In brief: Hundreds arrested in health fraud busts
Washington – A federal strike force charged 91 doctors, nurses and other licensed medical professionals across the country in connection with phony bills totaling nearly $430 million – the latest in a series of busts by the Obama administration to attack rising government losses to health care fraud.
Since May 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force under the Department of Justice and Department of Health and Human Services has conducted a series of sweeps and arrested more than 1,480 defendants on suspicion of more than $4.8 billion in health care fraud.
Cities targeted for arrests in the last two days were Los Angeles, Miami, Dallas, Houston, Brooklyn and Baton Rouge, La.
In all, the new indictments include more than $230 million in alleged home health care fraud and more than $100 million in alleged community health care schemes.
Archbishop installed, mentions DUI arrest
San Francisco – Amid heavy security and the splendor of his faith’s most sacred rites, the new Roman Catholic archbishop of San Francisco assumed office Thursday without referring to the distress his appointment has aroused in this gay-friendly city, but offering self-deprecating remarks about his recent drunken driving arrest.
Archbishop Salvatore Joseph Cordileone told an audience of more than 2,000 invited guests at his installation Mass that he was grateful for the messages of support he had received from people of different religious and political viewpoints following the Aug. 25 arrest in his hometown of San Diego.
“I know in my life God has always had a way of putting me in my place. I would say, though, that in the latest episode of my life God has outdone himself,” Cordileone said with a chuckle as he delivered his first homily as archbishop.
Cordileone, 56, had been scheduled to appear in court on the misdemeanor charge next Tuesday. Court records show he pleaded guilty on Monday to a reduced charge of reckless driving, an option frequently given to first-time DUI offenders. U-T San Diego reports the San Diego native was fined and placed on three years’ probation.
Lone wolf to get protection in California
California’s only known wild wolf – who divides his time between southern Oregon and Northern California counties – will receive special protection the next time he meanders into the state.
California’s Fish and Game Commission this week approved a petition asking it to study listing the 2 1/2-year-old gray wolf – known to scientists as OR7 – under the state’s endangered species act. The decision affords immediate protection for the wolf while the yearlong review is undertaken.