From: kenneth ditkowsky
Sent: Apr 12, 2014 10:13 AM
To: “j. d.”
Cc: Jo Anne M Denison , NASGA , Tim NASGA , probate sharks
Subject: Re: Fw: WestlawNext – O’Keefe v. Schmitz
When I spoke to Bev Cooper she informed me of the history of Jerome Larkin and his relationship to certain scandals that appeared to tie him into the cabal of the nursing home operators. I’ve been calling for an honest intelligent and complete investigation of this aspect of the health care frauds as the high percentage of fraud is endangering the entire health care industry. (The normal government program is reported to be about 20% but in health care 70 % appears to be norm.)
When unholy relationships develop one of the First casualties is Freedom of Speech. I and others have been requesting that Mr. Larkin’s Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission investigate some of the worst offenders in the ‘elder cleansing’ cottage industry that is booming in Cook County. No only has he refused but he has promulgated false charges against the attorneys (me included) who have asked for an investigation.
The question that I and many others have asked is WHY? What does Larkin have to hide?
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2006
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2006
TDD (202) 514-1888
TDD (202) 514-1888
Miami Hospital Pays $15.4 Million to Resolve Fraud Case
for Kickbacks & Medically Unnecessary Treatments
WASHINGTON – Larkin Community Hospital in Miami and its current and former owners, Dr. Jack Michel, Dr. James Desnick, Morris Esformes and Philip Esformes, have paid $15.4 million to settle federal and Florida civil health care fraud claims against them, the Justice Department announced today. Additionally, 34 related companies owned by the Esformes that were used to operate nine assisted living facilities are part of the settlement along with Claudia Pace, an employee of one of the Esformes-owned companies; and Frank Palacios, a long-time employee of the hospital.
The settlement resolves the civil case entitled United States v. Jack Jacobo Michel, M.D., et al., which the government filed in 2004, alleging violations of the False Claims Act. The state of Florida joined the suit later that year.
The government alleged that in 1997, Larkin, then owned by Desnick, paid kickbacks to physicians in return for patient admissions. The United States contended that the primary recipient of the kickbacks was Jack Michel, who was paid for patient admissions to Larkin by himself and his brother, Dr. George Michel. Jack Michel purchased Larkin in 1998. In 2000, Desnick was a party to a $14 million settlement with the United States for a similar kickback scheme from 1992 to 2000 at another facility he owned, Doctors Hospital of Hyde Park in Chicago.
The United States also alleged in the Michel suit that from 1998 to 1999, Jack Michel, George Michel, Morris Esformes, Philip Esformes, Frank Palacios and Claudia Pace conspired to admit patients to Larkin for medically unnecessary treatment. The government asserted that some of these patients came from assisted living facilities owned and operated by Jack Michel, Morris Esformes and Philip Esformes.
“The Department of Justice is committed to vigorously litigating cases about conduct that undermines the integrity of the Medicare and Medicaid programs,” said Peter D. Keisler, Assistant Attorney General for the Department’s Civil Division. “We will not tolerate health care providers who pay kickbacks or perform medically unnecessary treatments on elderly beneficiaries in order to generate Medicare and Medicaid payments.”
The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and the Florida Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. The case was handled by the Justice Department’s Civil Division, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida in Miami and the Office of the Attorney General of the state of Florida.
Notice the name of the facility – LARKIN. Do you believe in coincidences? The scandal laden facility in Illinois that gained Mr. Larkin fame also had the same name according to my sources. Maybe this is the reason that when investigative reporters were unable to find the Ethics filings required of all State of Illinois employees none could be found for the people employed at the IARDC.
Ms. Phelan informed me that she called the IARDC directly and was given the ‘bums rush’ (my words). We asked the IARDC to investigate its director – you know what happened.
Due to the reports of a checkered past by Larkin, I am calling up the IARDC to immediately file all it’s ethics reports AND resumes so we can ask our investigative reporter associates to further investigate the problems we are seeing spilling over in the court rooms.
Ms. Phelan has already called the IARDC, I have filed FOIA’s or Freedom of Information Act requests for Ethics Reports and Resumes and salaries of IARDC attorneys, managers and supervisors and we have always been met so far with stonewalling and sometimes out right derision of our efforts on behalf of protecting the public, something every attorney is required to take an oath to do.
These cases are in serious need of information from the IARDC as to why it is behaving in the manner that we are finding–prosecuting honest attorneys for reporting corruption or a serious deviation from standard laws and practice and procedure. Not just with a slap on the wrist, but sanctions clearly intended to intimidate, harass and severely prejudice those attorneys and their staff and associates.
This has got to end. And if the courts and the IARDC won’t do it, the press assuredly will, but by then it will be too late and some serious consequences may be coming down, as noted above in the DOJ press release.
The sooner the mistakes are admitted and corrected, the better the damage control–anywhere, any court or organizations. Admit, correct and move on should be the motto of the courts and IARDC, but sadly, they have not learned that lesson yet.
Honesty, integrity and the reporting of any variation is the purview of every attorney, judge and honest citizen that desires to live in an open, free and just democracy.