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Law Enforcement

Monday, July 3, 2017

Rutland Doctor Charged With Prescription Fraud

Posted By on Mon, Jul 3, 2017 at 6:16 PM

  • Vermont State Police
  • Mark Logan
A Rutland physician was arrested Monday and charged with diverting prescription drugs in a years-long scheme, Vermont State Police said.

Mark Logan, who owned Green Mountain Family Medicine, faces 35 counts of prescription fraud and six counts of Medicaid fraud, Vermont State Police said. Logan, 66, is scheduled to appear in Rutland Superior Court on July 10.

Logan was the target of an investigation launched in January 2016 involving state police, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Vermont Board of Medical Practice.

State police said the allegations date to 2010 or earlier. Logan allegedly manipulated employee medical records and patient profiles to order prescription drugs for his or a family member's use.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Feds: Canadian Man Smuggled Guns Through Haskell Free Library

Posted By on Tue, Jun 20, 2017 at 5:48 PM

Haskell Free Library and Opera House - FILE: MARK DAVIS
  • File: mark davis
  • Haskell Free Library and Opera House
A Montréal man has been indicted on charges that he led a firearms smuggling operation that involved concealing handguns in the bathroom of Derby Line's Haskell Free Library, which straddles the U.S.-Canada border.

Authorities recently extradited Alexis Vlachos, 40, from Québec to Vermont, where earlier this month he pleaded not guilty to five firearms charges, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced Tuesday. He is being held in prison pending trial and faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.

Vlachos imported 100 handguns into Québec without a permit from the U.S. State Department, prosecutors said.

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Friday, June 2, 2017

Prison Email Company Pays $8,000 for Holding Improper Contest

Posted By on Fri, Jun 2, 2017 at 6:09 PM

Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan - FILE
  • File
  • Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan
A private company that provides a pay-per-email service for Vermont inmates and their families has paid nearly $8,000 to settle allegations that it ran a contest that violated state law, Attorney General T.J. Donovan announced Friday.

JPay, which also provides money transfers, tablets, and a probation and parole payment system, paid a $7,380 penalty to the state and $400 in refunds to 82 Vermonters, Donovan said.

The company advertised and ran a “JPay Day” contest, offering anyone who used their services on April 20 entry into a drawing for a $1,000 prize, Donovan said. Vermont law requires that any company running such a contest offer a way for people to enter without making a purchase or paying an entry fee. JPay failed to provide that option, Donovan said.

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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Health Records Company Settles Whistleblower Suit for $155 Million

Posted By on Wed, May 31, 2017 at 3:07 PM

Acting U.S. Attorney Eugenia Cowles announced a settlement with eClinicalWorks during a press conference Wednesday in Burlington. - MARK DAVIS
  • Mark Davis
  • Acting U.S. Attorney Eugenia Cowles announced a settlement with eClinicalWorks during a press conference Wednesday in Burlington.
Updated at 4:15 p.m.

Acting U.S. Attorney Eugenia Cowles announced Wednesday that her office had reached a $155 million settlement, the largest of its kind in state history, against an electronic health records company accused of widespread fraud.

The lawsuit alleged that eClinicalWorks, one of the country's largest vendors of electronic health record software, falsified its capabilities to pass tests required for government certification. The lawsuit also accused eClinicalWorks, based in Westborough, Mass., of failing to adequately test software before it was released, failing to quickly correct urgent problems and paying kickbacks to some customers in exchange for promoting its software.

"This resolution demonstrates the government's coordinated effort to protect programs like Medicare and Medicaid that millions of Americans rely on every day," Cowles said during a news conference touting the settlement.

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Thursday, May 25, 2017

DMV Suspends Facial-Recognition Program Pending Legal Review

Posted By on Thu, May 25, 2017 at 4:18 PM

The Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles suspended its facial-recognition program on Thursday pending a review of its legality by Attorney General T.J. Donovan.

As reported by Seven Days this week, the program, which was launched in 2012, may run afoul of a 2004 law that forbids the DMV from implementing "processes for identifying applicants for licenses ... that involve the use of biometric identifiers."

Additionally, documents obtained by the Vermont chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union suggest that the database of 2.7 million images has been widely shared with federal and local law enforcement — despite prior assurances from the DMV that it would not be.

"The ACLU raises good concerns," Donovan said in a brief interview Thursday. "The privacy concerns are, in addition to the legal question, the most pressing matter."

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Middlebury College Disciplines 67 Students for Murray Protests

Posted By on Tue, May 23, 2017 at 9:11 PM

Professor Allison Stanger with Charles Murray on the live stream
  • Professor Allison Stanger with Charles Murray on the live stream
Middlebury College has disciplined 67 students after its investigation into the disruption of a March 2 lecture by controversial author Charles Murray, the school announced Tuesday.

The sanctions range "from probation to official college discipline, which places a permanent record in the student's file," the school said in a statement.

Murray attempted to lecture in the McCullough Student Center about his 2012 book, Coming Apart. Murray is better known for his 1994 book, The Bell Curve, which sought to correlate social inequality to genetics. The Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled his work "racist pseudoscience."

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Monday, May 22, 2017

Vermont's 'Biggest' Pill Dealer Gets Nine-Year Prison Sentence

Posted By on Mon, May 22, 2017 at 6:48 PM

  • David Junkin
A New York City drug dealer who brought thousands of prescription opioid pills into Vermont was sentenced Monday to nine years in prison.

Michael Foreste, who was profiled by Seven Days in April for his participation in an unusual prison treatment program, told U.S. District Court Judge William Sessions III that his time spent in prison and the counseling he has received in recent months has changed his outlook.

"I now know what these pills do to the community," Foreste said. "I never wish to cause this kind of harm again."

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Friday, May 19, 2017

Racial Bias Lawsuit Against Bennington Police Clears Hurdle

Posted By on Fri, May 19, 2017 at 2:42 PM

  • Daniel Fishel
A federal judge has rejected a Bennington police request to dismiss a racial bias lawsuit filed by a black man whose drug conviction was overturned by the Vermont Supreme Court.

In a ruling handed down this week, U.S. District Court Judge Geoffrey Crawford upheld most claims brought by Shamel Alexander, who in 2013 came to Bennington from upstate New York in a taxi cab and was arrested with 11 grams of heroin in his possession. The civil case will be allowed to proceed.

After Alexander, a first time offender, served three years of a 10 year sentence, high court justices unanimously overturned his conviction, saying the police stop and search appeared to be racially motivated.

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Thursday, April 27, 2017

South Burlington Death Threat Suspect Released Pending Trial

Posted By on Thu, Apr 27, 2017 at 3:47 PM

Josiah Leach, center, leaves court with attorney Elizabeth Quinn, left, and his mother, Joy McKenzie - MARK DAVIS
  • Mark Davis
  • Josiah Leach, center, leaves court with attorney Elizabeth Quinn, left, and his mother, Joy McKenzie
A South Burlington High School student accused of threatening to kill students and staff was released from prison Thursday and ordered to live with his mother as he awaits trial.

Josiah Leach, 18, will be confined to the South Burlington home at all times except for medical appointments, meetings with his lawyer or for legal proceedings, and if granted permission to leave by his probation officer, U.S. District Judge Christina Reiss ruled.

Leach, who faces a five-year maximum sentence on a charge of threatening by means of interstate commerce, must wear a GPS-monitored ankle bracelet and cannot have contact with any students, visit district schools, or use a computer.

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A Divided South Burlington Tries to Unite With Two Separate Events

Posted By and on Thu, Apr 27, 2017 at 12:00 AM

People at Wednesday's vigil in South Burlington - MOLLY WALSH
  • Molly Walsh
  • People at Wednesday's vigil in South Burlington
Community members convened at two separate gatherings a few miles apart in South Burlington Wednesday evening in an attempt to unite after a week fraught with fear and uncertainty.

But the competing events represented the two sides in the often contentious — and racially tinged — debate over the high school’s Rebel nickname. And the gatherings came just days after a South Burlington High School senior’s arrest for allegedly threatening to kill his classmates and teachers, supposedly as retribution for the decision to drop the Rebel name.

One of the groups gathered for a vigil outside city hall with a message of peace and unity, while another showed up at the police station to thank officers for their work as the death threats last week terrified the town.

Organizer Vicki Garrison told the 60-person strong crowd at city hall that the vigil was “an opportunity to start healing, to start a new beginning — together. This gathering represents unity, harmony and peace and I just thank you so much for coming.”

Holding signs that read “unity is in our hands” and “strength in unity,” the crowd listened as speakers urged the school board to stand by its February decision to drop the Rebels name, which some say has racist connotations. The group at times prayed together and sang “We Shall Overcome” in the round.

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