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Cops, Courts & Fire - Yardley Borough

Doylestown Man Sentenced to Prison and $3 Million in Restitution for Drug Treatment Fraud

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A Doylestown man has been sentenced to 37 months in prison for conspiracy to commit health care fraud connected to operating substance abuse treatment facilities in the Philadelphia region,  U.S Attorney William M. McSwain  announced last week. 

Branden Coluccio, 37, will  pay restitution in the amount of $3,070,157, forfeiture in the amount of $110,000, and an additional $15,000 fine, scheme involving Liberation Way, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation organization with treatment centers in Yardley, Bala Cynwyd, and Fort Washington. 

United States District Judge Wendy Beetlestone presided over the sentencing hearing in Philadelphia via video teleconference. 

Investigators exposed a myriad of health care schemes committed by individuals connected to the treatment facility including that of its medical director, prosecutors say including an elaborate kick-back scheme involving thousands of medically-unnecessary urine tests which were sent to Florida-based laboratories for analysis.

Coluccio, a co-founder of Liberation Way, participated in yet another scheme by fraudulently purchasing premium insurance policies for prospective patients on their behalf, which then allowed Liberation Way to bill insurance companies for expensive “treatment” purportedly provided to these patients. Liberation Way represented that the patients were buying and paying for these policies, when in reality Liberation Way was paying the premiums, which is illegal.

11 employees of the treatment facility were arrested in 2019 for their roles in what prosecutors described as a “massive fraud scheme” in criminal complaints filed with federal and state authorities. 

Four other defendants — Dr. Dominick Braccia, Dr. Ramesh Sarvaiya, Jesse Peters, and Jason Gerner – have all pleaded guilty. The latter three have yet to be sentenced. Dr. Braccia was sentenced by Judge Beetlestone in September 2019 to a term of 37 months in prison.

The treatment facility which included “sober houses” closed its doors in April 2019.  

As made clear by today’s sentencing, my Office will not tolerate health care fraud in any form,” said U.S. Attorney McSwain. “Those who think that they can exploit our health care system and take advantage of at-risk patients are criminals and will face the consequences. Coluccio will rightly spend years in prison and pay millions of dollars as the result of his criminal conduct.”

“Branden Coluccio conspired with others in a health care fraud scheme by unlawfully purchasing premium insurance policies for prospective patients. The scheme allowed Liberation Way, an organization with several drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers, to bill insurance companies for expensive treatment allegedly provided to patients. We will continue to work with our law enforcement officers to protect the integrity of health care benefits,” stated Derek Pickle, Acting Special Agent-in-Charge, Philadelphia Region, U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Office of Personnel Management, and the Department of Labor, in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Nancy Beam Winter and Special Assistant United States Attorneys Robert Labar and Kristy Christ.

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Cops, Courts & Fire - Yardley Borough

Local Lawmakers Want to Expand DNA Sampling in Criminal Cases

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Last week a group of Bucks County Republican lawmakers with local authorities held a press conference to discuss changes they said need to be put in place regarding the collection of DNA from potential criminals.

State Senator Frank Farry state Rep. K.C. Tomlinson, Rep. Joe Hogan, Rep. Kristin Marcell, Rep Labs, joined First Assistant District Attorney Ed Louka, Bucks County Sheriff Fred Harran, Chief of Lower Southampton Police Department Ted Krimmel, and local law enforcement officials at Comic Collection, in Feasterville to discuss the importance of DNA technology in Pennsylvania’s Criminal Justice System.

Specifically legislation the legislators  are working on would expand the number of DNA samples in the criminal justice system by requiring post-arrest testing of anyone charged with a felony or certain misdemeanors.  This sample-taking would be much like the established process of taking an arrestee’s fingerprints.  Nineteen states currently collect post-arrest DNA samples.

The press conference highlighted the impressive work by the Lower Southampton Police Department in an investigation of a violent robbery at Comic Collection in September 2022, where a DNA match led to the charging of two Michigan men 18 months after the crime.

It will also in mind the importance of conviction integrity served by advanced use of DNA identification. A sample can prove the innocence of someone else who has been incorrectly accused or convicted and imprisoned for a crime when the DNA ends up matching someone.

SB988, and its companion bill HB2030, would also expand the collection of DNA samples for those offenders convicted of criminal homicide, which under Pennsylvania law are their own classification of crime and technically not classified as felonies. This legislation would close that loophole and require collection of DNA samples from these offenders to solve other cold case murders and crimes.

 

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Cops, Courts & Fire - Yardley Borough

Updated: Bucks 9-1-1 Call Center Under Cyber Attack, Investigation launched

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Updated: 7:15 am Tuesday January 23: 

In response to a request for comment Bucks County Spokesperson James O’Malley included a message sent out to police, fire and EMS chiefs, as well as local Emergency Management Coordinators, adding that the county has no further comment at this time. The message is below in its entirety in italics:

The Bucks County Department of Emergency Communications is investigating a cybersecurity incident affecting the computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system.
 
All phone systems and radio systems remain operational, and all calls for service from the public are being received and dispatched to first responders without delay. All incidents are being documented using a backup system.
 
The CAD system has been offline since Sunday afternoon, and there is currently no projected timeframe for restoration. County IT is working to assess the issue and restore CAD service. The County has engaged state and federal partner agencies to assist in our response and investigation.
 
Automated resources powered by the CAD system will be unavailable for the duration of the outage.
 
Additionally, the County’s access to CLEAN and NCIC databases has been temporarily disconnected.  
 
We are requesting that radio communication be kept to essential transmissions only. We cannot field requests for incident times and suggest that responders attempt to maintain their times as best they can.
 
Updates will be provided as more information becomes available.

 

Original Story 

The Bucks County Computer Aided Dispatch system (CAD) has been down for more than 24 hours, multiple sources told Lower Bucks Source.

Sources said the reason for the system going offline is due to a cyber attack.

An email to county officials was not immediately returned late Monday night.

The CAD system went down, sources said, late Sunday afternoon.

911 Dispatchers use CAD, a source familiar with its inner workings said, to input and broadcast specific location information on incidents. The information goes to first responders helping to facilitate the  units dispatched to a given incident.  Part of the CAD network in Bucks County is linked to License Plate Reader (LPR) system which police departments use to check on motorists, sources told LBS Monday.

Officers are now taking down information with pen and paper.

A source with knowledge of the system being down said so far there have been no major issues in terms of communications, and it’s been “relatively quiet” in terms of major incidents in the county.

But how long can this keep, the source was asked, and they couldn’t respond with a concrete answer.

What is apparent is first responder services are being held hostage by cyber attackers, two sources said, and little to no information about the downed system is out there.

Versaterm’s Computer Aided Dispatch system (vCAD) for Police, Fire & Emergency Medical Services went live approximately two years ago.

Bucks County 911 Pennsylvania now supports more than 130 independent agencies, together responding to more than 600,000 calls for services each year, including 40 individual law enforcement entities, 60 volunteer and combination fire departments, and 17 emergency medical services, as well as a number of County-based and State-based agencies, says a Versaterm press release.

According to Diamond IT,  attacks of 911 call centers have been a growing and emerging problem over the last 10 years. 911 call centers have become a symbol of rescue and hope. But since 2014, that very symbol of safety has come under attack in cities such as Baltimore, Atlanta and Seattle, says one report from the cyber security firm.

Sources did say the full weight of the Federal Government is part of the cyber attack investigation, as of early Monday morning.

The  9-1-1 operations center is based in Ivyland Borough, and handles calls for municipal police departments, fire companies, and EMS squads.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cops, Courts & Fire - Yardley Borough

Bucks County Domestic Relations Top 10 Most Wanted

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If you have, or you know someone who has, an active Domestic Relations Bench Warrant, you must call the Domestic Relations Warrant Unit at 215-348-6843.

Here is the current top 10 domestic relations most wanted

caldwell

DOB: 12/13/1979
Sex: Female
Height: 5’4″
Weight: 144 lbs.
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Blue

Last Known Address: Southampton, PA

DOYNE BW

DOB: 9/11/1981
Sex: Male
Height: 5’8″
Weight:  150 lbs
Hair: Bald
Eyes: Blue

Last Known Address: Morrisville, PA

Drago

DOB: 5/1/1996
Sex: Male
Height: 6’2″
Weight:  200 lbs
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Brown

Last Known Address: Bristol, PA

Feehan

Donald T. Feehan

DOB: 10/01/1974
Sex: Male
Height: 6’1″
Weight: 170 lbs.
Hair: Bald
Eyes: Blue

Last Known Address: Levittown, PA

Hammond

Michael Hammond

DOB: 4/26/1986
Sex: Male
Height: 5’07”
Weight: 255 lbs.
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Brown

Last Known Address: Levittown, PA

Meyer

Michael Meyer II

DOB: 7/17/1987
Sex: Male
Height: 5’09”
Weight: 145 lbs.
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Brown

Last Known Address: Levittown, PA

 

Nickum

Bryan Nickum

DOB: 7/23/74
Sex: Male
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 175 lbs.
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Brown

Last Known Address: Doylestown,

thornton

Ian T. Thornton

DOB: 4/23/1973
Sex: Male
Height: 5’9″
Weight: 180 lbs.
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Hazel

Last Known Address: New Hope, PA

Vincent Vitelli

Vincent Vitelli

DOB: 6/29/1989
Sex: Male
Height: 5’09”
Weight: 220 lbs.
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Brown

Last Known Address: Bensalem, PA

Harry P. Wallace, Jr.

DOB: 8/12/1968
Sex: Male
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 200 lbs.
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Blue

Last Known Address: Bristol, PA

If the defendant does not appear at a scheduled Domestic Relations event, a bench warrant may be issued for the defendant’s arrest.  The Bucks County Sheriffs will apprehend the defendant. Every attempt is made to notify plaintiffs when defendants are apprehended.

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