Los Angeles Doctor Acquitted on Charges of Conspiracy and Falsification of Records Relating to 2003 Liver Transplant

According to the Los Angeles Times, Dr. Richard R. Lopez, Jr., head of the liver transplant program at St. Vincent Medical Center in Los Angeles, was acquitted by a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on Friday, on charges conspiracy, concealment of material fact and falsification of records. The charges related to a liver transplant in 2003. Dr. Lopez acknowledged that he was involved in a decision to give a liver intended for a patient to another patient more than 50 places down the transplant waiting list, which constituted a violation of transplant rules. The government charged Dr. Lopez with orchestrating a cover up of the violation. The liver was intended for a patient residing in Saudi Arabia, and was given to another patient residing in Saudi Arabia. Under the transplant rules, the organ should have been given to the next person on the list--a patient at the University of California, Los Angeles, Medical Center.

Image source: www.ehow.com/about_5673429_private-grants-liver_transplant-patients.html

St. Vincent initially reported the actual recipient of the liver to the United Network for Organ Sharing, a private, non-group contracted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services which oversees transplantation nationwide. Later the same day, the hospital's staff retracted the notification and incorrectly reported that the liver had gone to the individual which it had been offered to. The government alleged that St. Vincent continued to file false documents concerning the liver. The defense argued that Dr. Lopez had no knowledge of the falsification of the documents, and that Dr. Lopez was being made “a scapegoat for everything that was wrong at St. Vincent’s.”

St. Vincent has subsequently shut down its liver transplant program.


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New York Defendant Indicted for $50 Million in Fraud from ATM, Armored Car and Other Businesses

As reflected in an FBI press release, an indictment was unsealed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against Robert Egan, President of Mount Vernon Money Center (MVMC) on Wednesday charging Egan with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud and six counts of bank fraud for allegedly defrauding banks and other financial institutions of approximately $50 million.

MVMC operated various cash management businesses, including replenishing cash for over 5,300 automated teller machines (ATMs), payroll services for businesses, and an armored car service, Armored Money Services (AMS). MVMC's clients included banks and financial institutions, businesses and universities. MVMC also had several cash vaults to store and process cash from its businesses.

The government alleges that, from 2005 through 2010, Egan and MVMC's Chief Operating Officer, Barnard McGarry, allegedly collected hundreds of millions of dollars from MVMC clients based on false representations that they would not commingle clients' funds or use the funds for purposes other than those specified in MVMC's agreements with the clients. However, Egan and McGarry are alleged to have engaged in a practice known as "playing the float," in which they misappropriated funds from the substantial cash flow into MVMC to their own uses, to pay prior client obligations or to cover operating expenses of MVMC's businesses. Egan and McGarry are also alleged to have commingled its clients' monies in its accounts and cash vaults, and instructed employees to use whatever monies were available to replenish ATM machines. McGarry is alleged to have transferred clients' monies among MVMC's accounts. In addition, both defendants are alleged to have made false representations in reports to ATM clients regarding the amount of funds MVMC allegedly held in its vaults for the clients. MVMC was entrusted with approximately $70 to $75 million by its clients, but allegedly only kept approximately $20 to $25 million in its accounts and vaults.

Egan was arrested last month. A receiver has been appointed to administer MVMC. The press release stated that the case was brought in coordination with the White House's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. Among the officials who addressed the media in conjunction with the press release was the Special Inspector General of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) Neil Barofsky.