Florida Nursing Home To Pay $17M After Allegedly Using Medicare Money For Doctors’ Kickbacks

Florida Nursing Home To Pay $17M After Allegedly Using Medicare Money For Doctors’ Kickbacks

When a nursing home receives Medicare funds, it’s supposed to use that money for patient care, and it’s actually a felony offense under the Medicare and Medicaid Patient Protection Act to use that money to pay kickbacks to physicians for referring patients. In a record settlement for this sort of case, a the operator of a network of Florida nursing homes will pay $17 million to close the books on allegations it ran this sort of kickback scheme for seven years. [More]

Judge Says USA FREEDOM Act May Scuttle Twitter’s Transparency Lawsuit

Judge Says USA FREEDOM Act May Scuttle Twitter’s Transparency Lawsuit

Last October, Twitter sued the Justice Department, the U.S. Attorney General, the FBI, and FBI Director James Comey, because the social media platform believed it has a First Amendment right to be fully transparent with its users about the number and nature of national security requests it receives from the government. But with the recent passing of the USA FREEDOM Act, the judge in the case says there may be no need for the lawsuit to move forward. [More]

(jayRaz)

Tech Industry Asks President To Please Not Weaken Encryption

While U.S. lawmakers recently passed legislation that would end certain types of invasive snooping by federal agencies, the Justice Dept. continues to push electronics manufacturers for backdoors that would allow law enforcement to access encrypted devices. A pair of trade groups representing a wide variety of electronics and online businesses have written President Obama asking him to consider the “global implications” of these efforts. [More]

(Jerry)

ConAgra To Pay $11M, Plead Guilty To Criminal Charge In Peter Pan Peanut Butter Salmonella Outbreak

Back in 2006 and 2007, ConAgra shipped out batches of Peter Pan peanut butter tainted with salmonella, sickening more than 700 people in nearly every state. Today, the company has agreed to enter a guilty plea to criminal charges associated with the outbreak and to pay $11.2 million. [More]

Anatomy Of A Comcastrophe: A Look Back At How Comcast Failed To Buy Time Warner Cable For $45B

Anatomy Of A Comcastrophe: A Look Back At How Comcast Failed To Buy Time Warner Cable For $45B

We were skeptical from the start, but obviously someone at Comcast believed that the company would eventually be allowed to acquire Time Warner Cable for the massive sum of $45 billion. Yet this morning the nation’s largest pay-TV and Internet provider walked away from the mega-merger that would have given it unprecedented market share in both of these industries and control over cable and broadband service for the two largest cities in the U.S. So how did we get here? [More]

DOJ Sues Quicken Loans Over Improperly Underwritten Mortgages

DOJ Sues Quicken Loans Over Improperly Underwritten Mortgages

If you thought that we were done with lawsuits related to the mortgage meltdown, think again. The U.S. Dept. of Justice is suing Quicken Loans, alleging that the lender improperly underwrote hundreds of FHA-insured home loans before and during the housing market crash, resulting in substantial losses for the federal government. [More]

Possible FCC Hearing Could Signal End Of Comcast, Time Warner Cable Merger

Possible FCC Hearing Could Signal End Of Comcast, Time Warner Cable Merger

While it’s already been reported that antitrust lawyers at the Dept. of Justice are leaning toward moving to block the $45 billion merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable, staffers at the FCC — the other regulatory body reviewing the merger — are recommending a move that could signal opposition to the deal from both agencies. [More]

(Dusko Tasic)

Privacy Advocates Sue DOJ For Info About Planes Used To Snoop On Cellphones

Last November, a Wall Street Journal report pulled back the covers on a U.S. Marshals Service program that uses small planes carrying devices that mimic cellphone towers, allowing them to track criminals but also scoop up information from countless other phones of citizens not involved in any crimes. After months of trying to get more details on the program, one consumer privacy advocacy group has sued the Dept. of Justice hoping to compel the release of this information. [More]

Feds Try To Have Most Of Twitter’s Transparency Lawsuit Dismissed

Feds Try To Have Most Of Twitter’s Transparency Lawsuit Dismissed

Last October, in response to efforts by the federal government to limit what websites can reveal about national security requests regarding its users, Twitter sued the Justice Dept., U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, the FBI and its Director James Comey. The DOJ fired back with a recent filing asking the court to dismiss most of the complaint, saying that federal guidelines do not restrict Twitter’s First Amendment rights. [More]

Apple’s Appeal Of E-Book Price-Fixing Verdict May Hinge On Court’s View Of Amazon

Apple’s Appeal Of E-Book Price-Fixing Verdict May Hinge On Court’s View Of Amazon

While all of its alleged co-conspirators have settled and begun the process of atoning for the price-fixing sins they have not legally admitted to committing, and even though it was found guilty of its part in the arrangement in 2013, Apple is still fighting to clear its name. Today, the electronics company once again squared off against federal prosecutors, trying to make the claim that Apple was actually trying to help break up Amazon’s monopoly on e-book pricing. [More]

Twitter Sues Justice Dept., Says It Has First Amendment Right To Transparency

(Tom Raftery)

While Twitter is a platform through which millions of users can instantly share and access real-time information about everything from anti-government protests in Hong Kong to who won the Head of Household challenge on Big Brother, the company itself can say very little about the ways in which federal authorities use Twitter for surveillance; it can’t even reveal if there have been no national security requests. In an effort to poke a hole in that steel curtain, Twitter has sued the Justice Dept., U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, the FBI and its Director James Comey. [More]

Lawmakers: Phone Calls On Planes Are Unsafe Because People Will Have Fights

Lawmakers: Phone Calls On Planes Are Unsafe Because People Will Have Fights

Flying is painful enough as it is. Between arduous lines at security and ever-shrinking legroom, passengers are already plenty on-edge. Adding cell phone chatter to an already-tense high-altitude situation could be a recipe for disaster, and 77 members of Congress agree. [More]

DOJ Finally Confirms Record-Setting $16.65B Settlement With Bank Of America

(Adam Fagen)

More than two weeks after it was first reported that the Justice Dept. and Bank of America were coming to terms on a record-setting deal worth nearly $17 billion, the two parties have finally confirmed the details of a settlement that will resolve multiple federal and state claims involving the bank’s bad behavior in the lead-up to the collapse of the housing market. [More]

(Michael Daddino)

Bank Of America Settlement Could Be Worth As Much As $17 Billion

Earlier this summer, when it looked like Bank of America and the Justice Dept. were reported to be on the brink of a settlement that would close the books on multiple cases involving the bank’s mishandling of toxic home loans in the run-up to the collapse of the housing market, it looked like BofA would be on the hook for around $12 billion. But now comes news that the deal could hit the bank for anywhere from $16-17 billion. [More]

Citi To Pay $7B To Settle Mortgage Investigation; Includes $2.5B In Consumer Relief

Citi To Pay $7B To Settle Mortgage Investigation; Includes $2.5B In Consumer Relief

Nearly a week after it was first reported that Citigroup and the U.S. Justice Dept. had reached a deal to close the government’s investigation into toxic mortgage-backed securities sold by the bank in the years leading up to the crash of the housing market, Citi has now confirmed a settlement valued at a total of $7 billion. [More]

Citi Reportedly Ready To Pay $7 Billion For Selling Shoddy Mortgages

Citi Reportedly Ready To Pay $7 Billion For Selling Shoddy Mortgages

A half-decade on from the collapse of the housing bubble, it looks like the Justice Dept. and Citigroup may have finally reached a deal that will have the bank forking over several billion dollars to close the book on allegations that it sold off a large number of worthless mortgages in the lead-up to the 2008 crash. [More]

$18 Million WIC And Food Stamps Fraud Scheme Used Pretend Grocery Stores

$18 Million WIC And Food Stamps Fraud Scheme Used Pretend Grocery Stores

WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) and SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program) are both federally-funded, state-administered programs with the simple goal of preventing Americans from going hungry. In Georgia, 54 people have been indicted for setting up pretend grocery stores that defrauded the programs of millions of dollars. [More]

Bank Of America May Pay At Least Another $12 Billion For Mortgage-Related Hijinks

Bank Of America May Pay At Least Another $12 Billion For Mortgage-Related Hijinks

Bank of America has already agreed to mortgage meltdown-related settlements totaling more than $50 billion, so what’s another dozen or so billion dollars heaped on top of that pile? That’s the latest figure being thrown about in the seemingly never-ending series of complaints and settlements tied to the bank’s bad behavior in the home loan business. [More]