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Summary of recent cases brought by the US Attorney in Northern District of Illinois: July 20, 2022

A pair of old doctors committing fraud, a pair of young carjackers, a violent gang-member sentenced to decades behind bars, and a Department of Agriculture Investigator charged with civil rights violations.
Summary of recent cases brought by the US Attorney in Northern District of Illinois: July 20, 2022
Dirksen Federal Building in Chicago.

Suburban Chicago Doctor Charged with Health Care Fraud in Connection with Alleged False Claims to Medicare and Private Insurer

July 12, 2022

A suburban Chicago doctor who specialized in removing moles to screen for cancer was charged in federal court with submitting fraudulent claims for reimbursement to Medicare and a private insurer.

JOHN A. GREAGER II owned and operated Cancer Therapy Associates S.C., in Lombard, Ill. Authorities alleged that from 2015 to 2021, Greager fraudulently obtained approximately $4.1 million from Medicare and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois by submitting fraudulent claims that falsely represented that certain health care services, including mole removal procedures, had been provided to patients, according to a criminal information filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago. Greager knew that those services were not provided as represented on the claims and, at times, were medically unnecessary, the information states.

The information also alleges that Greager removed more moles from patients than was medically necessary, and then dictated notes and provided paperwork to employees to submit fraudulent claims for reimbursement for those medical procedures.

The information charges Greager, 74, of Hinsdale, Ill., with one count of health care fraud. Arraignment in federal court has not yet been scheduled.

Health care fraud is punishable by a maximum sentence of ten years in federal prison. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.

Member of Violent Chicago Street Gang Sentenced to 35 Years in Federal Prison for Racketeering Conspiracy

July 12, 2022

A member of a violent Chicago street gang has been sentenced to more than 35 years in federal prison for engaging in a pattern of racketeering activity that included multiple murders, armed robberies, drug trafficking, and extortion.

TREMAYNE THOMPSON, 38, of Chicago, pleaded guilty last year to a racketeering conspiracy charge. Thompson admitted in a plea agreement that he conspired with leadership of the Four Corner Hustlers street gang to engage in a pattern of racketeering activity that included using violence and intimidation to protect the gang’s drug dealing activities, primarily on the West Side of Chicago. Thompson admitted participating in the April 2003 murders of George King and Willie Woods. Thompson stated in his plea agreement that he shot the victims after receiving instructions to do so from a leader of the Four Corner Hustlers. In addition to the murders, Thompson sold heroin and crack cocaine and committed multiple armed robberies to further the gang’s interests.

Thompson was indicted on the racketeering charge in 2017 along with eight other alleged members of the Four Corner Hustlers and two additional defendants. Seven co-defendants pleaded guilty and one went to trial and was convicted. Thompson is the fourth defendant to be sentenced.

U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Durkin imposed the 427-month prison sentence after a hearing on July 6, 2022, in federal court in Chicago.

Former Illinois Department of Agriculture Investigator Charged with Federal Civil Rights Violations for Allegedly Grabbing and Groping Multiple Individuals While on Duty

July 13, 2022

A former investigator for the Illinois Department of Agriculture has been charged with federal civil rights violations for allegedly grabbing and groping several operators of animal care facilities while on duty.

An indictment unsealed in U.S. District Court in Chicago charges JOSE GUILLEN, 41, of Melrose Park, Ill., with four counts of deprivation of civil rights under color of law and one count of obstruction of justice. Guillen pleaded not guilty to the charges at his arraignment in federal court. A status hearing was scheduled for Aug. 10, 2022, at 9:00 a.m., before U.S. District Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow.

Guillen worked for the Illinois Department of Agriculture as an animal and animal products investigator, conducting on-site inspections of animal care facilities in Cook County, Ill., to ensure compliance with state laws. In his official capacity as an investigator, Guillen had the power to influence whether an animal care facility received a license to operate and could continue in operation after receiving the license. The indictment accuses Guillen of grabbing and groping the victims in 2019, 2020, and 2021 while Guillen was on duty and acting under color of law as a state employee.

The obstruction charge accuses Guillen of knowingly providing false testimony during a deposition last year in a federal civil lawsuit filed by one of the alleged victims. The charge states that Guillen falsely testified under oath that he had accidentally touched the victim’s buttocks during the course of an on-site inspection at an animal care facility, and that he falsely denied touching other alleged victims.

The obstruction count is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison, while each count of deprivation of civil rights is punishable by up to one year.

Federal Health Care Fraud Charge Filed against Suburban Chicago Physician

July 15, 2022

A suburban Chicago physician prescribed opioids to patients without a medical examination or visit and then fraudulently billed Medicare for the nonexistent treatment, according to a criminal charge filed in federal court.

ELIZA DIACONESCU, 73, of Lake Forest, Ill., is charged with one count of health care fraud. The charge is punishable by a maximum sentence of ten years in federal prison.

A criminal information filed last week in federal court alleges that from 2016 to 2021, Diaconescu pre-signed blank prescriptions for hydrocodone, oxycodone, and fentanyl for patients of her pain clinic in Gurnee, Ill., so that the prescriptions could be provided to the patients when she was not at the clinic. The patients picked up the pre-signed prescriptions for the opioids from other workers at the clinic without having a contemporaneous examination with Diaconescu, the information states.

Diaconescu then knowingly submitted false claims seeking reimbursement from Medicare for the purported visits, knowing that such visits did not occur. Diaconescu and others at the clinic created false paperwork indicating that Diaconescu had face-to-face exams with patients when, in fact, the patients had come only to pick up the pre-signed prescriptions and had not visited with Diaconescu, the charge alleges.

Chicago Man Charged in Federal Court with Carjacking Rideshare Driver

July 18, 2022

A federal grand jury has indicted a man on carjacking and firearm charges for allegedly carjacking a rideshare driver’s vehicle at gunpoint in downtown Chicago.

This report at CWBChicago has additional details on this incident: Feds charge man with carjacking Lyft driver in the Loop while using the pseudonym ‘Moneybagg Uzi’

NOAH RANSOM, 18, of Chicago, stole a Lexus RX350 from a Lyft driver on April 9, 2022, according to an indictment and search warrant unsealed in U.S. District Court in Chicago. The Lyft driver picked up Ransom and four other men at a downtown Chicago hotel around 4:00 a.m., and shortly thereafter Ransom pointed a gun at the driver and ordered him to stop the car and get out, the search warrant states. The victim complied and Ransom allegedly drove off with the other men in the victim’s car. About 90 minutes later, Illinois State Police identified the vehicle on the South Side of Chicago and ordered it to stop, but the car fled, the search warrant states. After a 25-minute chase, ISP forced the vehicle to a stop in the city’s West Loop neighborhood, arrested Ransom and the others after a foot chase, and discovered a handgun, the search warrant states.

The indictment charges Ransom with carjacking and using, carrying, and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence. The carjacking count is punishable by up to 15 years in federal prison. The firearm count carries a minimum prison term of seven years and a maximum of life, which must be served consecutively to the sentence imposed for the underlying carjacking offense.

Ransom was arrested last Friday. A detention hearing is set for Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge M. David Weisman.

Chicago Carjacker Sentenced to More than 12 Years in Federal Prison

July 18, 2022

A man was sentenced today to more than 12 years in federal prison for stealing a vehicle at gunpoint in Chicago and striking a bicyclist while fleeing from police.

Similarly, this report at CWBChicago has additional details on this incident: Man gets 12 year federal sentence for armed carjacking, crashing into Divvy biker

On the afternoon of May 27, 2020, ELIAS QUINONES-FIGUEROA forcibly took a Chevrolet Tahoe sport-utility vehicle from a victim who was cleaning the car in the Noble Square neighborhood of Chicago. Quinones-Figueroa brandished a handgun and drove off in the vehicle after the victim complied with demands to give up the car. Nearly three hours later, Quinones-Figueroa was driving the carjacked Tahoe when he noticed a Chicago Police vehicle and drove off in the opposite direction at a high rate of speed. Quinones-Figueroa drove through multiple stop signs and a red light before striking the bicyclist and crashing into a parked car in the city’s West Town neighborhood.

Quinones-Figueroa, 21, of Chicago, pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count of carjacking and one count of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence. U.S. District Judge Virginia M. Kendall sentenced Quinones-Figueroa to seven years for the firearm offense, to be followed by five years and seven months for the carjacking, for a total prison sentence of 12 years and seven months. Judge Kendall also ordered Quinones-Figueroa to pay $5,000 in compensation to the injured bicyclist and $1,000 in compensation to the victim of the carjacking.

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