The owner of two home health care companies pleaded guilty to Medicare fraud and tax fraud charges in connection with his role in a scheme to fraudulently bill Medicare for $12.6 million in home health services that were not provided or were obtained through illegal kickbacks. Ten other individuals have been convicted at trial or pleaded guilty in this case.

Mohammed Sadiq, 67, of Oakland County, Michigan, plead guilty before U.S. District Judge Denise Page Hood of the Eastern District of Michigan to one count of health care fraud and one count of filing a false tax return. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for June 18, 2015.

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The former chief financial officer of Alotech Ltd. was sentenced to nearly four years in prison and ordered to repay more than $1.2 million that he took from his former employer.

John H.C. Black, 56, of Cleveland Heights, was sentenced to 46 months in prison after previously pleading guilty to one count of wire fraud.

Black spent some of the stolen money on cars and purchases at Louis Vuitton, Sak’s Fifth Avenue, Victoria’s Secret, Neiman Marcus and other stores for women that Black met on the website: http://www.seekingarrangements.com, according to the court documents.

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NEW ORLEANS—A 26-count indictment has been returned against twenty individuals and one corporation, charging approximately $30,052,295 in Medicare fraud.

Specifically, Lisa A. Crinel, age 51; Wilneisha Harrison Jakes, age 28; Henry Evans, age 70; Threasa Adderley, age 63; Michael Jones, age 45; Paula Jones, age 44; Shelton Barnes, age 61; Cary Payton, age 60; Evelyn Odoms, age 63; Shelia Mathieu, age 46; Suprenia Washington, age 58; Erica Edwards, age 30; Zellisha DeJean, age 36; Caren Battaglia, age 48; Shelia Hopkins, age 62; Verinese Sutton, age 62, all of New Orleans; Jonathon Nora, age 27, of River Ridge; Eleshia Williams, age 44, of Harvey; and PCAH, INC. a/k/a Priority Care at Home, INC. (PCAH) d/b/a Abide Home Care Services, Inc., a Louisiana corporation, were indicted for conspiracy to commit health care fraud, conspiracy to defraud the United States and to receive and pay health care kickbacks, and health care fraud. Clara Aitch, age 39, of New Orleans, and Wendy Ervin, age 41, of Laplace, were indicted for conspiracy to commit wire fraud along with Crinel and Jakes. Crinel is also charged with wire fraud.

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Governor Charlie Baker has announced that the statewide travel ban has been lifted for Berkshire, Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden Counties for local and I-91 traffic only, effective immediately. The travel ban remains in effect for the entire length of the Massachusetts Turnpike, Interstate 90, and for Barnstable, Bristol, Dukes, Essex, Middlesex, Nantucket, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk, and Worcester Counties with only essential workers, healthcare and human service professionals and others specifically exempted, permitted to travel. The travel ban will be lifted based on road conditions and the advice of emergency response officials.

Governor Baker has signed an Executive Order allowing for the enforcement of a statewide travel ban effective at midnight. The following exceptions shall exist for the ban and all drivers are encouraged to remain safe and use their best judgment:

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Governor Baker announced a statewide travel ban effective at midnight on Monday 1/26. As of 12PM (noon) on Tuesday, 1/27, the travel ban has been lifted for Berkshire, Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden Counties. The travel ban remains in effect for the entire length of the Massachusetts Turnpike (Interstate 90). For details and exceptions, see: http://1.usa.gov/1EMQtzl. We will post when the remaining areas of the Travel Ban are rescinded.

Massachusetts is experiencing a severe and potentially historic storm, complete with snow measured in feet, damaging winds, and serious coastal flooding. A corridor of heavy, wet snow is expected in southeast MA (east of I-95) where temperatures will near 32 degrees, making for heavy wet snow. Elsewhere, colder temperatures (teens and 20’s) will make for fluffier snow. Snowfall totals are expected to reach over 20 inches across much of the Commonwealth, with pockets of 30+ inches possible. The Cape and Martha’s Vineyard will see 12+ inches.

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By Eric Durr

Soldiers, with the 642nd Aviation Support Battalion, New York Army National Guard, arrive at the Cheektowaga Fire Training Center in Cheektowaga, N.Y., Nov. 19, 2014, in support of Operation Lake Effect. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo directed the mobilization of more than 240 National Guard Soldiers and Airmen from area units to assist local authorities with snow removal and traffic control as regions of western New York received more than six feet of snowfall in just 72 hours, Jan. 26.

LATHAM, N.Y. -- As blizzard warnings were being issued for the Northeast, the New York National Guard put 260 Soldiers and Airmen on duty to assist in New York's response to the storm, Jan. 26.

Army and Air National Guard units on Long Island, in New York City, and in the Hudson Valley were ordered to mobilize their initial response forces. Meanwhile the 204th Engineer Battalion -- headquartered in Binghamton with elements in the Hudson Valley and New York's Southern Tier counties -- was directed to send snow-moving equipment and personnel to Long island.

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