James Theodore Highhouse, 49, a former chaplain with the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) pleaded guilty today in federal court in the Northern District of California to five felonies for sexually abusing a female inmate and subsequently lying to federal agents during their investigation into his misconduct.
- On the Occasion of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s 86th Birthday
July 8, 2021
- Deputy Assistant Attorney General and Counselor for International Affairs Bruce C. Swartz Statement Before the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control
November 17, 2021Chairman Whitehouse, Co-Chairman Grassley, and distinguished members of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, thank you for this opportunity to testify on behalf of the Department of Justice. The topic of today’s hearing – the nexus between the illicit narcotics trade and corruption – is one of central importance to the Department of Justice.
- Michigan Man Sentenced to Prison for Attacking Black Teenager
July 8, 2021The Justice Department announced that a Michigan man was sentenced today for willfully causing bodily injury to a Black teenager because of the teenager’s race.
- Honoring International Migrants Day
December 17, 2021
- Announcement of Dilawar Syed as the State Department’s Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs
February 15, 2022
- Two Virginia Men Convicted for Their Roles in Investment Fraud Scheme
November 3, 2020A federal jury found two representatives of a purported investment company based in the United Kingdom guilty on Oct. 30 for their roles in an investment fraud scheme by which they stole at least $5 million from victim investors.
- Seven North Carolina Tax Preparers Plead Guilty to Conspiring to Defraud the IRS
January 12, 2021Seven Charlotte, North Carolina tax return preparers pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States by preparing and filing false tax returns, announced Principal Deputy Assistant General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division, U.S. Attorney R. Andrew Murray for the Western District of North Carolina, and Special Agent in Charge Matthew D. Line of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI).
- Secretary Blinken’s Call with South African Minister of Foreign Relations and Cooperation Pandor
January 28, 2021
- Secretary Blinken’s Call with Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Al-Thani
August 20, 2021
- Court Orders USDA-Licensed Breeder to Provide Immediate Care to Dogs Found to Be in Serious Danger
September 30, 2021A federal court on Sept. 28, issued a temporary restraining order against Daniel Gingerich, an Iowa dog breeder, based on claims that he is placing the health of hundreds of dogs in “serious danger” in violation of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA).
- Medicaid: CMS Needs to Implement Risk-Based Oversight of Puerto Rico’s Procurement Process
In U.S GAO NewsFebruary 5, 2021Like other U.S. territories and states, Puerto Rico implements major functions of its Medicaid program by procuring services from contractors, such as the delivery of managed care services to Medicaid beneficiaries. In 2018, procurement costs represented $2.4 billion of Puerto Rico’s $2.5 billion in total Medicaid expenditures. A 2019 federal indictment alleging Puerto Rico officials unlawfully steered Medicaid contracts to certain individuals has raised concerns about Puerto Rico’s Medicaid procurement process, including whether this process helps ensure appropriate competition. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), within the Department of Health and Human Services, is responsible for overseeing the Medicaid program. CMS requires states and territories to use the same process for Medicaid procurements as they do for their non-federal procurements. However, CMS has not taken steps to ensure Puerto Rico has met this requirement. Instead, CMS has relied on Puerto Rico to oversee the territory’s procurement process and to attest to its compliance. CMS approved Puerto Rico’s attestation of compliance in 2004 and has not required subsequent updates. CMS officials told GAO that states and territories are in the best position to ensure compliance with their respective procurement laws. GAO and others have found that competition is a cornerstone of procurement. Using competition can reduce costs, improve contractor performance, curb fraud, and promote accountability. GAO reviewed selected Puerto Rico Medicaid procurements against federal procurement standards designed to promote competition and reduce risks of fraud. States and territories are generally not required to meet such standards. However, GAO and others have found that such standards can indicate whether a state’s or territory’s procurement process includes necessary steps to achieve fair competition. GAO found that seven of the eight selected Puerto Rico procurements did not include important steps to promote competition and mitigate the risk for fraud, waste, and abuse, underscoring the need for federal oversight. Competitive procurements. The requests for proposals for two of the three competitive procurements GAO reviewed did not include certain information on factors used to evaluate proposals and make awards. In contrast, Puerto Rico’s managed care procurement—the largest procurement reviewed—included this information. Noncompetitive procurements. None of the five noncompetitive procurements GAO reviewed documented circumstances to justify not using competitive procurements, such as a lack of competition or an emergency. Puerto Rico officials explained that territorial law allows noncompetitive procurement for professional services regardless of circumstances. Because CMS does not oversee Puerto Rico’s procurement process, the agency lacks assurance that Puerto Rico’s Medicaid program is appropriately managing the risk of fraud, waste, and abuse. Procurements that did not include important steps to promote competition could have unnecessarily increased Medicaid costs, reducing funding for Medicaid services to beneficiaries. States’ and U.S. territories’ Medicaid procurement processes can directly affect their ability to prevent fraud, waste, and abuse in the program. A 2019 federal indictment alleging fraudulent Medicaid procurements in Puerto Rico has raised questions about the program’s oversight. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 includes a provision for GAO to review oversight of Puerto Rico’s Medicaid procurement process and its use of competition. This report examines CMS oversight of Puerto Rico’s procurement process from its initial steps through the award, and how it helps ensure competition. GAO reviewed federal regulations, guidance, and Puerto Rico’s December 2020 procurement reform plan; interviewed Puerto Rico and federal officials; and reviewed eight awards that represented about 97 percent of the costs of Puerto Rico’s procurements in effect as of April 2020. These procurements were selected based on variation in cost, use of competition, and other factors. GAO assessed whether CMS addressed risks in Puerto Rico’s procurement process by reviewing selected procurements against certain federal standards that apply to other non-federal entities and aim to mitigate the risk of fraud, waste, and abuse. GAO also assessed CMS’s policies and procedures against federal internal control standards. GAO recommends that CMS implement risk-based oversight of the Medicaid procurement process in Puerto Rico. The Department of Health and Human Services concurred with this recommendation. For more information, contact Carolyn L. Yocom at (202) 512-7114 or YocomC@gao.gov.
- Texas Vape Shop Owner Pleads Guilty to Unlawful Importation of Counterfeit Vaping Products
November 24, 2021A Texas vape shop owner pleaded guilty Tuesday to a felony charge relating to the importation of counterfeit vaping products, the Department of Justice announced.
- U.S. Decision To Reengage with the UN Human Rights Council
February 8, 2021
- U.S. Announces Humanitarian Assistance at the International Conference on Sustaining Support for the Rohingya Refugee Response
October 22, 2020Michael R. Pompeo, [Read More…]
- Italy Travel Advisory
September 26, 2020Reconsider travel to [Read More…]
- Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Satterfield Travel to Addis Ababa
February 13, 2022
- Global Entry for Colombian Citizens
September 27, 2020How to Apply for Global [Read More…]
- Justice Department Settles with Transportation and Logistics Company to Resolve Immigration-Related Discrimination Claims
November 12, 2020The Justice Department announced today that it reached a settlement with IAS Logistics DFW LLC, d/b/a Pinnacle Logistics (Pinnacle Logistics), a transportation and logistics company headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas.
- Kyrgyz Republic National Day
August 30, 2021
- Uzbekistan Independence Day
August 31, 2021