Bonafide proof of the adage: Every day for the thief; one man for the Master of house.
Another reason why we as Nigerians should never 'measure' ourselves by ANYONE ELSE'S standards. I'm sure some of these people were luxuriating in their little tax-free money on the side and the main ring-leaders were 'ballin' outta control'.
Today, I wonder just how 'big ballers' they feel like?
I'll advise my fellow diasporans: If you can't stand the 'heat' in the diaspora - get out of the kitchen. More importantly, make your contributions to your Nation of origin so that YOU TOO can return home and live a decent life without resorting to CRIMINAL means!
I have absolutely NO PITY for a single one of them! They should rot in jail and then be deported where they should be jailed again in Nigeria for giving hard-working Nigerians an unfortunate, collective, black-eye!
Crackdown on Medicaid Fraud in Houston
Baltimore Sun, The (KRT) via NewsEdge Corporation
October 11, 2006.
Online Pill Sales Lead to Arrests:
Baltimore pharmacy accused of selling Vicodin without valid prescriptions
Baltimore, Oct. 11--Before federal agents arrested its owners yesterday, Baltimore's Newcare pharmacy appeared to be a phenomenal success.The prescription drug distributor ordered 4,200 doses of the painkiller hydrocodone in 2003. In 2004, the orders bumped up slightly, prosecutors said in federal court.
Suddenly, sales skyrocketed into the millions. And this year, authorities said, the Northeast Baltimore company had already bought 4.8 million doses of the drug, commonly known as Vicodin. But according to prosecutors, the amazing performance concealed a lucrative cybercrime: The company sold more than $20 million worth of the painkiller to Internet customers without legitimate prescriptions.
Federal drug agents fanned across the region early yesterday, charging Newcare's owners, seizing their expansive suburban homes in Harford County, locking up their luxury cars and shutting down their multiple bank accounts.
Carl J. Kotowski, assistant special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration's Baltimore office, said the operation at Newcare sparked the largest federal pharmaceutical drug investigation in the state's history.
"It's not like [they had] to go out onto the street," Kotowski said of Newcare's customers. "Everything is very discreet. You just go online. It's no different than buying a book on Amazon."
Like Quaaludes and Valium in the 1970s, Vicodin's illicit use has been treated recently by playwrights, novelists and screenwriters as a less dangerous, and more socially acceptable, way for characters to relieve life's pressures without resorting to heroin or cocaine.
On the Fox television show House, the irritable but brilliant Dr. Gregory House has suffered from chronic pain and battled an addiction to Vicodin.
But the increasing problem of illegal sales of prescription drugs online has also worried drug enforcement agents and anti-drug abuse advocates alike.
DEA Administrator Karen P. Tandy told Congress in April that her agency had initiated 100 new Internet investigations involving the online sales of prescription drugs during the last fiscal year, arresting 62 people and seizing $44 million in cash, property, computers and bank account assets.
In the DEA's Operation Cyberchase, agents targeted about 200 Web sites alleged to have illegally sold prescription drugs and arrested 25 people in the United States, Asia, Europe, and the Caribbean.
Some advocates for more regulation said not enough has been done.
For the third year in a row, the number of Web sites selling controlled prescription drugs such as OxyContin, Vicodin, Xanax, Valium and Ritalin has increased, according to a June report released by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University.
The report found that 89 percent of those Web sites selling controlled prescription drugs do not require prescriptions. Of those sites not requiring prescriptions, 30 percent advertised that no prescription was needed, 60 percent offered "online consultations" and 10 percent made no mention of a prescription.
"Any child can get, without a prescription, highly addictive controlled substances like OxyContin, Valium and Ritalin from Internet drug pushers," CASA Chairman Joseph A. Califano Jr., a former U.S. health secretary, said at the time. "The trend of teen 'pharming parties' will continue to increase as long as these drugs are so easy to obtain."
Califano's organization is calling for tighter federal laws to prohibit Internet sale or purchase of these drugs without original prescriptions based on a physician's examination. CASA also wants Internet search engines, financial institutions and shipping companies to help establish a national clearinghouse to catch rogue Internet pharmacies.
Now shuttered, Newcare is in the 3400 block of Sinclair Lane at a busy industrial intersection across from an auto parts store and flanked by a medical office and a heating-cooling business.
Yesterday, its owners -- pharmacists Steven Abiodun Sodipo, 50, of Forest Hill and Callixtus Onigbo Nwaehiri, 48, of Jarrettsville -- made an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Baltimore on drug and money-laundering conspiracy charges.
According to state records, Sodipo has been a licensed pharmacist in Maryland since 1988 and Nwaehiri since 1986.
They were joined in the indictment, which was unsealed yesterday, by Ahmed Alhaji Abdulrazaaq, 48, of Forest Hill. Federal authorities described Abdulrazaaq as one of two people who assisted with the illegal financial transactions.
Sodipo, Nwaehiri and Abdulrazaaq were held in custody until a detention hearing scheduled for tomorrow.
A fourth defendant, Nannette C. Patterson, 48, of Baltimore, is expected to turn herself in to authorities today.
Outside Newcare, DEA agents worked into the evening yesterday near a U-Haul truck and about 10 cars parked at the rear of the light-brown, one-story brick building. Blinds on the building's windows were closed, and the double-door entrance was locked.
More than 308,000 hydrocodone tablets were confiscated from Newcare with a estimated street value of $1.5 million, law enforcement officials said. The pharmacy, which was not opened to walk-in retail customers, was the top buyer of hydrocodone in the state, according to the DEA.
Also yesterday, federal agents in New Orleans shut down an Internet pharmacy they allege bought and sold millions of doses of hydrocodone last year. DEA officials in Baltimore said they could not comment on whether the two investigations are connected.
Prosecutors in Baltimore moved yesterday to seize assets equal to $20 million in illegal drugs sales they say were sold at a 300 percent markup since 2005.
As part of the forfeiture, they targeted 18 bank accounts; 10 vehicles, including a Jaguar, Lexus and Mercedes-Benz; and five properties -- three in Baltimore and two in Harford County. Kotowski described the pharmacists' suburban homes -- one is more than 8,000 square feet and the other almost 6,000 square feet -- as plush.
"When I worked in Miami, I saw some wild places. But this one was up there," he said of Sodipo's eight-bedroom house on Nora Court.
Hydrocodone, the drug at the center of the joint local and federal investigation of Newcare, is also sold under brand names that include Lortab, Lorcet and Zydone. An orally active analgesic, it can be as powerful as morphine.
Legitimate production of the drug increased fourfold in the 1990s, triggering a concurrent rise in illegal use, according to the DEA. About 20 tons of hydrocodone products are used annually in the United States.
Maryland has seen substance abuse treatment admissions for narcotic pain relievers, including hydrocodone, nearly triple in recent years, according to a May report from the Center on Substance Abuse Research at the University of Maryland, College Park.
Thank you, my brother. Very well said!
32 Medical Supplies business owners been arrested. All of them of Nigerian descent. Not even 1 Caucasian or Mexican among them! Chei! How sad? These arrests, unfortunately, has sort of given credence to CNN's documentary about 40% of Nigerians in the Houston area being criminals.
Clean Eeezzzebbbee, Ph D.
I see some contradiction above. What if they had invested some of their earnings in Nigeria, thus creating jobs? I know for a fact that the owners of NewCare Pharmacy in the story I posted did exactly that.
Do you feel any pity now?
Another thing. Have you, EZB, ever broken any law in the USA?
The bad thing in all this is that Nigerians do not have a nation state that defends their interests. It has happened before, no doubt it will happen again - those involved in that Texas case who fled to Nigeria will be deported back to the USA.
Some may choose to feign morality in these cases. For me there are larger issues at stake. I will never wish that an African rot in a foreign jail just because he stole from America; on the other hand, I wish death on ANYONE who steals from Africans.
One of those guys arrested in Texas is a personal friend of mine and has done more good for my hometown than most Nigerian govt officials. For one thing, he was a very big contributor to our security scheme, which was necessitated by the Fed Govt of Nigeria neglecting it so-called responsibilities to my people through the Nigeria Police.
Anyhow, I have urged those people that are tempted to get involved in these things - especially those who have good sources of legit income - to have a rethink. Not for morality but for very practical considerations. Anyone reading the papers should know that the US DOJ under Attorney General Janet Reno institutionalized a determined effort to prosecute medical funding fraud. The days of easy money are long gone.
So pipe down, Mr EZB. We're all human, and more importantly, African.
These all go to show that Nigeria has the leaders it deserves. I'm sure these people must have been smugly running their Diasporan mouths over the corruption of the leaders back home in Nigeria. Na only God go help us. Trully Sabella was on spot with his article(when your papa or mama is a thief)
Re: Clean Eeezzzebbbee, Ph D.
I'll repeat what I wrote before:
Obugi, I agree I am VERY human and VERY fallible. I am guilty of many sins but not (yet) guilty of breaking the law. You say we are all 'African' like that is some kind of 'excuse', explanation or justification for breaking the law. It is NOT.
In direct answer to one of your questions: NO, I do NOT feel any pity for them now! Just because someone does good with illegally acquired money does NOT excuse his/her wrong doing. That is why America, being born on the backs of genocide and slavery does not overly impress me either.
In direct answer to another of your questions: Have I ever broken any law in these United States. Yes, I have been convicted of speeding. Other than that, despite many opportunities to enter 'deals', I have resisted because even though I might POSSIBLY succeed, it would break my father and mother's heart to learn that in spite of all they had attempted to teach me, I still succumbed to simple crime for my downfall.
I know myself; If/when I were to be convicted for a crime, it would be the kind that ranks up there with what Hitler did (or what George W. Bush and cronies are doing in Iraq right now!) not petty crimes to pay for 8,000 square foot houses!
Obugi, of course you don't know me personally; material things hold NO fascination for me. I am very difficult (I didn't say impossible) to tempt with mere money! And like you, despite whatever ye-ye degrees I might have, I will flip a burger, carry water, even sef carry sh*t before I will bother stealing.
By the time you succeed in tempting me, my price will be that you develop EVERYTHING around me so that I can indeed enjoy my ILLEGAL money in peace, unafraid that someone who is miserable and jealous will car-jack me or enter my 12,000 square foot house to rob me!
I know you might find my position difficult to fathom because you know how vehemently I detest and decry many multinationals and their home countries as they collude with NIGERIANS to defraud the country.
Never fear! It is the same standard I uphold. Thiefzerland should NOT steal (or hold stolen funds); Nigerians in America should not steal. Both should aspire to build, invest and employ by LEGITIMATE MEANS. Otherwise, live within your means (or the credit you are granted).
I would agree with you, except for one problem.
There will always be people who want to take what is legitimately yours, using force or other foul means. Worse, most people contribute and uphold such theft and don't even know it. Is anyone innocent? Not by my standards.
So what then? We've had this discussion before on the Who Owns America thread.
Until Jesus comes, this is the world we have to work with. I'm done here.
Haba Obugi, tow wrongs don't make a right as we know, the fact that so much was stolen from Africa does not mean that we correct the situation by stealing back. Secondly you forget that other fellow Africans assisted and collaborated with the white man when he was raping Africa blind.
The fact that they did "good works" with money stolen from America does not make it any better. if that were the case, why should anyone be angry that IBB wants to be president again? After all he wil be using his ill goten wealth to run for office, so maybe we should forgive him if he does a good job while in office.
Sad case of affairs for our country men and women fingered in this case of fraud. Nigeria will take ownership of our own people on this list, I hope other countries will do the same and not deny their sons and daughters. Just going by the names on the list, numbers 4, 9, 10, 14A, 14B, 16, 25A, 25B and 26 may not actually be our country people Oh! In fact number 21 and 22 also look suspicious to me. Let everyone step out and answer their father's name. After serving time, some of these persons may find themselves on a one way trip to Muritala Mohammed, so the non Naijas among them had better sing now.
.Medicaid Fraud in Houston Nets 31 Naijas
...[URL=http://www.nigeriavillagesquare.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4403]Read the full article.[/URL]