Somali Gets New Trial Because Cop Said Somalis Tend to Lie

“This just underscores the danger of going into a courtroom and telling a jury that an entire ethnicity of people lies and it’s based on their culture….”

(Cole Ruby, attorney for the convicted Somali)

From the Associated Press (h/t: Cristina):

Court grants new trial after cop says Somalis tend to lie

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Minnesota man of Somali descent who was convicted of opening fire on other Somalis will get a new trial after a detective improperly testified that Somalis often lie to police, a Wisconsin appeals court ruled Tuesday.

Photo: https://www.channel3000.com/court-grants-new-trial-after-cop-says-somalis-tend-to-lie/

Ahmed Farah Hirsi was charged with multiple counts of attempted homicide and recklessly endangering safety in the January 2014 car-to-car shooting at the Spirit Seller liquor store in Hudson, Wisconsin, just across the state line from the Twin Cities. A jury convicted Hirsi in 2015 and he was sentenced to 35 years in prison.

According to court documents, the driver of Hirsi’s car testified in a plea deal that Hirsi pulled the trigger. But the victims who testified at trial said they either didn’t see the shooter or that it wasn’t Hirsi. The driver of the victims’ car testified that he told police that the man who shot him was still out there.
Prosecutors called Tracy Henry, a detective from St. Paul, Minnesota, to the stand. Minnesota has the largest concentration of Somalis in America.

Henry testified that in her experience Somalis don’t trust police and prefer to handle disputes themselves. She added that Somali crime victims and witnesses tend to “fabricate” events to avoid retribution within their clans.

Hirsi argued on appeal that the judge never should have allowed the detective’s testimony because it impugns the credibility of another witness and it was improper because it was based on race or ethnicity.

The 3rd District Court of Appeals agreed and ordered a new trial. The court ruled unanimously that the testimony violated legal rules that prohibit one witness from commenting about the truthfulness of another witness’ testimony. The racial and ethnic aspect of Henry’s testimony raises “heightened prejudice concerns,” the court said. The relevance of group tendencies in predicting witness credibility is “extraordinarily weak,” the court said.

More here.

I can hear your knowing chuckles!

Endnote:  I’ve been busy over at RRW these last few days because first I learned that the refugee flow to America had not slowed due to the virus crisis.  Then, just two days ago, the UN stopped the flow of refugees because of fear that the refugees would be exposed to coronavirus.

This post could just as well have been posted at RRW because almost all Somalis in the US are here thanks to the UN/US Refugee Admissions Program that turned 40 on St. Patrick’s day.

Indian Call Center Scammers Show No Remorse as They Rip-Off American Seniors

This is a story that will make you sick!  Thanks to reader ‘Meanymom’ for sending it.

From the BBC a little over a week ago:

Confessions of a call-centre scammer

This week, the BBC showed scammers at work in an Indian call centre, recorded by an activist who hacked into the company’s security cameras. Staff were seen laughing at their victims in the US and the UK. But who are these scammers, and how do they justify their actions?

 

Behind a pair of mirrored sunglasses, Piyush is telling me how he made a quarter of a million dollars.

“It was easy money,” he says, detailing how he bought fancy cars and wore designer clothes.

From a modest background, Piyush made a fortune by defrauding innocent victims at the other end of a phone.

“To become a rock star we have to do something,” he says.

“Become a thief?” I ask.

“Right,” he replies coolly.

Piyush meets me in a friend’s apartment, in one of Delhi’s richest neighbourhoods. The group of young men I’ve come to talk to all have one thing in common – they’ve worked in India’s scam call-centre industry.

[….]

Just a reminder! Trump Justice Department wants you to report fraud against seniors! https://fraudscrookscriminals.com/2020/03/05/stopping-fraud-against-seniors-a-top-priority-for-the-attorney-general/

The company Piyush worked for ran what is known as a “tech support scam”. It would send a pop-up to people’s screens, telling them their computer had been infected by a “pornographic virus” or other malware, and giving them a helpline number to call.

As panicking customers rang in, Piyush and his colleagues would milk them for money, to fix a problem that didn’t actually exist.

Piyush tells me that tricking people is an “art”.

“We used to target the old people,” he says.

“There are many old people in the US who don’t have families, are alone and are disabled, so it’s very easy to trick them.”

I look at this man sitting opposite me in his baggy jeans and hipster T-shirt and wonder how he could be so cold-hearted. How would he feel if his own grandparents were victims of scamming, I ask?

“Yeah, I will feel bad,” he says. “I did it because I needed money and that’s it.”

There is much more of the disgusting story here.

NY: Pakistani Woman Sentenced for Helping to Finance ISIS

She will get 13 years in the slammer for a complex financing scheme involving Bitcoin.

We let her into the US originally on a visa to join her Pakistani family here and she ultimately became a naturalized US citizen.

Her lawyers said she wasn’t financing ISIS, but helping refugees.

From Newsday:

Brentwood woman sentenced to 13 years in prison for aiding ISIS

A Brentwood woman was sentenced Friday to 13 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to a charge of providing more than $150,000 in financial support to the ISIS terrorist organization.

Zoobia Shahnaz, 29, was in addition sentenced to 10 years of supervised release by U.S. District Judge Joanna Seybert in Central Islip.

Judge Joanna Seybert said when she handed down the stiff sentence that the defendant could have found a “more peaceable” organization to work with if she really wanted to help refugees. BTW, I could not find a photo of Shahnaz so had to settle for the judge.

Shahnaz, a U.S. citizen born in Pakistan and a lab technician at a Manhattan hospital, obtained more than $85,000 of the money through a number of fraud schemes and passed the funds on to ISIS in a further complex manner, according to officials.

She was arrested in July 2017 at Kennedy Airport while attempting to board a flight to Turkey, where she intended to illegally enter Syria to join ISIS, officials have said.

Eastern District federal prosecutor Artie McConnell argued for a stiff sentence saying ISIS could have used that money to create massive destruction and death, noting that terrorist attacks around the world have been perpetrated with devices whose ingredients cost as little as $600.

Defense attorney Steven Zissou said before and after the sentencing that his client’s “only goal was to help the suffering of Syrian refugees,” after she had witnessed the carnage in Syria at refugee camps where she had volunteered.

Zissou said the average sentence of someone in his client’s position had been 11 years, with as little 4 years.

Seybert said she was leery of imposing a low sentence, saying that Shahnaz was a highly intelligent person who implemented a complex scheme. The judge noted the defendant came from a loving family and could have worked for much more peaceable organizations.

[….]

“Today, the defendant learned the consequences of seeking to join ISIS and funneling thousands of dollars into the terrorist organization’s coffers,” stated Eastern District U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue. “There is no higher priority of the Department of Justice and this Office than protecting our country from those who support violent, hate-filled terrorist organizations.”

More here.

Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar’s Marital Status Changes Again

Because I know you need a little diversion from the virus crisis, I figured you would get a little chuckle about the latest in the marital soap opera that seems to be Rep. Ilhan Omar’s way of life.

In their dating days: Mynett with no beard.

[Readers:  Every time I write about Omar I struggle with the decision to post about her at Refugee Resettlement Watch since she is one of the more than a hundred thousand of her countrymen that we have admitted to the US over the last several decades, or should I post here at ‘Frauds and Crooks.’  ‘Frauds and Crooks’ it is!]

The most thorough coverage of the life and times of Omar is at the UK Daily Mail which seems to have a photographer on her tail much of the time!

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar reveals she is MARRIED to her chief fundraiser lover after they were spotted together wearing wedding rings

Leftist congresswoman Ilhan Omar has married her fundraising chief, she has announced.

Her wedding to Tim Mynett happened earlier this week, DailyMail.com understands.

Mynett now sporting beard. Did he convert to Islam?

She announced the wedding in an Instagram post, which was accompanied by the couple in a romantic pose. The couple, both of whom divorced their previous spouses late last year, tied the knot at an undisclosed location.
From partners in politics to life partners. So blessed,’ the Minnesota congresswoman wrote on her Instagram account under the black and white photograph.

The couple were wearing the same rings that DailyMail.com pictured them wearing in Washington, D.C. last week.

Both Omar, 37 and Mynett — whose company received more than $500,000 last year from her campaign — initially denied they were having an affair.

But sources in the Somali community in Minneapolis say she was forced into announcing the nuptials because of articles on DailyMail.com.

Go here to see the long story with lots of pics at the Daily Mail!

See my Ilhan Omar archive here at ‘Frauds and Crooks.

Whistleblowers Earn Millions Turning in Medicare/Medicaid Scammers

What a coincidence!  Two stories came my way yesterday, one from Tennessee and the other from Pennsylvania, where whistleblowers filed cases against large companies they said were scamming the US taxpayers and were handsomely rewarded for their good work on our behalf.

The first story at the National Law Review is this one from Tennessee:

Tennessee-Based Health Services Company Settles FCA Case Alleging Medicaid Fraud For $9.5 Million

The Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced another False Claims Act (“FCA”) settlement centered around a health services company’s practice of providing unnecessary therapy services to patients in order to receive the maximum amount of reimbursement under Medicare. The $9.5 million settlement is with Diversicare Health Services Inc, a Tennessee-based company that provides nursing and rehabilitation services at 74 locations throughout the country. Diversicare’s alleged violations are similar to those in a medicaid fraud case settled by the DOJ for $15.4 million two weeks earlier concerning fraudulent Medicare reimbursements for unnecessary rehabilitation services.

The settlement resolves two separate qui tam FCA lawsuits filed by whistleblowers Mary Haggard and Bryant Fitzmorris, both former Diversicare employees. Ms. Haggard will receive a whistleblower award of roughly $1.4 million, and Mr. Fitzmorris will receive $145,350. The FCA allows private citizens who possess inside information of fraudulently billing against the United States Government to initiate a lawsuit on the Government’s behalf to recover those funds. The citizens, known as qui tam relators, are then entitled to receive a share of any damages that the Government ultimately recovers from the litigation.

More details here.

Then from Whistleblower News Review (cool, a newsletter for whistleblowers) comes this story from Pennsylvania:

Guardian Elder Care Will Pay $15.4 Million to Resolve Allegations of Medicare Fraud – Whistleblowers Will Receive $2.8 Million

Guardian Elder Care Holdings Inc. and a list of related entities, including Guardian LTC Management and Guardian Rehabilitation Services (collectively, Guardian), have agreed to pay $15.4 million to settle a False Claims Act lawsuit. According to the complaint, Guardian billed government healthcare programs for medically unnecessary services. The company allegedly defrauded both Medicare and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.

Guardian is headquartered in PA. https://www.phillyvoice.com/guardian-elder-care-nursing-home-unnecessary-rehab-therapy-settlement/

Pennsylvania-headquartered Guardian operates over 50 nursing facilities in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia. According to the whistleblower lawsuit filed by two rehab managers who worked at a Guardian facility in Carlisle, Guardian caused some of its facilities in all three states to bill the government for medically unnecessary services, at the highest level of Medicare reimbursement, solely to maximize profits.

The whistleblower complaint resolved by the $15.4 million settlement was filed under the False Claims Act (“FCA”). Under the FCA, whistleblowers with original information about a fraud can come forward and become eligible for an award ranging between 10 and 30 percent of any resulting recovery. The two whistleblowers in this case, Philippa Krauss and Julie White, will share a $2.8 million award.

More here.

How many more companies are ripping off US taxpayers via Medicare and Medicaid fraud?  I bet a lot.  So if you work for one and suspect fraud, check into becoming a whistleblower—it is the patriotic thing to do!

I have a bunch of posts about other successful whistleblowers, see here.