Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Suspect Arrested in Bus Stop Shooting

Fox 2 News is reporting that the Detroit Police Department has arrested one of the two men who shot seven teenagers while they were waiting for a bus at the corner of W. Warren Ave. and the Southfield Fwy last summer. Demetrius Hinton, age 20, turned himself in at the 6th Precinct Station (11450 Warwick St.).

Police believe he is one of two of the masked gunmen captured in the surveillance video who opened fire at the bus stop at W. Warren Ave. and wounded seven students who just got out of summer classes. That happened in July of 2009.

Police say one month later, Mr. Hinton is believed to have committed another crime, shooting and killing Donald Bohlinger and wounding another man during a robbery that went bad.

In October, it is reported that federal investigators joined in the hunt for Mr. Hinton. Investigators believed he fled to Georgia and even applied to college in Atlanta.

Over the last few months, however, investigators learned Mr. Hinton was back in the Detroit area. We're told they were closing in on him, putting pressure on him and his family, so much so that he had no choice but to turn himself in. Monday evening, he walked into the police station and surrendered.

Sources told Fox 2 that the police are still searching for the second masked gunman. They believe they are very close to arresting him, too.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Local Doctor Pleads Guilty to Health Care Fraud

Ali S. Makki, M.D., who has an office at 6050 Greenfield Rd. in Dearborn, which is just outside of the Warrendale neighborhood, plead guilty in federal court on Thursday to defrauding Medicare and making false statements in immigration and tax matters.

According to information provided to the court at the time of the guilty plea hearing, from July 2004 through September 2009, Dr. Makki knowingly submitted false claims to Medicare concerning the number and quality of x-rays provided to his Medicare patients, thereby obtaining $113,777 to which he was not entitled. In addition, Dr. Makki admitted that he falsified an immigration form for a patient applying for naturalization in an effort to exempt his patient from certain requirements necessary for naturalization, and underreported his income by not reporting certain cash receipts on his 2003 federal income tax return.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, Dr. Makki faces, among other things, up to 30 months in federal prison. He will remain free on bond pending sentencing, which is scheduled for September 30, 2010 in Port Huron, Michigan.

The criminal investigation of this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Internal Revenue Service.

The United States also resolved Dr. Makki’s civil liability under the False Claims Act and civil forfeiture statutes, resulting in Makki’s forfeiture of commercial real property with an appraised value of more than $4.7 million in Canton and Dearborn, and approximately $76,000 in cash. According to the publicly filed civil forfeiture complaint, the United States alleged that Ali Makki engaged in drug diversion and various fraudulent billing schemes, including billing for services that were not rendered and for unnecessary tests, and writing false progress reports in patient files.

U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade praised the result in this case.  She explained in a prepared statement, "We are paying close attention to Medicare billing records and we will prosecute doctors like Dr. Makki who abuse the system."

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Santana vs Pugh

There is a political contest afoot. Several candidates are vying to replace State Rep. Gabe Leland, who is unable to run for re-election due to term limits.

The race has essentially narrowed to Harvey Santana and Stacy Pugh. Both are political newcomers so it's hard to judge their viability.

Harvey Santana has been planting lawn signs throughout the neighborhood for several weeks. Stacy Pugh, however, has been catching up quickly in recent days.

This lawn sign battle has produced an interesting side-effect. There are several homes in the Warrendale neighborhood that have signs for both Harvey Santana and Stacy Pugh.

(Video tour of the Harvey Santana/Stacy Pugh lawn signs below.)

One can immediately ask: what does all of this mean?

The short answer is: pretty much nothing. I'm a firm believer in the old political adage, "Signs don't vote." Regardless, this is trend does provide some interesting comedy.