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CRIME AND COURT ROUNDUP: FBI searches Osceola medical lab for possible Medicare fraud

A high-tech medical testing lab in northwest Wisconsin has been searched by the F-B-I, apparently to investigate possible Medicare billing fraud. Neuro-Science of Osceola said yesterday the search appeared to be related to previous misconduct by a former employee, involving Medicare billing procedures. Neuro-Science said it sued the former worker for theft-and-fraud, and the court case is still underway. The company said it's cooperating fully with investigators. Polk County Sheriff Peter Johnson said his deputies helped with traffic control while the F-B-I executed its search warrant. Wisconsin F-B-I spokesman Leonard Peace would only confirm that a warrant was executed. He would give no other details. Neuro-Science deals with a variety of neurologic, hormone, and immune system testing.


Milwaukee prosecutors are reportedly trying to decide whether an apartment building's maintenance worker acted in self-defense in the deaths of two teens. The victims were identified yesterday as 19-year-old James Bell Junior and 17-year-old Anmarie Miller, both of Milwaukee. W-I-S-N T-V said prosecutors have cell-phone video from a part of Wednesday afternoon's incident. The maintenance worker, a 39-year-old man, is in jail where he was booked on two possible homicide charges. A third person with the teens, a 20-year-old man, is being held on a possible battery charge. Police said the maintenance man got into an argument with three young people in his building's stairwell. It led to a physical altercation in which the worker was reportedly being held and beaten with a baseball bat. Officials said he then pulled out his gun and shot Miller and Bell to death. Police said they were not allowed to disclose whether the maintenance man had a state concealed weapons' permit.


A Madison man will be sentenced this afternoon for drugging eight women, and then molesting them and shooting nude videos after they passed out. 30-year-old Brian Stowe pleaded guilty last fall to 27 state felony charges of sexually assaulting intoxicated victims, and taking nude photos of them. Thirty-five similar counts were dropped in a plea deal. Stowe has already been sentenced to 15 years on a federal conviction of drugging and molesting a 17-year-old girl after she fell asleep in late 2012. Police widened an investigation of Stowe after the girl came forward. Investigators found numerous photos and videos of his victims on his computer. None said they knew that Stowe photographed them while they were unconscious. During his federal court sentencing, Judge Barbara Crabb called Stowe a bright and talented man, and she could not fathom how he could act as a "predator." Stowe has a master's degree in business.


A Merrill woman has pleaded innocent to offering a former lover a thousand dollars plus sex if he would kill her fiancee. 33-year-old Jessica Strom was ordered to stand trial after a preliminary hearing yesterday. She was immediately arraigned on a Marathon County charge of conspiracy to commit homicide. A judge also refused to reduce Strom's quarter-million-dollar bond that's keeping her in jail. Prosecutors said Strom met twice with a former technical college student and asked him to kill her fiancee, who's an attorney in both Wausau and Merrill. Officials said the man went to police after the first meeting, and officers recorded the second encounter. Prosecutors said Strom, a mother of two, was trying to get out of a "bad relationship." During the hearing, Strom's lawyer pointed out that she had a previous intimate relationship with the informant -- and he asked a detective if Strom was really serious about her alleged offer. The prosecutor contended that she was serious.