Crime and Court Roundup: Milwaukee woman gets four years prison for running a fake medical supply companyWisconsin News
-- A Milwaukee woman was sentenced to four years in prison yesterday, for running a fake medical supply company that bilked Medicaid out of one-point-two million dollars.
A Milwaukee woman was sentenced to four years in prison yesterday, for running a fake medical supply company that bilked Medicaid out of one-point-two million dollars. 26-year-old Ericka Thomas must spend eight years under extended supervision once she leaves prison. And she must re-pay the state 356-thousand-dollars as her share of the fraud. Thomas was among seven Milwaukee residents charged with falsely billing Medicaid for medical equipment used by fake patients in 2009. The others earlier pleaded guilty to three Medicaid fraud charges each. Auditors caught onto the fraud in 2010 – and about 200-thousand-dollars in payments were intercepted before they got to the defendants. Authorities said Thomas was one of the leaders of the scheme. State officials said another leader, George Woods, has not been charged because he’s serving prison time for a federal drug conviction. Thomas told Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Dennis Cimpl that she thought her business was legitimate at the start – but then she had some doubts after bankers gave her funny looks when she made some large withdrawals. The judge said he didn’t buy the story – and it was clear that Thomas was out to run a fraudulent business from the get-go. The judge also said it’s not likely that Thomas will be able to pay her restitution – but he said she’s still young, and there’s always a chance she’ll win the lottery.
A Green Bay man has pleaded no contest to stabbing another man five times at last year’s Mifflin Street Block Party in Madison. 23-year-old Colin Rosenow struck a plea deal yesterday, before he was supposed to go on trial next week. He was convicted of a reduced charge of first-degree reckless endangerment. A count of attempted homicide was dropped. And Rosenow will face up to 17-and-a-half years of prison and extended supervision when he’s sentenced in about two months in Dane County Circuit Court. He was one of three people charged in a fight that wounded 21-year-old Mathew Warnert at the Mifflin Street event in April of 2011. The block party attracted around 20-thousand people, and over 160 people were arrested or cited for various offenses. 22-year-old Frank Alioto of Dousman has reportedly arranged a plea bargain for breaking the jaw of one Warnert’s friends. The third defendant, 22-year-old Ziad Madi of De Pere, was put on two years’ probation for illegally possessing the pain-killer oxycodone.
A drug unit at Duluth-Superior has arrested 23 people in a six-month investigation into heroin trafficking in the Twin Ports. And as of yesterday, nine others were still being sought. Police say there’s been a large increase in heroin dealing and overdoses in the Duluth-Superior region. Police said they called the investigation “Operation Brownstone” because brown-powder heroin is the type most often seen in the area. Charges were filed yesterday against seven suspects ranging in age from 21-to-56. Six are from Duluth and one from Cloquet Minnesota. Of those arrested so far, 13 were said to be heroin dealers. One was a juvenile. Duluth Police lieutenant Steve Stracek said they acted alone, and there’s been no identifiable ring-leader. Two vehicles were seized, but no weapons were found during the arrests. Stracek said the heroin had apparently come from Detroit and Minnesota’s Twin Cities. The U-S Marshals and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives also took part in the drug probe.
A Waukesha County judge has ordered Darren Wold to pay 74-thousand-dollars to care for the child for which he tried to get sole custody by having his mother killed. Wold was sentenced last December to life in prison with no chance for a supervised release. At a hearing yesterday, his lawyers gave no evidence that Wold would not be able to make child support payments that were first ordered in April – so the judge re-affirmed the order. Wold’s son was four years old when he and Jack Johnson hired a hit-man who stabbed 39-year-old Kimberly Smith to death at her home in Oconomowoc in October of 2009. Johnson is also in prison for life. The hit-man, Justin Welch, is spending at least 52 years behind bars before he gets his first chance at freedom at age 70. Wold turned down a chance to comment during yesterday’s court hearing. His restitution will be paid to Robert and Laurie Zanotti, who will care for Wold’s son until he turns 18. The boy is now six.