Legal Briefs: News from around NH
Robocall suit filed by NH, 47 other states and D.C., Boston personal injury firms expands to state … and more
Robocall suit filed by NH, 48 other states and D.C.
New Hampshire Attorney General John M. Formella has joined a coalition of attorneys general from nearly every state and the District of Columbia in suing an Arizona company that provides phone-calling services for allegedly facilitating billions of robocalls, including many that appeared to be scams.
A complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court in Arizona against Michael D. Lansky LLC, which does business under the name Avid Telecom, its owner Michael Lansky, and its vice president, Stacey S. Reeves. It alleges they initiated and facilitated billions of illegal robocalls to millions of people and violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the Telemarketing Sales Rule, and other federal and state telemarketing and consumer laws.
According to the suit, Avid Telecom sent or transmitted more than 7.5 billion calls to telephone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry between December 2018 and January 2023. Approximately 36.2 million of those calls were to numbers in New Hampshire.
According to Formella, Avid Telecom is a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service provider that sells data, phone numbers, dialing software and expertise to help customers make mass robocalls. It also serves as an intermediate provider and allegedly facilitated or helped route illegal robocalls across the country.
Avid Telecom allegedly sent or transmitted scam calls about Social Security Administration scams, Medicare scams, auto warranty scams, Amazon scams, DirecTV scams, credit card interest rate reduction scams, and employment scams.
Parker Scheer expands to New Hampshire
Boston personal injury law firm Parker Scheer LLP is expanding to New Hampshire with the addition of Portsmouth-based attorney Amanda M. Frederick.
A longtime New Hampshire resident, Frederick focuses her practice on a wide range of personal injury matters, including automobile accidents, slip and falls, premises liability, products liability, medical malpractice, nursing home abuse/neglect cases, wrongful death claims and general civil litigation.
She is licensed to practice in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine and has litigation experience in the state and federal courts in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire. She also is a member of the NH Association for Justice, the NH Bar Association, the New Hampshire Women’s Bar Association and the Rockingham County Bar Association.
Ex-NH doctor pleads guilty to $1.9m Medicare fraud
A former New Hampshire doctor has pleaded guilty in federal court in connection with a scheme to defraud Medicare by prescribing durable medical equipment without seeing, speaking to or otherwise examining patients.
According to U.S. Attorney Jane E. Young’s office, Steven Powell, 53, of Alpharetta, Ga., pleaded guilty to one count of healthcare fraud. U.S. District Court Judge Paul Barbadoro has sentencing for Aug. 30.
According to the U.S. attorney, Powell agreed to electronically sign orders for durable medical equipment, such as knee and ankle braces, that he knew were used to submit more than $1.9 million in false and fraudulent claims to Medicare. Powell received kickbacks in exchange for each doctor’s order he signed authorizing equipment, which were not medically necessary and not legitimately prescribed.
The charging statute provides a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 or twice the pecuniary gain.
The FBI and U.S Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General led the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney John Kennedy and First Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay McCormack are prosecuting the case.
Shaheen, Hassan reintroduce LOCAL Infrastructure Act
New Hampshire’s two U.S. senators, Democrats Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan have joined with several colleagues in reintroducing the Lifting Our Communities through Advance Liquidity for Infrastructure (LOCAL Infrastructure) Act. The legislation seeks to amend the federal tax code to restore state and local governments’ ability to use advance refunding to manage bond debt and reduce borrowing costs for public projects.
Advance refunding is an accounting practice that allows state and local governments to refinance outstanding municipal bonds to more favorable borrowing rates or conditions before the end of the initial bond term. It’s a process that’s similar to how a homeowner may refinance a mortgage on their property to lock in a lower interest rate. The LOCAL Infrastructure Act would restore municipalities’ ability to advance refund bonds on a on a tax-exempt basis.
Advance refunding has saved state and local governments billions of dollars over decades but has been unavailable to state and local governments since 2017, the senators said.
Swanzey resident found guilty of improper asbestos management
A Swanzey resident was sentenced to a 12-months suspended jail sentence and ordered to pay a $2,500 fine for felonious improper asbestos management, according to the attorney general’s office.
According to the AG Aaron Doleszny, 35, worked as a contractor at an elderly person’s residence in Charlestown between March 2019 and July 2019. Although the resident’s daughter told Doleszny that siding shingles contained asbestos, Doleszny failed to contact the NH Department of Environmental Services before starting the work and did not “take precautionary measures to prevent asbestos fibers from entering the environment while completing the work,” according to the AG’s office.
According to state law, a person is guilty of a felony if they knowingly and willfully violate any provision of the statute, which dictates proper asbestos management, control and disposal.