breathalyzer or blood test, are the principal means of detecting intoxication. In reality, police use a number of other tools, including a suspect's speech, ability to answer questions and their sense of location. For example, recently, the inability of a driver to respond consistently and accurately to police questions about his route led to his arrest on a drunk driving charge.

Police noticed a Chevy Cruz that was swerving as it traveled on Ridge Road. The car also had only one working headlight.

What is money laundering?

White collar crime is a loose category comprising a variety of financial crimes, mostly taking place in the workplace. White collar crimes include embezzlement and many types of fraud, including sophisticated securities fraud. One type of fraud that has been in the news recently is money laundering. This crime is widely misunderstood.

Essentially, money laundering refers to the act of taking funds that were derived from illegal activity and transferring them through seemingly legal transactions in an effort to disguise their origin. Originally used to crack down on organized crime families, money laundering laws have also been used against illegal drug operations, terrorist networks and other entities.

Lorain County to receive federal aid to target drug dealers

Lorain County, Cleveland's neighbor to the west, has been designated by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration as a "High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area." The designation means that Lorain County can count on increased federal assistance in investigating alleged drug offenses and in bringing persons accused of drug charges to trial.

According to both local and federal drug officials, heroin, fentanyl and cocaine are expected to cause a record number of deaths from drug overdose this year. Moreover, addicts are desperate for money to buy drugs can be expected to commit more crimes, such as robbery and burglary.

What are the three standard field sobriety tests?

When a motorist in Ohio is pulled over by police on suspicion of drunk driving, he or she may be asked to perform a field sobriety test. Unfortunately, these tests can be difficult to pass, even if a driver is sober, much less when he or she is under the stress of being pulled over. It is important to know what to expect.

There are three government-standardized field sobriety tests: the one-leg stand, the walk-and-turn and the horizontal gaze nystagmus. In the one-leg stand, the motorist will stand with one foot around six inches in the air, and will then count for half a minute. If the motorist sways, hops or has trouble balancing, he or she will not pass.

Cleveland police pursuing on-line scammer

The internet has become one of the most useful and familiar features of daily life for many Clevelanders, but it has also become the tool of choice for many persons who use it to commit fraud. In fact, internet fraud has become perhaps the newest form of white collar crime. A string of complaints to the Cleveland police department's financial crimes unit illustrates, yet another use of the internet to steal money.

The callers told police the same basic story. Each of them had responded to a Facebook page offering deep discounts on toddler and baby items. Unfortunately, the person who set up the Facebook page accepted payment, but never delivered the goods.

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