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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Rob Riley's Performance Group LLC Faces Allegations That It Committed Medicare Fraud

Rob Riley

Birmingham attorney Rob Riley faces allegations in a federal whistleblower lawsuit that his physical-therapy company has engaged in Medicare fraud and other unlawful behavior.

That's the same Rob Riley whose father served two terms as Alabama governor, claiming all the while that he and his associates were a highly ethical bunch. That's also the same Rob Riley who represented investors claiming to be victims of health-care fraud connected to Birmingham's HealthSouth Corporation.

Riley, an avowed Republican, joined hands with Haskell Slaughters's G. Douglas Jones, a supposed Democrat, to walk away with a healthy chunk of the roughly $50 million in attorney fees that were generated in the HealthSouth case.

Is this story dripping with irony? Riley got paid for "fighting" health-care fraud at the same time he faced charges of engaging in health-care fraud, via a company called Performance Group LLC. Does it help to be the son of a white, conservative governor in a Deep South state, or what?

And that brings us to the subject of race--and this story might be dripping with more racism than it is irony. If you read The Birmingham News in its dying days as a daily newspaper, you noticed that reporter Mike Oliver fired off regular dispatches about misconduct involving a Birmingham health-care executive named Jonathan Dunning. You can check out the News' most recent piece on Dunning here, along with links to its previous installments.

We've read the entire Dunning series, and while it is filled with numerous slings and arrows, it's never clear exactly what he has done wrong. Oh, the most recent report (unless I've missed one) goes into allegations of sexual harassment, which were brought by a woman who reportedly had an extramarital affair with Dunning, producing two children. (Question: How can you sexually harass a woman who has produced two of your children? Hasn't such a relationship kind of gone beyond the sexual-harassment stage?)

But if Jonathan Dunning has broken any laws, it's hard to tell from the News' reports. Meanwhile, the federal court file on the Performance Group LLC case offers ample evidence of unlawful behavior involving Riley and his associates. (See document at the end of this post.)

So why has The Birmingham News produced a six-part series (and counting) about Jonathan Dunning's transgressions while it hasn't published a single word about Rob Riley's ties to Medicare fraud?

Did we mention that Rob Riley is white and Jonathan Dunning is black? Did we mention this is Alabama, in 2012?

What is Rob Riley doing in the physical-therapy business? Is it because the durable medical equipment business is ripe for Medicare fraud? Riley's company, Performance Group LLC, is based in Birmingham and treats patients here and at several other locations around Alabama, including Cullman and Albertville.

A Birmingham woman named Ingrid Awtrey Law filed the whistleblower complaint, called a qui tam case under the U.S. False Claims Act, after working at Spinal Rehab Associates from March 2005 to July 2006. Spinal Rehab began operating under the Performance Group name in January 2006.

The complaint states that Rob Riley is an owner and operator of Performance Group, along with Francois Michel Blaudeau, a gynecologist and lawyer who is affiliated with UAB and also is with the Homewood law firm of Riley and Jackson. Other key executives with Performance Group were David Marshall and Thomas Spurlock, a chiropractor who was affiliated with the UAB Department of Neurosurgery.

Law states that, throughout her employment, she was instructed to provide physical therapy services, even though she was not licensed to do so. She states that many of procedures and services she performed were billed to Medicare. The complaint describes a fraud scheme that involved:

* Forgery of physician signatures;

* Billing for services not rendered or not medically necessary;

* False claims for unnecessary medical equipment;

* Prohibited referrals; and

* False billings for services provided by an unlicensed therapist.

Why has Rob Riley not been held accountable for an apparent scheme to defraud the government? Why has The Birmingham News ignored the story?

And here is something curious: The Jonathan Dunning story involves allegations from a number of individuals with ties to UAB. The first installment in the series states that several UAB departments had entered into contracts with Dunning and his company, Birmingham Health Care, from 2003 to 2009, but the relationship eventually ended. The article included critical statements about Birmingham Health Care from UAB physician Stefan Kertesz.

The most recent installment in the series states that a woman named Sharon Waltz had filed a sexual-harassment lawsuit against Dunning. Waltz is a clinical psychologist who is affiliated with UAB's Department of Psychiatry.

UAB, and individuals affiliated with it, appear to be attacking a black man who heads a health-care company. Meanwhile, the university does not seem remotely concerned about a white man who heads a health-care company that reportedly has ties to Medicare fraud--and that firm has included at least two officers (Spurlock and Blaudeau) who have past or current affiliations with UAB.

What is up with that? Is a taxpayer-supported university going out of its way to attack Jonathan Dunning while happily ignoring alleged wrongdoing connected to Rob Riley? Is UAB operating with racist motives?

We will examine those questions, and more, in upcoming posts.


Ingrid Awtrey Law--Qui Tam

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is there any chance (if there ever is a trial) that the Federal court [judge] that would hear the case is not 'Bush-tainted'?

Danny Mullen

Anonymous said...

Throw The Bum in Jail.....he will most definitely vote Republican for the team who threatens to throw out medicare. Senseless. His mouth is too large; he is unattractive; add a little hair and a combover with just a touch of hairspray and you've got Bob Riley...
The orhopedics field has run amuk; every doctor is ready to give you a fake joint; it's a whore's business.

legalschnauzer said...

Danny:

I've got much more information about the judge and his actions in the case. That is to come. He is both Bush and Reagan tainted, an absolute con man at the public trough.

Anonymous said...

LS, I've been wondering when you might write about the Jonathan Dunning witch hunt in the Bham Snews. Dunning has screwed up on some things it appears, especially the bit about having two children outside of marriage, but I keep asking, "Where's the fire, where's the crime?" I had no idea about this Rob Riley business. It really infuriates me to know that he is allowed to skate quietly by, while the black guy gets crucified.

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 8:59--

Your description of Rob Riley made me LOL.

Here's the big question: Does Bob Riley really use just a touch of hairspray, or is it more than that?

Readers, what do you think? I think Bib Bob uses more than a touch of hairspray. Do we have a consensus?

Anonymous said...

Schnauzer, surely you aren't suggesting the Bham Skews is a racist news organization.

Spasmoda said...

Bob definitely uses more than a "touch" of hairspray. I go with a "dab," maybe a "double dab."

Anonymous said...

I thought Rob Riley was a lawyer. What does he know about physical therapy?

Sharon said...

Let me guess.

Rob Riley's lawyer is from Bradley Arant.

Curious George said...

I'm going with a dash. Is that more than a dab?

Anonymous said...

All the white commenters at al.com have been bashing Jonathan Dunning. I wonder if they even care about these charges against Rob Riley, their suburban knight in shining armor?

jeffrey spruill said...

The thing that gets me is the Federal Bureau of Investigation is involved with these criminals.

I mean--who's "guarding the guardians?"


How can an independent/impartial investigation be held on ANYTHING? (I truly wish I could return to that era naivete')

And one has to edit Wikipedia to establish the truth.

Wilkinson talked about his Thursday- July14,2005 interview with Bush in the New York Times[1],Wednesday-July20,2005 which could not have undermined his candidacy amongst the Bush inner circle because Judge John Roberts was chosen by Bush- Tuesday-July19,2005 at 12:35 p.m.to offer him the job (Wilkinson could not have a Senate confirmation hearing due to his FBI files.)[2]

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/21/politics/21bush.html?pagewanted=allhttp://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/21/politics/21bush.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your reporting on this, LS. This jumped off the page at me:

They had an unlicensed employee performing physical-therapy care and then charged her work to Medicare.

I'm pretty familiar with this field, and that is hideously unethical.

Spasmoda said...

Here's a bet. Mitt Romney in tonight's debate repeatedly says we have to get rid of "fraud, waste, and abuse" in government programs. Alabama Republicans, including Rob Riley, shout, "Yes! Yes!"

Think I need to puke.

Barb said...

Doesn't Rob Riley want to be governor one day? I've heard he might be thinking about 2014, unless daddy beats him to it.

Big Luther said...

Why is everybody upset with physician forgeries and phony billing? I don't see a problem here.

Anonymous said...

One of the articles on Jonathan Dunning says he has a home in Mountain Brook. I wonder if that started his problems. The Brookies don't like it when a "person of color" darkens the neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

Apple didn't fall far from the tree in Riley family. Bob's a creep, Rob's a creep. Patsy might be the biggest creep of all.

Anonymous said...

Medical industrial is a mirror reflection of the legal industrial toxic waste. It is but of course, an intentional agenda.

Afghanistan. This poor country has been destroyed, by the "modern countries," to have the drugs for controlling the earth populations.

What I just learned and did not know, though, was when the IndoChina War "Vietnam, et al" was going, the poppy fields were also going from being grown in the great dirt of Afghanistan, to of course, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, et al, and here the U.S. is again, at odds with "China."

There is already a "single payer" system and has been for as long as the "military" and "V.A." medical has been.

Drugs are big business and the system of medicare is a racket, no different than all the rackets in the U.S. since "trading stocks" was figured into the equation of human slavery modern.

The dynasties of Reagan, Bush, and other extremely criminally insane, Nixon, Clintons, et al, are not used to the internet transparency.

Interesting times the Chinese say, may we live in, that is. Obama just kicked China out of the wind farm business in the U.S. China has sued Obama for this.

There are a majority of people in American who must be curious enough to figure out how we cull the herd of their tribal legal.

The majority of people in the prisons are true victims of the racism and also the hypocrisy of what due process protects, for the retirement portfolios of the judges AND the drugs as well as the industry of "medical" .. WELL .. while the "banking" fraud was exposed the retirement portfolios of the "judges" went from "financial" to guess what! Yes, the "medical" has blossomed up everywhere in neighborhoods, just as the "housing bubble."

LS, the universities are hugely invested, in my understanding, across the nation, in the industry of "medical innovation."

Recall "financial innovations?"

Derivatives and of course worse than the greater depression thanks to Nixon, Kissinger, Reagan, Bush, Clintons, Bush, Obama, god help us should Romney bring in the rapture.

Anonymous said...

.... ". . . The Payoff is not like that. At a certain point, Kaufman suggested that the two of them start a nonprofit to continue their reform fight, but Connaughton turns him down and leaves to live a different kind of life in Georgia. He has no illusions about the power of Wall Street and the political system. It isn’t fixable within the current model. Nonprofits are outgunned, political money is too powerful, and the careerist allure Professional Democrats and Professional Republicans is overwhelming. He has no solutions, just his own witnessing of how the people who rule us think and act when we’re not in the room...

.. Connaughton is going to pay a heavy price for this book, and for his reform-minded behavior in the last three years. He told stories that you aren’t supposed to tell, gives away open secrets that should remain circulating only among insiders. He blew up his connections in the world of politics, burned all his insider bridges. I don’t quite know why he wrote this book – though the book itself is deeply pessimistic, the act of writing is in and of itself an act laden with hope
Read more at http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/10/how-professional-democrats-and-professional-republicans-ran-america-into-the-ground.html#q80zHKMTORPZ8xKa.99

Anonymous said...

Jonathan Dunning was an idiot for having an affair. His wife is hot.

Spasmoda said...

If the Birmingham News is so interested in Mr. Dunning's extramarital affair, have they tried looking into some of the affairs involving Republican politicians in Alabama, including the Rileys, Jeff Sessions, Richard Shelby?

Anonymous said...

"... On Friday U.S. District Court Judge Robert Wilkins sent the limits rule back to the CFTC two weeks before it was to take effect, saying the watchdog had no mandate to introduce it without showing it was necessary.

"... "We should continue forward and get advice from our attorneys on how to do that. When judges rule, we consider what to do, we consider whether to appeal and so forth and move forward," said Gensler, a former Goldman Sachs banker."

. . On his way to Madrid to meet the International Organization of Securities Commission (IOSCO), Gensler also said that Libor, the benchmark interest rate at the centre of a massive worldwide rate-rigging scandal, had been sufficiently damaged to require "replacement surgery".

.. "We have had in the past, in the energy markets particularly, sometimes when a benchmark has become obsolete, and then the market struggles with how to adjust."

.. This contrasts with the emphasis in a report by Martin Wheatley, a top UK regulator, last week that emphasized how Libor (London Interbank Offered Rate) should be repaired rather than replaced as this could not be done easily in the near term.

.. Gensler said there were alternatives for Libor - which is based on unsecured lending between banks, a market that has largely dried up in the wake of the 2008 crisis - but that market participants needed to decide.

.. "The critical thing is that it be based on observable transactions, sufficient so that we don't have misconduct in the setting of these rates," he said.

.. Wheatley, managing director of the Financial Services Authority, mapped out in his report how to improve governance of Libor, taking it out of the hands of lobby group the British Bankers Association, a step Gensler welcomed.

.. Wheatley and Gensler will now head an IOSCO-led task force to look for alternatives. In Madrid Gensler will attend an IOSCO meeting to sketch out a work plan for the task force, which is due to report by next March.

.. ALIGNMENT ..

... Gensler, the top derivatives regulator in the United States, is overseeing a welter of changes that will reshape the $650 trillion global industry, which generates crucial revenues for investment banks and trading firms.

.. He said there had been "tremendous progress" in harmonizing transatlantic derivatives rules, such as on the amount of safety margin trading partners have to put up in uncleared over-the-counter derivative markets.

.. "We are committed in the U.S. to have alignment with Europe and hopefully Asia," Gensler said.

.. "We said jointly ... that (a safety margin) should not be required of non-financials or end users," he said.

.. "I would hope that that would become the international consensus. For financial entities, we are considering when different types of margin should be posted."

(Editing by Will Waterman)

By Douwe Miedema and Huw Jones

GOLDMAN SACHS GROUP, INC. (GS)

www.goldmansachs666.com

**All American "stocks" are basically managed by GS, et al.

That is, "medicare" as well as "Campus Crest" are in a structure that is managed by the same criminals from top to bottom.

Jeff Connaughton lives in Georgia now. Close.

Anonymous said...

"... The psychopath suffers from "a different kind of abnormality from all those now recognised as seriously impairing competency," Cleckley wrote.

.. In contrast to other abnormalities, one does not observe "a more or less obvious alteration of reasoning processes or of some other demonstrable personality feature".

.. Instead, "The observer is confronted with a convincing mask of sanity. All the outward features of this mask are intact; it cannot be displaced or penetrated by questions directed toward deeper personality levels.

.. The examiner never hits upon the chaos sometimes found on searching beneath the outer surface of a paranoid schizophrenic.

.. The thought processes retain their normal aspect under psychiatric investigations and in technical tests."

.. Of course, the mask does slip in the real world, outside the confines of the psychiatric encounter, which is how Cleckley came to encounter them in the first place.

.. Indeed, as Cleckley described them, psychopaths tend to be wantonly destructive, so lacking in long-term purpose that they are as destructive to themselves as anyone else - or even more so.

.. Because they are incapable of feeling normal emotions, they are risk-takers who may well develop a taste for the extreme and bizarre.

.. They are manipulative, if not predatory, but most are not violent.

.. However, those who make up a disproportionate share of serial killers, the manifestation of psychopathy that has most captured the public imagination.

The mask of sanity is slipping from the GOP - Opinion - Al Jazeera English http://t.co/hT7nDRmI via @ajenglish

Paul Rosenberg is the senior editor of Random Lengths News, a bi-weekly alternative community newspaper. The mask of sanity is slipping from the GOP, Romney's not the only one in trouble, as the GOP's senate prospects have soured significantly as well, writes Rosenberg...

Anonymous said...

Isn't the Obama administration supposed to be cutting down on Medicare fraud?

TLR said...

I think I've got it figured out.

Rob Riley is against government spending--except when the government is spending for medical procedures that his company doesn't perform

Anonymous said...

In meeting with a congress representative today, and she is quite aware of what's going on, it has become very clear: first, the judicial do not want other than this "one world government."

Obviously the long in the tooth vampires get to suck the U.S. bone marrow and then the crunching of our no longer nation, one chomp.

She suggested the documentary 2016, it is definitely scary world. My prediction is: either a nuke via Israel or assassination of O.

No rule of law and no due process works for the corrupted "evildoers," and let us get real here, the "evil" is definitely in control. The Congresswoman told me that last week Ben Bernanke was very clear to the U.S. Senate, the "Fed" is private and doesn't owe the U.S. "people!"

Zero accountability. What "institution" pays the justices to live and retire?

Now there is no reason on this earth for the "justices" to say no to the Fed, regarding infinite "monies" to be tyrants like partners such as "Saudi Arabia."

AND THE TRIBE OF TAINTED, CONS AT THE PUBLIC TROUGH, CORPORATION US, AND NOT "We The People!"

The Supreme Court has spoken and Ben Bernanke, Tim Geithner, the Supremes, are the "BLOB."

As well, double dab and then a dab of spit, like Paul Wolfowitz and his "comb." /rk

Anonymous said...

"... Provoke an Attack on Iran? “Lets Bring it On… At the End of the Day… We Ought to Take ‘Em Out”

*** LS, readers, et al, Please listen to Hillary's "laughter" it chills the soul, proves the point:

"... The Obama administration does not hide the underlying intent. Washington is calling for the implementation of acts of provocation directed against Iran, so that Iran would so to speak “fire the first shot”.

.. Former Secretary of State James Baker III states quite categorically: “we ought to take ‘em out [Iran]“. Hillary Clinton retorts: “Well, we’re working hard [on that]. We’re working hard.”

.. Baker concludes: “I say if anybody’s going to do it [take 'em out], we ought to do it because we have the capability of doing it”.

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research, October 03, 2012

http://www.globalresearch.ca/provoke-an-attack-on-iran-lets-bring-it-on-at-the-end-of-the-day-we-ought-to-take-em-out/

DREAMS ARE REAL AND REALITY IS BUT A DREAM. TIME TO DREAM WHAT WE ACTUALLY CHOOSE AS A MAJORITY OF HUMANS IN EARTH.

Dear Hillary and Riley, Campus Crest, as well, other "whore's" BIZ, We The People [WTP] are not as you have decided, "dumb goyim!"

VTY, WTP.

Marlene Kerley Adams said...

Well, we know that Rob has had some colorful clients. Like father, like son. Disgusting.