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A federal grand jury has returned a total of seven separate indictments against individuals alleged to have filed multiple bankruptcy cases to prevent creditors from initiating foreclosure proceedings against their properties, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson.

The separate, but similar cases charge Hugo O. Parra, 43, of Cypress; Carmen P. Turner, 55, of Missouri City; LaTasha Riles, 47, of Huntsville; Leslie Nicole Breaux, 40, of Sugar Land; and Jermaine S. Thomas, 40, Angelina Gailey, 57, and Patrick Lee Gailey, 25, all of Houston. All are expected to appear before a U.S. magistrate judge in the near future.

The individuals are each charged with filing multiple bankruptcy cases to obtain an “automatic stay” from the bankruptcy courts which would prevent their creditors from initiating foreclosure proceedings against property for which they had outstanding loans.

Each defendant filed multiple bankruptcy cases to prevent a foreclosure proceeding by their creditors, according to the indictments. Each time a creditor would issue a “Notice of Foreclosure,” the defendants would allegedly file a bankruptcy case in order to obtain an automatic stay of the foreclosure. The charges allege that they would take no further action to abide by the requirements of the court to file additional documents and submit a payment plan to the court to pay their debts under the protection of the bankruptcy laws. Following a 45-day-period of no action by the defendants, their cases would be dismissed, according to the indictments.

The number of bankruptcy cases the defendants allegedly filed ranged from four within less than two hears to 12 over a five-year-period.

The defendants did not make any payments to their creditors under a court approved payment plan, according to the charges. Additionally, each time a defendant filed a bankruptcy case, he/she allegedly failed to list all of the cases they had previously filed. They also signed each filing as being true and correct under penalty of perjury, according to the indictments.

Each person is charged with bankruptcy fraud-scheme to defraud and making false declarations under penalty of perjury. If convicted of either charge, they face up to five years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine.

The FBI conducted the investigations with the assistance of the U.S. Trustee’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Quincy L. Ollison is prosecuting the cases.

An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.

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At 9 a.m. today (June 24), officers with the Houston Police Department Bicycle Relay Team departed from City Hall on the first leg of their nine-day, 2,500 mile journey to San Francisco to raise money to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

“This year is going to be tough,” said HPD Senior Police Officer Jorge Gaytan. “But I know our cancer patients, those fighting the disease, those in the hospital, would trade places with us any day of the week.”

This is the 35th year HPD officers have donated their time to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. To date, officers have traveled almost 74,000 miles and raised more than $5.7 million to help find a cure and improve the quality of life for those battling blood-related cancers.

“These riders buy their own bikes. They train on their own, pay for their own jerseys, pay for their meals,” said Officer Gaytan. “Each and every one of them knows the more money that goes toward research, the closer we can get to a cure.”

Team members will wear at least one “dog tag” featuring the name of the patient or survivor who serves as their inspiration.

“The jingling is to remind us not to quit, not to give up,” said Officer Gaytan.

If you would like to help a Glen Flora Volunteer firefighter who is in the hospital please follow the contact information below.

You can contact Adraylle Watson personally by calling: 979-533-0418

All donations out to can be made out to Adraylle L. Watson Fund and may be sent to P.O. Box 86 Glen Flora, TX 77443. Anyone that would like to help partake and volunteer with Mr. Watson’s fundraiser, you may contact the Glen Flora Vol. Fire Dept. at gfvfd.14@outlook.com or 979.533.1829.

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Make sure you tune into the Isiah Factor Uncensored tonight at 9 PM with Houston’s own Joe Young of the Indiana Pacers and how he’s giving back to the community in a big way this weekend plus more. Set your DVR now or join us live at The Union Kitchen in Bellaire….tonight at 9 PM on #fox26news

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GLEN FLORA, TEXAS. Glen Flora is at the junction of Farm Roads 102 and 960, on the east bank of the Colorado River six miles northwest of Wharton in Wharton County. The area’s first settlers, members of Stephen F. Austin’s Old Three Hundred, were John C. Clark and Robert Kuykendall. About 1890 C. H. Waterhouse moved to Wharton County and purchased large tracts of land on the west bank of the Colorado. He brought in German families from his home state of Pennsylvania to tenant-farm his acreage. He established a large sugar mill and pumping plant as well as a cotton gin across the river from his home. The pumping plant was advertised as the largest one in Texas. The Waterhouse Rice and Sugar Company changed names and ownership several times. It began with the name Waterhouse; when partners were added, it was renamed the Pittsburg-Glen Flora Sugar Company; it was then sold and renamed the Kincheloe Irrigation Company (asit was located in one of the Kincheloe leagues). Later it was resold and named the Wharton County Irrigation Company by R. H. Hancock.
The German families were established about a mile west of the sugar mill. There Waterhouse set aside five acres for a church and a cemetery. The residents called their settlement Vesperville. In 1895 they built a church, St. John’s Lutheran; its services were conducted in German only. The church building was completely destroyed three times while at this site: by a hurricane in 1909, by a tornado in 1910, and by a fire in 1918. The congregation moved the church to Glen Flora in 1919, but the new structure was destroyed by a tornado in 1929. A fifth building survived in Glen Flora until 1941, when the congregation decided to move it to Wharton and renamed it St. Paul’s Lutheran, as there was already a St. John’s Lutheran in Wharton.
After the construction of the Cane Belt Railroad, the townsite of Glen Flora was established in 1898 on the east bank of the Colorado River, directly across from the Waterhouse plant. Two of the main railroad investors were William Thomas Eldridge and William Dunovant. A street on each side of the railroad track in Glen Flora is named for one of these two men. In 1902 Eldridge shot and killed Dunovant while traveling on one of their trains. The community post office was established in August 1900, and in May 1902 the Glen Flora Town Company was formed with Waterhouse as president. It was reorganized in 1906 with G. C. Gifford as president. The name Glen Flora was suggested by William Hood, who with R. M. Martin owned and operated a mercantile store in the area; it was the name of Hood’s plantation. The store was moved to the townsite, and Hood eventually built a grand three-story brick structure there.
The town grew rapidly, and it had numerous businesses, including several mercantile stores, two cotton gins, a meat market, a drugstore, a hotel, a bank, a gristmill, a lumberyard, and later a movie theater and a telephone company. The county commissioners gave permission to the sugar mill to construct a rail line down the middle of the bridge spanning the Colorado to bring its cane and cotton to the Cane Belt Railroad for shipment, using mules to pull the cars. The school district was established soon after 1900, and in 1905 it had thirty-seven students and one teacher. Many black families were in the area, and local black children were served by two schools. The white school was consolidated with the Crescent district in 1948, and eventually it became part of the El Campo Independent School District. The small black schools in the area consolidated and built a single campus just west of Glen Flora; this school was named after the principal, Thomas Lane Pink. After desegregation black students were transferred either to the El Campo or to the Wharton ISD beginning in 1961.
Glen Flora is surrounded by rich farmlands. After the decline of sugarcane, important cash crops were rice, corn, and cotton; potatoes were grown and shipped out by the carload before scab ended that venture. In the early 1980s a large commercial fruit orchard was established, and a local store for sales was built. The population of Glen Flora began to decline after 1960, and businesses closed as many residents began to move to Wharton. In 1980 there were only 210 residents listed on the census; the population remained the same in 1990 and 2000. In 1992 service by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway (the Cane Belt) was discontinued; the railroad track, ties, and gravel bed were removed, and the right-of-way was sold or returned to the contingent landowners.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:
Annie Lee Williams, A History of Wharton County (Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1964).

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Fox News: The Supreme Court on Thursday blocked President Obama’s immigration executive actions, in a tie decision that delivers a win to states challenging his plan to give a deportation reprieve to millions of illegal immigrants.

The justices’ one-sentence opinion on Thursday marks a major setback for the administration, effectively killing the plan for the duration of Obama’s presidency.

The judgment could have significant political and legal consequences in a presidential election year highlighted by competing rhetoric over immigration. As the ruling was announced, pro-immigration activists filled the sidewalk in front of the court, some crying as the ruling became public. Critics of the policy touted the decision as a strong statement against “executive abuses.”

“The Constitution is clear: The president is not permitted to write laws—only Congress is. This is another major victory in our fight to restore the separation of powers,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement, adding that the ruling rendered Obama’s actions “null and void.”

Obama, though, said the decision “takes us further from the country that we aspire to be.”

He stressed that earlier changes his administration made to immigration policy are not affected, but acknowledged his most recent 2014 changes cannot go forward and additional executive actions are unlikely. “Today’s decision is frustrating to those who seek to grow our economy and … come out of the shadows,” Obama said.

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DOUBLE CLICK ALL PHOTOS TO ENLARGE EACH ONE AND DON’T YOU DARE STEAL THEM WITHOUT A SMALL PROCESSING FEE TO THE ISIAH FACTOR….HA!

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FOX 26 anchors Melinda Spaulding and Jonathan Martin

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It’s that time of year when Houston will have the opportunity to shine before a large visiting audience.

The National Newspaper Publishers Association is holding its annual convention in the Bayou City and thousands of Black newspaper publishers and employees from all over the country are expected to grace our city.

The event kicked off with a welcoming reception Wednesday night at the Buffalo Soldier’s Museum in downtown Houston.

Dozens of people attended including Dr. Benjamin Chavis, Mayor Sylvester Turner, Constable May Walker, Council Member Dwight Boykins, CM Jerry Davis, CM Larry Green, State Representative Ron Reynolds, Jeffrey Boney, Sonny Messiah Jiles, Karen Carter Richards, Melinda Spaulding, Jonathan Martin, Kofi Taharka, Dr. Robert Muhammad, HISD Trsutee Wanda Adams, and a host of others.

Here’s more about the national convention in Houston throughout the weekend:

THE NATIONAL NEWSPAPER PUBLISHERS ASSOCIATION (NNPA) IS LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING YOU AT THE 2016 ANNUAL CONVENTION IN HOUSTON, JUNE 21-25, HIGHLIGHTING:
The Prayer Breakfast (with gospel singer Kathy Taylor and honoree Ambassador Bobby Jones)
The huge Houston Welcome Reception at the Buffalo Soldiers Museum (entertainment by Zydeco Artist, Keith Frank and other surprises)
The informative morning and afternoon training sessions “Using Technology to Improve Your Business” (back by popular demand from mid-winter conference)
A discussion on “Decriminalizing the Black Community” (panelists Former Congressman Kendrick Meek, Chief John I. Dixon, Major Neil Franklin and Art Way)
Fabulous exhibits, luncheon sessions, the Merit Awards Dinner, the Legacy Awards Black Tie Gala, and Special Guests.
More updates to come, but without delay, register for the convention today and book your hotel room.
After all of that, how about a pool party at this beautiful poolside?

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Harris County Precinct One Constable Alan Rosen and his guys take a man wanted for murder off the streets of Houston. Remember that big double homicide back in May on Mayoford Street? This is the man HPD has been looking for:

Garden Oaks/Heights/Shepherd Park Plaza crime alert

WHAT: Arrest of man charged with capital murder

WHERE: Yale Street at North Loop West

WHEN: Tuesday, June 21

Precinct 1 deputies arrested Charles Bowman, 28 (see photo), in the fatal shooting of two men on May 26 in northeast Houston in what the police department called a robbery in a home where illegal drugs had been stashed.

A deputy who patrols Garden Oaks as part of a patrol contract had been gathering information about Bowman and learned he was wanted for capital murder. The deputy saw Bowman at a gas station, followed him to the edge of the Garden Oaks/Heights area and arrested him with the help of other deputies.

Be safe,

Constable Rosen

PREVIOUS NEWS RELEASE FROM HPD:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DATE: May 27, 2016 9:09:36 AM CDT
Investigation into Fatal Shooting at 508 Mayford

Houston police are investigating the fatal shooting of two males at 508 Mayford about 8:40 p.m. on Thursday (May 26).

One victim, Javier Moreno, 31, of the above address, and a second male were pronounced dead at the scene. The identity of the second male is pending verification by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences.

HPD Homicide Division Officers M. Dykens and D. Crowder reported:

Mr. Moreno was inside his residence when three male suspects forcibly entered the home, demanded money and then shot him. The three suspects fled the scene on foot after another vehicle blocked their vehicle in the driveway. Moments later, the suspects shot the second male after confronting him while fleeing the scene. The three males then stole a dark blue Ford Five Hundred sedan at gunpoint and then fled in the vehicle.

The suspects are described only as two black males and one Hispanic male.

Anyone with information in this case is urged to contact the HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

covenant house

Covenant House Texas (CHT) opened its doors in 1983 to provide shelter for homeless, abused and abandoned youth ages 18 – 20. After more than 30 years of service, CHT is still one of the only service providers in Texas of its type, offering an extensive continuum of care to the homeless youth population in Houston/Harris County.

The mission of Covenant House Texas is to offer homeless and runaway youth a safe haven from the dangers of street life and abuse as well as provide them with the necessary skills, training, and emotional support to choose positive life alternatives and develop into self-sufficient adults.

CHT carries out this mission by offering an array of services including walk-in services, a crisis shelter, free medical care, comprehensive case management, mental health and substance abuse counseling, educational and vocational training, life skills training, a transitional living program, a permanent housing program, spiritual guidance and counseling, street outreach services, a runaway prevention program, and an aftercare program.

Click here to visit the Covenant House website about how to help out!
Address: Covenant House Texas / 1111 Lovett Blvd./ Houston, Texas 77006 / 713-523-2231

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Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch and Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell announced today an unprecedented nationwide sweep led by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force in 36 federal districts, resulting in criminal and civil charges against 301 individuals, including 61 doctors, nurses and other licensed medical professionals, for their alleged participation in health care fraud schemes involving approximately $900 million in false billings. Twenty-three state Medicaid Fraud Control Units also participated in today’s arrests. In addition, the HHS Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is suspending payment to a number of providers using its suspension authority provided in the Affordable Care Act. This coordinated takedown is the largest in history, both in terms of the number of defendants charged and loss amount.

“As this takedown should make clear, health care fraud is not an abstract violation or benign offense – It is a serious crime,” said Lynch. “The wrongdoers that we pursue in these operations seek to use public funds for private enrichment. They target real people – many of them in need of significant medical care. They promise effective cures and therapies, but they provide none.  Above all, they abuse basic bonds of trust – between doctor and patient; between pharmacist and doctor; between taxpayer and government – and pervert them to their own ends. The Department of Justice is determined to continue working to ensure that the American people know that their health care system works for them – and them alone.”

“The largest multiple defendant takedown of those who were involved in large scale health care fraud against the USA sends a tremendous message to the public of our vigilance. Such wrongdoing will be uncovered and prosecuted,” said U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. “These cases are part of our continuing effort to combat greed in our health care system, not only in the Houston metropolitan area, but also in our other offices in South Texas. We are committed to a sustained effort to continue to root out health care fraud.”

In the Southern District of Texas (SDTX), the United States Attorney’s Office (USAO) and the Department of Justice Medicare Fraud Strike Force charged 22 individuals in 11 cases involving over $136 million in alleged fraud.

One of these defendants is a physician with the highest number of referrals to home health services in the SDTX. Houston physician John Ramirez, 62, has been charged with participating in separate schemes to bill Medicare for medically unnecessary home health services that were often not provided. He is charged with four counts of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. In this $18 million Medicare fraud scheme, Ramirez allegedly authorized home-health services for Medicare beneficiaries when such services were not medically necessary, not provided by the home health agency or both. Medicare paid over $15 million to numerous companies that submitted claims to Medicare using the fraudulent home health referrals from the physician, according to the indictment. Also charged in this case is Susana Bermudez, 49, of Houston, the owner of Milten Clinic in Houston. She was indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud for allegedly selling signed certifications to home health agencies. The agencies then would bill Medicare for purported home health services that were medically unnecessary, not provided, or both.

In a separate but related case, Ramirez, Ann Sheperd, 60, of Houston, and Yvette Nwoko, 27, of Houston, were indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and three counts of health care fraud. The charges stem from their alleged roles in an $20 million Medicare fraud scheme. Sheperd was the owner and operator of Amex Medical, while Nwoko was the manager. The indictment alleges Shepherd and Nwoko would make it appear as if Medicare beneficiaries qualified for home health services when, in fact, the beneficiaries did not need the services. Shepherd allegedly paid doctors to sign false certifications. In return, Shepherd and Nwoko would sell the certifications to home health agencies, according to the charges. These agencies would then bill Medicare for home health services that were not necessary, not provided, or both.

These cases are being jointly prosecuted by the USAO and the Strike Force.

In another case prosecuted by the USAO, Gwendolyn Arnetta Gibbs aka Gwendolyn Arnetta Guidry, 64, of Missouri City, and Justina Obumnador Uzowulu, 55, are charged in a 20-count indictment for their participation in a $15 million health care fraud conspiracy. Gibbs is the owner and operator of Daybreak Rehabilitation Center. The indictment alleges he paid kickbacks to Uzowulu, who operates a group home in Houston, who would then bring her residents to Gibbs’ partial hospitalization program for group therapy. Gibbs could then bill Medicare for treatment, according to the indictment. Gibbs is also charged with billing group therapy sessions under a doctor who no longer worked at Daybreak.

In McAllen, the owner of a Rio Grande Valley area durable medical equipment (DME) company and six others have been charged in a 16-count indictment for allegedly submitting false and fraudulent claims to Texas Medicaid for DME equipment that was not provided and/or was not authorized by a physician. Maria Garza, 41, of McAllen, is an owner of DME company Hacienda DME. Also charged were employees Bertha Lopez, 61, of Sullivan City, who served as a marketer and vendor for the company; Miriam Aguilar, 31, of Rio Grande City, a delivery driver and recruiter; and Nancy Rangel, 30, of Mission, who was a biller and recruiter. Veronica Cruz, 32, of Donna, Angelica Saenz, 44, of Mission, and Yolotzi Lara, 28, of Penitas, were charged for their roles as recruiters for Hacienda DME. According to the indictment, the defendants forged and/or caused others to forge the signatures of physicians on the required prescription forms. They also allegedly billed for larger, higher-paying sizes of pull-ups and diapers regardless of whether those sizes were needed or provided in order to receive higher reimbursements from Texas Medicaid. Further, the defendants also paid illegal kickbacks in exchange for patient information, according to the indictment.

Additionally, the Strike Force has returned seven additional indictments and informations in the SDTX, charging nine more defendants in cases involving over $80 million.

The operations announced today are part of the Health Care Fraud Prevention & Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), a joint initiative announced in May 2009 between the Department of Justice and HHS to focus their efforts to prevent and deter fraud and enforce current anti-fraud laws around the country. The Medicare Fraud Strike Force operates in nine locations and since its inception in March 2007 has charged over 2,900 defendants who collectively have falsely billed the Medicare program for over $8.9 billion.

Including today’s enforcement actions, nearly 1,200 individuals have been charged in national takedown operations, which have involved more than $3.4 billion in fraudulent billings. Today’s announcement marks the second time that districts outside of Strike Force locations participated in a national takedown, and they accounted for 82 defendants charged in this takedown.

The cases announced today are being prosecuted and investigated by U.S. Attorney’s Offices nationwide, along with Medicare Fraud Strike Force teams from the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and from the U.S. Attorney’s Offices of the Southern District of Florida, Eastern District of Michigan, Eastern District of New York, Southern District of Texas, Central District of California, Eastern District of Louisiana, Northern District of Texas, Northern District of Illinois and the Middle District of Florida; and agents from the FBI, DHHS-Office of Ispector General, Drug Enforcement Administration, Defense Criminal Investigative Service and state Medicaid Fraud Control Units.

The court documents for each case will posted online, as they become available, here: https://www.justice.gov/opa/documents-and-resources-june-22-2016-medicare-fraud-strike-force-press-conference.