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Philips Subsidiary to Pay Over $24 Million for Alleged False Claims Caused by Respironics for Respiratory-Related Medical Equipment | OPA

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Philips RS North America LLC, formerly known as Respironics Inc., a manufacturer of durable medical equipment (DME) based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has agreed to pay over $24 million to resolve False Claims Act allegations that it misled federal health care programs by paying kickbacks to DME suppliers. The affected programs were Medicare, Medicaid and TRICARE, which is the health care program for active military and their families.

The settlement resolves allegations that Respironics caused DME suppliers to submit claims for ventilators, oxygen concentrators, CPAP and BiPAP machines, and other respiratory-related medical equipment that were false because Respironics provided illegal inducements to the DME suppliers. Respironics allegedly gave the DME suppliers physician prescribing data free of charge that could assist their marketing efforts to physicians.    

“Paying illegal remuneration to induce patient referrals undermines the integrity of our nation’s health care system,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “To ensure that the goods and services received by federal health care program patients are determined by their health care needs, rather than the financial interests of third parties, we will pursue any individual or entity that violates the prohibition on paying kickbacks, including DME manufacturers.”

“The people of South Carolina need to know that medical facts — not finances — drive their health care decisions,” said U.S. Attorney Adair F. Boroughs for the District of South Carolina. “Those who improperly use money and other things of value to induce business in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute will be held accountable.”

“Paying kickbacks to medical equipment providers is misaligned with patient care and corrupts our nation’s health care programs including TRICARE,” said Special Agent in Charge Christopher Dillard for the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), Mid-Atlantic Field Office. “Working closely with our law enforcement partners, DCIS will continue to investigate those who risk harming the welfare of our active-duty service members and seek to profit at the expense of the American taxpayer.”

“By paying kickbacks to obtain patient referrals, DME manufacturers are prioritizing financial incentives over patient needs, which undermines the integrity of federal health care programs,” said Special Agent in Charge Tamala E. Miles for the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG). “HHS-OIG will continue to work tirelessly with our law enforcement partners to prevent such waste of valuable taxpayer dollars.”

The Anti-Kickback Statute prohibits the knowing and willful payment of any remuneration to induce the referral of services or items that are paid for by a federal health care program, such as Medicare, Medicaid or TRICARE. Claims submitted to these programs in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute give rise to liability under the False Claims Act.

The settlement provides that Respironics will pay $22.62 million to the United States, and in addition, will pay $2.13 million to the various states as a result of the impact of Respironics’ conduct on their Medicaid programs, pursuant to the terms of separate settlement agreements that Respironics has, or will enter into, with those states.

In addition to the civil settlement, Respironics entered into a five-year Corporate Integrity Agreement (CIA) with HHS-OIG. The CIA requires Respironics to implement and maintain a robust compliance program that includes, among other things, review of arrangements with referral sources and monitoring of Respironics’ sales force. The CIA also requires Respironics to retain an independent monitor, selected by the OIG, to assess the effectiveness of Respironics’ compliance systems.

The settlement resolves a lawsuit originally brought by Jeremy Orling, a Respironics’ employee, under the qui tam or whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act. Under those provisions, a private party can file an action on behalf of the United States and receive a portion of any recovery. As part of this resolution, Orling will receive approximately $4.3 million of the federal settlement amount.

This settlement was the result of a coordinated effort by the Justice Department’s Civil Division, Commercial Litigation Branch, Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of South Carolina with assistance from the HHS-OIG and HHS Office of Investigations; DCIS; the Defense Health Agency Office of General Counsel; and the National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units.  

The investigation and resolution of this matter illustrates the government’s emphasis on combating health care fraud. One of the most powerful tools in this effort is the False Claims Act. Tips and complaints from all sources about potential fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement, can be reported to the Department of Health and Human Services at 800-HHS-TIPS (800-447-8477).

The matter was handled by Senior Trial Counsel Daniel A. Spiro of the Fraud Section of the Civil Division and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Beth Warren and Johanna Valenzuela District of South Carolina.

The lawsuit resolved by this settlement is captioned United States, et al., ex rel. Respiratory Care., LLC v. Respironics, Inc., et al., Case No. 2:19-cv-02913-BHH (D.S.C).  The claims resolved by the settlement are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability. 


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Shiv Sena turf News Live: Police removes section 395 from the FIR against 5 Shiv Sena people from Uddhav Thackeray faction

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Moderate rain in Hyderabad today

As per IMD, North Telangana and the central parts of the state are expected to get widespread rainfall activity in the next 24 hours.

FIR lodged against 5 Shiv Sena people; police removes section 395 from the FIR

Five people of Shiv Sena who were arrested by the police under various sections including 395 of IPC, have been given relief with the police removing section 395 from the FIR. All other sections are bailable, said Mumbai Police. Mumbai MLA Sada Sarvankar along with his son and 6 others booked by the police under sections of rioting & arms act after the MLA fired outside the police station, said Police. 30 from the Thackeray faction were earlier booked by the police in the clashes that broke out b/w the two group.

BJP’s Gaurav Bhatia on ‘irregularities’ in purchase of DTC buses

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  • Arvind Kejriwal has no right to remain in the chair of chief minister
  • How can you claim to be hardcore honest? People understood you’re hardcore corrupt
  • Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and corruption have become synonymous

Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin leaves Balmoral Castle

The coffin carrying the body of Queen Elizabeth II left her beloved Balmoral Castle on Sunday, beginning a six-hour journey to the Scottish capital of Edinburgh. The seven-car cortege carrying the oak casket — draped with the Royal Standard of Scotland — left the gates of her Scottish estate at 10:07am.

Will continue to aggressively fight inflation, says Fed Governor ahead of policy meet

US Federal Reserve Governor Christopher J. Waller said the decision at the next monetary policy meeting will be “straightforward” and the central bank will continue to aggressively fight inflation. By saying so, the central bank Governor cleared the air that another interest rate hike is imminent.

After Gurugram shows cancelled, Kunal Kamra dares VHP to denounce Godse

Days after his shows at a Gurugram bar were called off following threats by right-wing organisations, stand-up comic Kunal Kamra on Sunday wrote an open letter to the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), challenging it to condemn Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse. The comedian, who has criticised the BJP-led NDA government over a number of issues in the past, proclaimed himself as “a bigger Hindu” than the VHP as he doesn’t earn his living by fear mongering and issuing threats.

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and corruption have become synonymous

– BJP leader Gaurav Bhatia

Bihar Police Association demands action against SP Nawada for allegedly putting 5 police officials inside a lockup

Bihar Police Association demanded action against SP Nawada after he allegedly put 5 police officials inside a lockup. Police personnel across Bihar are angry with this behaviour. A probe should be done &FIR should be registered against SP, said Mrityunjay Singh, Association’s president.

Sonali Phogat Murder case update:

Khap mahapanchayat is being held in Hisar demanding a CBI inquiry into the death of Sonali Phogat. We demand a CBI investigation into the case. We have no hopes from the government now, received no assurance from them, said Yashodhara Phogat, Sonali Phogat’s daughter.

NGO in Bhopal celebrating divorce of 18 men

NGO in Bhopal organising ceremony for 18 men who were granted divorce following long-drawn legal battles after paying hefty alimony. Event being organised by Bhai Welfare Society, registered since 2014, which runs a helpline for men seeking divorce.

Municipal Corporation of Delhi to have 250 seats instead of 272

Central government has fixed total number of seats in Municipal Corporation of Delhi at 250 from the existing figure of 272. This was stated in a Delhi Gazette notification issued on Saturday.

Clash broke out between workers of the Eknath Shinde faction and Uddhav Thackeray faction

Police arrested 5 workers of Uddhav Thackeray faction after a clash broke out between workers of the Eknath Shinde faction and Uddhav Thackeray faction over a social media post, in the Dadar area. Case registered against more than 30 people, said Mumbai Police.

Sidhu Moose Wala murder case Update:

A total of 23 accused have been arrested so far. 2 accused were neutralized in an encounter and so far 35 accused nominated. Red Corner Notice has been issued against Goldy Brar through Interpol with the help of central agencies. Kapil Pandit, one of the arrested accused, said during interrogation that he along with Sachin Bishnoi & Santosh Yadav had conducted a recce in Mumbai to target Salman Khan on the instructions of Lawrence Bishnoi.

Uttarakhand CM takes stock of damage in cloudburst-hit areas

ED seizes cash amounting to Rs 17.32 Cr under PMLA in Kolkata

ED carried out search operations under the provisions of the PMLA at 6 premises in West Bengal’s Kolkata yesterday, in connection with an investigation relating to the Mobile Gaming Application. During the search, various incriminating documents have been recovered and seized, said ED. Aamir Khan, the main accused was not found and is not traceable. Cash amounting to Rs 17.32 Cr has been found and seized from the premises during the search. Further investigation is under progress.

Equity Outlook: Investors await August inflation data for fresh cues

Despite sharp volatility in financial markets globally this week, the Indian stocks managed to close the weekly trade with some gains. During the week that ended on Friday, the Indian benchmark indices rose over 1 per cent on a cumulative basis. Brokerage firm HDFC Securities attributed the gains to positive global cues, cooling crude oil prices and consistent foreign fund inflows. IT index gained the most by 3.5 per cent followed by PSU at 2.6 per cent and bank and metal up 2.4 per cent each.

Amit Shah attendes the AGM of District Cooperatives in Amreli

Union Home Minister Amit Shah attended the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of District Cooperatives in Amreli.

CRPF seizes 2.323 kg of gold during a passenger bus inspection in Assam

In a joint operation, police and CRPF seized 2.323 kg of gold during a passenger bus inspection in Karbi Anglong district last night and arrested three persons hailing from Thiubal district of Manipur.

Phase-3 study of Bharat Biotech’s intranasal COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 -18

A phase-3 study of Bharat Biotech’s intranasal COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 18 has been approved by the drug regulator.

Khap mahapanchayat is being held in Hisar demanding a CBI inquiry into the death of Sonali Phogat

US marks 21st anniversary of 9/11 terror attacks

Americans are remembering 9/11 with moments of silence, readings of victims’ names, volunteer work and other tributes 21 years after the deadliest terror attack on US soil. Victims’ relatives and dignitaries will convene Sunday at the places where hijacked jets crashed on Sept 11, 2001 – the World Trade Centre in New York, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania.

West Bengal: National flag at half-mast

National flag at half-mast at Victoria Memorial, Calcutta High Court and Raj Bhawan as India paid tribute to Britain’s late Queen Elizabeth II.

West Bengal: National flag at half-mast

Sidhu Moose Wala murder case: Deepak Mundi, Kapil Pandit, and Rajinder sent to 6-day police remand by Punjab’s Mansa Court

Deepak Mundi, Kapil Pandit, and Rajinder sent to 6-day police remand by Punjab’s Mansa Court. Nepal Police arrested Deepak Mundi, the main shooter of the Sidhu Moosewala murder case along with his two associates, Kapil Pandit and Rajinder, from the West Bengal-Nepal border. All three have been brought from Delhi and kept in the CIA police station in Mansa.

Tanishka Kabra JEE Advanced female topper

Tanishka Kabra of IIT Delhi zone who is the top ranked female with CRL 16 had also topped the International Chemistry Olympiad 2022.

Europe’s largest nuclear plant shuts down

Ukraine’s nuclear operator said final reactor at Europe’s largest nuclear plant has been shut down after power restored, reports AP.

Telangana CM KC Rao has also condoled the demise of Krishnam Raju who was undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Hyderabad.

ICG organizes a 75 km motivational cyclothon

ICG organized a 75 km motivational cyclothon to raise awareness about the International Coastal Cleanup Day which will be celebrated on 17th September.

JEE Advanced 2022 result announced; R K Shishir earns top rank

This year, R K Shishir of IIT Bombay zone is the top ranker in Common Rank List (CRL) in JEE (Advanced) 2022. He obtained 314 marks out of 360 marks. In female candidates, Tanishka Kabra of IIT Delhi zone is the top ranked female with CRL 16. She obtained 277 marks out of 360.

Result alert

JEE Advanced 2022 result announced; scorecard available at jeeadv.ac.in.

Former Union Min Uppalapati Krishnam Raju dies aged 82

Former Union Min Uppalapati Krishnam Raju dies aged 82

Nitin Gadkari condoles the veteran Telugu actor demise

Former Union Min Uppalapati Krishnam Raju passes away

Former Union Minister and veteran actor Uppalapati Krishnam Raju died in early hours of Sunday while undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Hyderabad. He was 83 and is survived by wife and three daughters. Raju was uncle of ‘Baahubali’ star Prabhas.

Amit Shah to unveil a 16-feet statue of Lord Hanuman in Somnath town

Union Home Minister Amit Shah will take part in a cooperative conference in Gujarat’s Amreli district on Sunday and unveil a 16-feet statue of Lord Hanuman in Somnath town.

12 Kg gold valued at Rs 5.38 cr seized from Mumbai Airport

Officers of Mumbai Airport Customs seized 12 Kg gold valued at Rs 5.38 Cr from a specially designed belt worn by a Sudanese passenger. Some passengers created commotion to help him escape but were overpowered. 6 pax are detained & 6 are being deported, informed Customs.

India mourns demise of Queen Elizabeth II

National flags fly at half-mast as one-day state mourning is being observed in the country as a mark of respect to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, who died on September 8. Visuals from Air Force Headquarters, Ministry of External Affairs, National Museum

India mourns demise of Queen Elizabeth II

ED stops TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee’s relative from flying abroad

TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee’s sister-in-law Maneka Gambhir was stopped by the ED at the Kolkata airport from flying abroad and was handed over summons to join investigation in a money laundering case, official sources said. Gambhir had reached the airport to take a flight to Bangkok departing around 9 PM.

UP CM suspends 15 officials for Lucknow hotel fire incident

A total of 15 officials from five government departments were suspended on the orders of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for their negligence that led to the fire tragedy that took place at a hotel in Lucknow that claimed four lives. The action will also be initiated against four retired officers for their negligence and irregularities.

J &K: President Murmu nominates BJP’s Gulam Ali to Rajya Sabha

People congratulated BJP’s Gulam Ali after being nominated to Rajya Sabha by President Murmu. “In BJP we don’t work for the position. I worked selflessly for the party & party saw my loyalty, work. I want to thank PM Modi. It’s not my win but a win for entire J&K,” he said.

Delhi LG approves proposal to forward the case 1000 low-floor buses corruption to CBI

Delhi LG has approved the proposal of the Chief Secretary to forward to CBI, a complaint received by the LG Secretariat in the matter of gross irregularities/corruption in the procurement of 1000 low-floor buses by the DTC, said LG Office.

CII estimates India in 2047 to be a 35-45 Trillion dollars economy, taking us into the league of developed nations

– Union Minister Piyush Goyal

Congress’ Bharat Jodo Yatra begins in Kerala

Congress’ Bharat Jodo Yatra begins its 19-day Kerala leg on Sunday morning from Parassala area of Thiruvananthapuram.

Two back to back explosions hit west of Kabul, 3 injured

Amid numerous occurrences of blasts in Afghanistan, two new explosions rocked western Kabul on Saturday. According to local media, the blasts occurred in the Dasht-e-Barchi neighbourhood which houses the Hazara community in Kabul.The first explosion reportedly took place at 6:45 in the evening in front of a crowded commercial market and later another bomb exploded at the Pul-e-Khushk bus stop, Khaama Press reported.

India mourns demise of Queen Elizabeth II: National flags fly at half-mast

As India observes one-day state mourning as a mark of respect to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, who passed away on September 8, the national flags at all government buildings including Red Fort and Rashtrapati Bhavan fly at half-mast on Sunday. Queen Elizabeth II, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland breathed her last in Scotland.
“As a mark of respect to the departed dignitary, the Government of India has decided that there will be one day of State Mourning on September 11th throughout India,” reads a statement from the Ministry of Home Affairs.

India issues advisory for students planning to study in China

India has issued a detailed advisory related to studying at Chinese medical schools as thousands of enrolled students continue to remain stuck at home amid the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 23,000 Indian students enrolled in various Chinese universities have been affected by the Chinese visa ban. “Embassy of India in Beijing has been receiving several queries from prospective Indian students and their parents with respect to seeking admission for undergraduate clinical medicine programme in China,” the embassy said in a statement on September 8.

World No 1 Iga Swiatek becomes first Polish woman to win US Open

Iga Swiatek on Sunday became the first Polish woman to win the US Open by defeating Ons Jabeur in straight sets at a full-capacity Arthur Ashe Stadium. This was the Pole’s second major title of 2022, having won the Roland Garros earlier in June this year. The two-time French Open winner continued her dominant run this year and brought the Tunisian player’s second straight chance of winning the US Open to a halt. Coming into the match, Swiatek was the favourite given her rich vein of form and she did not leave any stone unturned to ensure her winning juggernaut continues. The champion player defeated Ons Jabeur 6-2, 7-6(5) to clinch her first US Open.

Amit Shah in Gujarat today, to unveil Lord Hanuman’s statue in Somnath

The minister will then leave for Gir Somnath district where he will offer prayers at the Somnath Mahadev temple. Shah will also unveil a 16-feet statue of Lord Hanuman in Somnath town and inaugurate 262 shops, called as ‘Maruti Haat’, near the Arabian Sea coast in the town.

PM Modi condoles demise of renowned archaeologist Braj Basi Lal

“Shri BB Lal was an outstanding personality. His contributions to culture and archaeology are unparalleled. He will be remembered as a great intellectual who deepened our connection with our rich past. Pained by his demise. My thoughts are with his family and friends. Om Shanti” tweeted PM Modi.

King Charles proclaimed Canada’s new head of state

King Charles III was officially proclaimed Canada’s monarch in a ceremony in Ottawa. Charles automatically became king when Queen Elizabeth II died Thursday. But like the ceremony in the United Kingdom hours earlier, the accession ceremony in Canada is a key constitutional and ceremonial step in introducing the new monarch to the country.
Charles is now the head of state in Canada, which is a member of the British Commonwealth of former colonies. “Canada has enjoyed a long history and a close friendship with His Majesty King Charles III, who has visited our country many times over the years,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement on Saturday.

Strong earthquake detected in Papua New Guinea

The US Geological Survey has detected a 7.6-magnitude earthquake in northeastern Papua New Guinea. The quake hit at 6:46 am. Initial readings put the quake at a depth of some 50 to 60 kilometers (30 to 40 miles) located 67 kilometers (42 miles) east of Kainantu, a sparsely populated area. NOAA has since removed the tsunami threat for the area.

Visa, Mastercard, AmEx to start categorizing gun shop sales

Payment processor Visa Inc said it plans to start separately categorizing sales at gun shops, a major win for gun control advocates who say it will help better track suspicious surges of gun sales that could be a prelude to a mass shooting. But the decision by Visa, the world’s largest payment processor, will likely provoke the ire of gun rights advocates and gun lobbyists, who have argued that categorizing gun sales would unfairly flag an industry when most sales do not lead to mass shootings. It joins Mastercard and American Express, which also said they plan to move forward with categorizing gun shop sales.

Fiery crash of bus, fuel tanker kills at least 18 in Mexico

A fiery crash between a tanker truck carrying fuel and a passenger bus has killed at least 18 people in northern Mexico, authorities reported. Prosecutors in the northern border state of Tamaulipas said the crash on Saturday might have been caused by one of the truck’s two tank trailers coming lose. The collision left both vehicles completely burned. Police photos showed the bus was reduced to a tangle of smoking, charred metal.

CBI to probe Delhi’s AAP government for ‘irregularities’ in purchase of 1,000 low-floor buses

Delhi LG V K Saxena has approved a proposal to forward a complaint to the CBI to probe the alleged corruption in the procurement of 1,000 low-floor buses by the DTC, official sources said on Saturday. A complaint addressed to Saxena in June this year had highlighted the appointment of the Minister of Transport as the chairman of the committee for tendering and procurement of buses by DTC in a “premeditated manner”. It had also claimed that the appointment of DIMTS as bid management consultant for this tender was done with an aim to facilitate wrongdoing.

3 sharpshooters of Bishnoi-Brar gang nabbed in northwest Delhi

The Delhi Police on Saturday arrested three sharpshooters of Lawrance Bishnoi-Goldy Brar gang from near Barwala-Bawana road, officials said. The accused were identified as Naveen, 23, Manoj, 28, and Karambir, 28, all three residents of Jhajjar in Haryana, they said. The three were nabbed after police laid a trap near the Helipad on Barwala-Bawana road on Saturday around 4 pm, they said

Ukraine president says Russian forces are making ‘a good decision’ by fleeing his country’s counteroffensive

ED recovers over Rs 17 crore cash after raids on Kolkata-based gaming app operator

The Enforcement Directorate on Saturday seized Rs 17.32 crore in cash after it raided the promoters of a Kolkata-based mobile gaming app company as part of a money-laundering investigation, official sources said. The agency, the sources said, is looking at some “political links” of the app promoters and wants to ascertain the actual beneficiaries of this cash, even as it is investigating the possible routing of the funds spent by gullible gamers here through some “Chinese-controlled” entities.

Russia announces troop pullback from Ukraine’s Kharkiv area

Russia’s Defence Ministry announced on Saturday that it was pulling back troops from two areas in Ukraine’s eastern Kharkiv region where a Ukrainian counteroffensive has made significant advances in the past week. The news came after days of apparent advances by Ukraine south of Kharkiv, the country’s second-largest city, in what could become the biggest battlefield success for Ukrainian forces since they thwarted a Russian attempt to seize the capital, Kyiv, at the start of the nearly seven-month war. Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said troops would be regrouped from the Balakliya and Izyum areas to the eastern Donetsk region.




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Albany detectives hid evidence, corrupted 2000 sexual abuse case

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ALBANY — Backed by sworn statements, including one from the woman he was convicted of sexually brutalizing, an Albany man who has served two decades in prison contends city police failed to disclose a sex tape that could have exonerated him and intimidated a potential alibi witness into silence. 

Mohammed X. Poquee, 47, wants a judge to overturn his convictions for the multiday sexual abuse of the woman in a home on St. Joseph’s Terrace in Arbor Hill in late April and early May of 2000. Jurors found Poquee guilty of first-degree rape, first-degree sodomy and second-degree assault; he is serving a 32-year sentence in Great Meadow Correctional Facility in Washington County.

In a motion filed this month in Albany County Court, Poquee’s new attorney, Trevor Hannigan, highlighted evidence uncovered over the past eight months. It includes sworn statements from Poquee as well as would-be alibi witness Melissa Aiezza-Carpinello; Poquee’s former trial attorney John Wheldon; and the woman Poquee was convicted of raping and sodomizing 22 years ago.

“I believe that the defendant should be released,” his accuser says in her statement. She does not, however, say that Poquee was innocent of the attack.

In 2000, Poquee claimed he was with a woman named “Tasha” during part of the time in which his victim alleged he had been holding her hostage in her home. No woman with that name testified at his trial. The Albany County prosecutor, D.J. Rosenbaum, said she did not believe the woman existed and asked the judge for a “missing witness” charge to the jury that would have cast doubt on the defense claim.

Carpinello, a longtime Albany County public defender, states in the recent court filing that she was with Poquee on one of the nights when he was allegedly committing the crimes. The sex tape, which had been made the year before the charges against Poquee, is proof of their relationship.

Carpinello — who told the Times Union she wanted to be named in this story — said she only learned of what happened to the tape when she communicated with Poquee’s accuser in March.

In her statement included in the motion, Poquee’s accuser says she went to the police department’s South Station in May 2000 and disclosed the existence of the tape because she believed one of the women depicted on it worked as an attorney in City Court. “The police kept the videotape. I never received the tape back,” the accuser states. She then told police that Poquee had committed sexual violence against her.

Hannigan contends the tape was buried.

“Police took the tape, watched it, and never disclosed it to the defense or the defendant,” the attorney states in the motion. “The victim providing a sex tape to the police the day she accused the defendant of rape and sodomy would have been information that would have been material to the defense.”

Such evidence is known as “Brady material,” and prosecutors are required to disclose it to the defense prior to a case coming to trial.

“The defendant could not have had a credible defense without the testimony of his real other girlfriend,” Hannigan said, referring to Carpinello.

Carpinello said she could have given Poquee a “credible alibi” but was “unable to testify at his trial because I was so terrified of the Albany Police Department and their campaign against me.”

“The Albany Police Department terrorized me for years solely because they didn’t like who I dated,” Carpinello told the Times Union. “People should know what they did and it’s time for me to tell it. There are people sitting in prison that shouldn’t be there because of the misconduct of Albany police officers. I can’t stay quiet about it anymore.”

Hannigan, Poquee and Carpinello directed the blame at two city detectives: Kenneth Wilcox, who died in a car crash in 2006, and Anthony Ryan, who retired as a commander in 2013.

In yet another twist in the story, Carpinello’s statement in the filing reveals that she also had a sexual relationship with Wilcox; she claims the detective said her career would be ruined if she did not stop seeing Poquee.  

Hannigan contends Wilcox and Ryan harassed Poquee to get him to supply information about the still-unsolved murder of Okema Curtis, a government witness shot to death while playing darts in a North Swan Street bar on Jan. 2, 1999.

The two detectives “made it clear that if he failed to cooperate he would go ‘away for a long time,'” Hannigan states in the motion. “The defendant never cooperated.”

In a statement to the Times Union, Ryan said, “Since a motion has been filed in court, it would not be appropriate for me to comment on anything specific to that motion. However, I have absolutely no concerns and would gladly testify in court about all of the investigative steps that were taken to try and solve the murder of Okema Curtis.”

Poquee claims Wilcox and Ryan knew about his relationship with Carpinello, and that Wilcox grilled him about it during an interrogation and “hit me several times” while Ryan or another officer were in the room. 

But Poquee said he did not disclose his relationship with Carpinello to his own defense lawyer because Poquee knew she was being harassed by police.

Hannigan said it was unclear if police disclosed the tape to the district attorney’s office, then led by Sol Greenberg. The motion includes a 2017 Newsday article that reported Rosenbaum, the prosecutor who handled Poquee’s case, had subsequently been fired as a Nassau County prosecutor for failing to disclose Brady material.

“The tape was very significant and meaningful Brady material as it shows a motive of the complainant to falsify the allegations,” Hannigan states, referring to the tape’s revelation that Poquee had been in a relationship with Carpinello. He noted that the “entire defense was based on the fact that the complainant was jealous because of his infidelity, and she was seeking revenge by falsifying the allegations.” 

Rosenbaum declined to comment Friday when reached by the Times Union. Officer Steve Smith, a spokesman for Albany police, also declined to comment.

Darrell Camp, a spokesman for Albany County District Attorney David Soares, said: “In the interest of maintaining the integrity of legal proceedings, the Albany County district attorney’s office is currently unable to comment on the substance of the motion, as it is a pending legal matter.” 

Poquee’s trial attorney, Wheldon, said in his statement: “If (the tape) came from the victim and depicted Mr. Poquee engaged in sexual activity with another woman it would have been very important to substantiate his version of events and his defense, that the allegations were all lies coming from a ‘woman scorned’ who was seeking revenge.”

Wilcox and Ryan were at the time of Poquee’s arrest widely respected investigators. Wilcox, however, was, after his death, implicated in a mortgage fraud scandal along with his former business partner, Aaron Dare. 

The Poquee case is not the first time questions have been raised about Wilcox’s work as a detective. Two men the once-revered detective helped put away in the killing of a college student over two decades ago were exonerated and released from prison in 2016. The city of Albany last year agreed to pay $5.75 million to Carl H. Dukes, one of the two men wrongly convicted of killing Erik Mitchell in 1997. Dukes and Lavell Jones said they were coerced into confessing; another man, Jeffrey J. Conrad, told other Albany detectives that he killed Mitchell.

Jones signed his written confession following two sleep-deprived days in custody during which he was interrogated by city detectives. Dukes signed his confession in a courthouse conference room where he was grilled by two detectives while his attorney waited outside, in part, under the belief they wanted to question his client about a robbery.

In 1999, Wilcox came under scrutiny after he obtained a similar detailed murder confession from a 19-year-old Albany man accused of killing a drug dealer. The suspect, Kevin Cherry, stood trial for murder but a jury deadlocked on his innocence. On the eve of his second trial, Cherry was set free when two other men were identified as suspects after an eyewitness came forward.

Hannigan’s motion is before Rensselaer County Judge Debra Young, who is handling the matter due to the obvious conflicts in Albany. 

Poquee’s initial appeal was unsuccessful, as were his efforts to represent himself when he claimed that Wheldon was ineffective because he did not try to argue that Poquee had not been competent to stand trial. In 2018, Poquee argued that his trial attorney failed to inform him of a plea bargain he contends he would have accepted.

State Supreme Court Justice Peter Lynch denied the motion after a hearing.

 


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Justice Department to Open Civil Rights Investigation Into Louisiana State Police After Ronald Greene Death

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As evidence grows that Louisiana State Police have failed to adequately respond to beatings of mainly Black men, the U.S. Justice Department will launch a civil rights probe into the entire agency, officials told The Associated Press. The “pattern-or-practice” investigation will include the fatal 2019 arrest of Ronald Greene, who troopers initially claimed died in a car crash. It wasn’t until the AP obtained body-cam footage and other unreleased records that it became clear Greene died after he was brutally beaten, Tased and dragged along a roadside by troopers. An AP investigation found that Greene’s death was not an isolated incident, but rather one of multiple cases in which Louisiana troopers or their bosses “ignored or concealed evidence of beatings, deflected blame and impeded efforts to root out misconduct.” AP also found that troopers would often turn off or mute body-worn cameras. Current and former troopers allege that the beatings were permitted in part due to racism in the department.

Read it at Associated Press


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