Virginia State Seal as part of the letterhead for the Attorney General.

Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

Mark Herring
Attorney General

900 East Main Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219



For media inquiries only, contact:  
Brian J. Gottstein
Phone: (804)786-5874 
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (best contact method)

2013 Legislative Agenda of Attorney General Cuccinelli

RICHMOND (January 10, 2013) - Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's legislative agenda for the 2013 General Assembly session is below.   

"This year, we are doing even more to fight the scourge of human trafficking, we are making it easier for those wrongly convicted to be freed, and we are increasing the ability of candidates to get on the ballot," said Cuccinelli.  "We are also increasing our effectiveness in fighting Medicaid fraud, which robs millions of dollars each year from taxpayers and the needy."
If you have questions or would like to do a more in-depth story on any particular bill, please contact Brian Gottstein at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Some details such as bill numbers are not yet known. Additionally, the attorney general may also support various legislators' bills throughout the session.

HIGHLIGHTED BILLS

Human Trafficking/Abduction Proposals

  • Making it a felony offense to solicit a minor for prostitution (Hugo HB1606, Howell SB1015)
  • Allowing law enforcement officers to have additional jurisdiction to investigate human trafficking/abduction cases (Villanueva HB1826)
  • Adding human trafficking to the list of crimes a multi-jurisdictional grand jury can investigate (R. Bell HB1870)

Ballot Access

  • Lowering the statewide signature requirement to 5,000 signatures and 200 signatures per congressional district (Cole HB1346)
  • Re-establishing a limited appeal of SBE's review of the validity of signatures on a candidate petition. The State Board of Elections shall develop procedures for the conduct of such an appeal.
  • Providing the ability for independent candidates to substitute electors up until the filing deadline
  • Requiring that party chairmen certify that a review of candidate petitions for primary qualification has taken place (Anderson HB2147)
  • Clarifying legislation to establish that qualified voter signatures are the measure used when determining the validity of signatures on a candidate petition (Edwards SB1049)

Writ of Actual Innocence

  • Changing "could" to "would" to change the standard to allow the court to properly weigh the evidence of a defendant's innocence: "...no rational trier of fact could would have found sufficient evidence beyond a reasonable doubt as to one or more elements of the offense for which the petitioner was convicted"
  • Allowing the attorney general to proffer to the court evidence of a defendant's innocence, not just evidence of guilt (Albo HB1432)

Medicaid Fraud Control Unit

  • Omnibus legislation giving new investigative tools to MFCU investigators and clarifying certain judicial powers in enforcing those tools, as well as providing the commonwealth best price priority in the purchase of the medical supplies and equipment similar to that enjoyed by other states (Vogel SB1186)
  • Authorizing investigators to serve MFCU-issued subpoenas (MFCU investigators currently do not have subpoena power). (Garrett SB949)

OTHERS

 

  • Internet Privacy - Criminal trespass penalty for access without authority and with malicious intent (Obenshain SB1174)
  • Brown vs. Commonwealth - Establishing that mandatory minimum sentences must run consecutively, not concurrently, in all cases (Stuart SB832)
  • Victims' and Witness' Rights Act - Providing witnesses protection and anonymity where requested under the Victims' and Witness' Rights Act (Miller HB1794)
  • Methamphetamines
    1. Broadening the punishment for adults who manufacture methamphetamines with children present to include all adults, not just those with a supervisory relationship over the children (Kilgore HB1816)
    2. adding ammonium nitrate to the list of precursors for the production of methamphetamines (Garrett HB1806)
 

Virginia State Seal as part of the letterhead for the Attorney General.

Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

Mark Herring
Attorney General

900 East Main Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219



For media inquiries only, contact:  
Brian J. Gottstein
Phone: (804)786-5874 
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (best contact method)

Peter Carr
Public Information Officer
Phone703-842-4050 
Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Websitewww.usdoj.gov/usao/vae
 

United States Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Virginia 
United States Attorney Neil H. MacBride

 Joint release from Attorney General Mark Herring and U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride...

~Protecting Virginia's most vulnerable citizens~

Owners of Woodbridge home health business convicted for health care fraud, aggravated identity theft

ALEXANDRIA (January 11, 2013)- The owners of a Woodbridge-based home health care business have been convicted by a federal jury in Alexandria for submitting numerous false claims to Medicaid for reimbursement for services they did not provide. Irvine Johnston King, 46, and Aisha Rashidatu King, 40, of Woodbridge, were convicted of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison; 22 counts of health care fraud, which each carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison; and two counts of aggravated identity theft, which carry a consecutive mandatory penalty of two years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for March 22, 2013.

Ken Cuccinelli, Attorney General of Virginia; Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Debra Evans Smith, Acting Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI's Washington Field Office, made the announcement after the verdict was accepted by United States District Judge Claude M. Hilton.

According to court records and evidence at trial, the Kings owned and operated Bright Beginnings Healthcare Services, a business that provided in-home personal and respite care and private duty nursing services to Medicaid-eligible individuals.  From at least March 2008 through June 2011, the Kings defrauded Medicaid by submitting false claims to Medicaid for services that were not provided, providing fabricated documentation in connection with an audit, and instructing an employee to lie to Medicaid about claims billed by Bright Beginnings.  In addition, the Kings instructed an employee to convince a patient's mother to lie to Medicaid regarding the false claims and asked the parent of a patient to sign blank Medicaid time sheets that were used as a basis to bill Medicaid for services that the Kings knew had not been performed.

The Kings also used - without lawful authority to do so - the name, date of birth, and insurance identification number of a patient on claims seeking reimbursement from Medicaid.

The investigation was conducted by FBI Washington Field Office and the Virginia Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.  Virginia Assistant Attorney General and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven W. Grist and Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy D. Belevetz are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

 

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on https://pcl.uscourts.gov.

 

Virginia State Seal as part of the letterhead for the Attorney General.

Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

Mark Herring
Attorney General

900 East Main Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219



For media inquiries only, contact:  
Brian J. Gottstein
Phone: (804)786-5874 
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (best contact method)

Peter Carr

Public Information Officer

Phone703-842-4050 
Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Websitewww.usdoj.gov/usao/vae

Further Information Contact: 
Laura Taylor 
Phone: 804-819-5400

United States Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Virginia 
United States Attorney Neil H. MacBride

 Joint release from Attorney General Mark Herring and U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride...

Suffolk home health care services provider pleads guilty to $294,000 in Medicaid fraud

NORFOLK (February 20, 2013) - Angie L. Gilchrist, 57, of Suffolk, pleaded guilty yesterday in Norfolk federal court to health care fraud.

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia Neil H. MacBride made the announcement after Gilchrist's plea was accepted by United States District Senior Judge Henry C. Morgan, Jr.

Gilchrist faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 when she is sentenced on May 22, 2013.

According to a statement of facts filed with her plea agreement, Gilchrist owned and operated A-Z Alpha Omega In-Home Personal Care Service LLC, a business located in Suffolk that was authorized to provide respite care to Medicaid recipients. Respite care is designed to provide temporary, substitute care for a Medicaid recipient that is normally provided by the family or another unpaid primary caregiver of the recipient. These services are provided on a short-term basis because of the emergency absence or need for routine or periodic relief of the primary caregiver. Between October 2008 and October 2012, Gilchrist filed approximately 385 false and fraudulent claims with the Virginia Medicaid program, representing that respite care had been provided by her company to 38 Medicaid recipients, when in fact no such care had been provided. As a result, Gilchrist obtained health care benefit payments in the approximate amount of $294,713.00 to which she was not entitled.

 

This case was investigated by the FBI and the Office of the Virginia Attorney General, Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. Chief Health Care Fraud and Elder Abuse Prosecutor David Tooker from the Virginia attorney general's office and Assistant United States Attorney Alan M. Salsbury are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

 

Virginia State Seal as part of the letterhead for the Attorney General.

Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

Mark Herring
Attorney General

900 East Main Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219



For media inquiries only, contact:  
Brian J. Gottstein
Phone: (804)786-5874 
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (best contact method)

Brian McGinn

Phone434-295-8672
Fax :  434- 293-4910
Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Websitewww.usdoj.gov/usao/vaw

United States Attorney's Office
Western District of Virginia 
United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy

 Joint release from Attorney General Mark Herring and U.S. Attorney Timothy Heaphy...

Danville woman pleads guilty to stealing social security benefits

DANVILLE (January 30, 2013) -- A 33-year-old Danville woman pled guilty yesterday morning in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Danville to stealing more than $34,000 of Social Security benefits intended for disabled individuals. Joie Scott Whitt, 33, of Danville, waived her right to be indicted and pled guilty yesterday morning to one count of theft of government monies. She faces a maximum possible penalty of up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000.

"Ms. Whitt's actions are another deplorable example of fraud being committed by health care providers as 'just the cost of doing business,'" said Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. "Providers like Ms. Whitt who bilk the system aren't only defrauding those in their care and the taxpayers, they're also stealing limited Social Security or Medicaid funds and keeping people truly in need from receiving the care they require. We will continue to do all we can to protect Virginia's most vulnerable citizens from predators like Ms. Whitt."

"Ms. Whitt betrayed the trust of those families who put their loved ones in her care," United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy said today. "She stole money that was intended for those suffering from mental health problems, mental retardation and substance abuse issues. We will continue to do all we can to ensure that Social Security benefits assist those who need it rather line the pockets fraudsters like Ms. Whitt."

According to evidence presented at yesterday's guilty plea hearing by Assistant United States Attorney Charlene R. Day, Whitt worked as the bookkeeper for Alternative Community Experience (ACE), a representative payee organization that provides residential support services and day support services for individuals with mental health illnesses, mental retardation and substance abuse problems. Whitt admitted today that while serving as the bookkeeper she embezzled $34,505 in Social Security Administration benefits from the business' operating account.

 

The investigation of the case was conducted by Virginia Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Social Security Administration. Assistant Attorney General and Special Assistant United States Attorney Vaso Doubles and Assistant United States Attorney Charlene Day are prosecuting the case for the United States.

 

Virginia State Seal as part of the letterhead for the Attorney General.

Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

Mark Herring
Attorney General

900 East Main Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219



For media inquiries only, contact:  
Brian J. Gottstein
Phone: (804)786-5874 
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (best contact method)

 

Brian McGinn
Phone434-295-8672
Fax :  434- 293-4910
Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Websitewww.usdoj.gov/usao/vaw

United States Attorney's Office
Western District of Virginia
United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy

Joint release from Attorney General Mark Herring and U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy...

Former Roanoke doctor convicted of drug distribution charges

~Jury convicted Linda Sue Cheek on 172 counts related to illegal distribution of controlled substances~

ROANOKE  (February 22, 2013) - A former medical doctor from Dublin, Va. was convicted late Thursday evening on 172 of the 173 counts related to the illegal distribution of controlled substances.  Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia Tim Heaphy made the announcement after Linda Sue Cheek, 63, was convicted by a jury on all but one of the counts leveled against her following an eight day trial in the United States District Court in Roanoke.

In May, a Federal Grand Jury charged Cheek with 86 counts of distributing scheduled controlled substances without holding a valid certificate of DEA registration, 81 counts of using a DEA registration number issued to another person, five counts of using a DEA registration number which has been revoked or suspended, and one count of maintaining a drug-involved premise.

"Dr. Cheek broke the law over and over again by illegally prescribing pain medication and exploiting vulnerable patients," said Attorney General Cuccinelli. "We will not tolerate criminal behavior as a 'cost of doing business' or for purposes of greed. We will continue our fight to protect Virginia's most vulnerable citizens."

"Despite losing her license to prescribe medication, Dr. Cheek repeatedly provided pain medication to vulnerable patients," Heaphy said. "Her motive was greed, and she collected thousands of dollars over the course of her illegal scheme.  The abuse of prescription drugs in Southwest Virginia is a public health crisis, one that is tearing families apart. We will continue to investigate and prosecute health care provides like Linda Cheek who circumvent the rules and illegally dispense these highly addictive substances."
               
The investigation of the case was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Virginia State Police and the Office of the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.  Virginia Assistant Attorney General and Special Assistant United States Attorney Vaso T. Doubles and Assistant United States Attorney Jennie L.M. Waering are prosecuting the case for the United States.