‘Most dangerous doctor’ arrested in Helen

News

Ronald Wheeler

HELEN, Ga. — White County authorities along with the Helen Police Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation executed a search warrant at a doctor’s office on South Main Street Tuesday and charged Ronald Wheeler, 71, with practicing medicine without a license.

The newly opened business belonged to Wheeler and Dr. Ben Johnson. Wheeler, has been called “one of the most dangerous doctors” in Florida where he practiced for many years before having his license revoked by the state medical board.

No charges have been filed against Dr. Johnson and the office on Main Street is still open, but the investigation is ongoing.

Before his license was revoked, Wheeler was a urologist who specialized in the treatment of prostate cancer with high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) at his office in Sarasota, Florida. He was arrested at that office last July, three months after his license was revoked, following an anonymous complaint. Undercover police officers posed as cancer patients were told an office visit cost $3,445 and HIFU-based treatments start at $50,000.

In March, Sarasota police charged Wheeler with a scheme to defraud between $20,000 and $50,000 after he diagnosed a man with prostate cancer who did not have cancer at all.

Wheeler also had an office in Sautee before opening the new office in Helen.

Captain Rick Kelley of the White County Sheriff’s Office asks that any patient who has been seen or treated by Wheeler contact him at 706-865-5177.

 

 

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Helen man charged with practicing medicine without license

News

HELEN, Ga. — White County authorities along with the Helen Police Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation executed a search warrant at a doctor’s office on South Main Street Tuesday and charged Ronald Wheeler with practicing medicine without a license.

The newly opened business belonged to Wheeler and Dr. Ben Johnson.

Captain Rick Kelley of the White County Sheriff’s Office asks that any patient who has been seen or treated by Wheeler contact him at 706-865-5177.

The investigation is very active and ongoing. FetchYourNews will have more details as they become available.

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City of Atlanta’s Former Chief Procurement Officer Pleads Guilty

Press Release

CITY OF ATLANTA’S FORMER CHIEF PROCUREMENT OFFICER

ADAM SMITH PLEADS GUILTY TO TAKING BRIBES

ATLANTA – Adam L. Smith, the former Chief Procurement Officer for the City of Atlanta, has pleaded guilty to conspiring to accept more than $30,000 in bribe payments from a vendor who obtained millions of dollars in city contracts.

“Great trust was placed in Smith as Chief Procurement Officer for the City of Atlanta, and he abused his position to serve his own financial interests,” said U.S. Attorney John A. Horn.  “Public corruption offenses, like Smith’s, can erode the confidence that the people have in government.”

“The guilty plea in federal court of former City of Atlanta Procurement Officer Adams will ensure that he is held accountable for his greed based criminal conduct as he now awaits sentencing. It is hoped that this case serves as notice to others that similar such conduct among public officials will not be condoned and that there are severe consequences should that notice go unheeded,” said David J. LeValley, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office.

“Public service is a public trust, requiring employees to obey laws and ethical principles above private gain. Smith abused his public trust to enrich himself at a cost to the taxpayers,” said James E. Dorsey, Acting Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation. “We will continue to work with the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office in making these public corruption investigations a priority.”

According to U.S. Attorney Horn, the charges and other information presented in court: From 2003 to February 21, 2017, Smith served as the Chief Procurement Officer for the City of Atlanta, Georgia. As the Chief Procurement Officer, Smith oversaw the City of Atlanta’s purchasing activities and its expenditure of billions of dollars in public money for projects.

The information refers to a vendor who was an executive with a construction firm in Atlanta, Georgia, but does not identify them by name. During Smith’s tenure as the Chief Procurement Officer, Atlanta awarded contracts worth millions of dollars to Vendor’s firm and joint venture projects of which Vendor was a partner.

From at least 2015 to January 2017, Smith met privately with Vendor on multiple occasions, frequently at local restaurants. During these meetings, Smith and Vendor discussed Atlanta procurement projects, bids, and solicitations. Often at the time of these meetings, Vendor was actively seeking contracts, projects, and work with Atlanta.

After most of these meetings, Vendor and Smith met in the restaurant’s bathroom, where Vendor paid Smith approximately $1,000 in cash. In return for the bribe payments, Vendor expected Smith to use his position and power as Atlanta’s Chief Procurement Officer to assist Vendor with contracting/procurement with Atlanta and to furnish Vendor with future benefits and favors when needed.

Given his position, Smith was required to sign annually a financial disclosure statement certifying that he had not received more than $5,000 in annual income from any corporation, partnership, proprietorship, or other business entity other than Atlanta.  Additionally, under Atlanta’s Procurement Code, Smith also had to “make a written determination as to the existence” of any “personal or organizational conflicts of interest exist” between vendors and Atlanta before awarding a vendor a solicited contract. Similarly, Atlanta’s Procurement Code mandated that Smith “certify to the city council” that the winning vendors had disclosed to Atlanta any “organizational and personal relationships” and that the “award of the contract [was] appropriate.”

Furthermore, in exchange for those cash payments:

  1. Smith met with Vendor on a regular basis;
  2. Smith provided Vendor with information and counsel regarding Atlanta’s procurement processes (among other information);
  3. When Vendor’s firm or joint venture became the successful bidder on an Atlanta contract or Request for Proposal, Smith approved and submitted the award of such procurement projects or bids to Atlanta’s mayor and city council for final authorization;
  4. Smith never disclosed his ongoing financial relationship with Vendor and/or Vendor’s firm on his Financial Disclosure Statements to Atlanta; and
  5. Smith never advised Atlanta’s City Council that the Vendor’s firm or joint venture had failed to disclose its organizational and personal relationships with him.

In total, from at least 2015 to January 2017, Vendor paid Smith more than $30,000 in cash.

Adam L. Smith, 53, Atlanta, Georgia, pleaded guilty to conspiratorial bribery. Sentencing is scheduled for January 16, 2018, before U.S. District Judge Steve C. Jones.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation are investigating this case.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeffrey W.  Davis, Kurt R. Erskine, and Jill E. Steinberg are prosecuting the case.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office atUSAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.

Senior MARTA Executive Pleads Guilty to False Invoice Scam

State & National

United States Attorney John A. Horn

Northern District of Georgia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2017

http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga

  CONTACT:

Bob Page, PAO

404-581-6016

SENIOR MARTA EXECUTIVE PLEADS GUILTY TO FALSE INVOICE SCAM

CAUSING MARTA TO PAY $500,000 FOR WORK NEVER PERFORMED

 

ATLANTA – Joseph J. Erves, MARTA’s former Senior Director of Operations, has pleaded guilty in federal court to orchestrating a false invoice scheme that resulted in MARTA paying more than $500,000 for maintenance work that was never performed and for funneling most of the money back into his personal bank accounts.

“Erves was entrusted to use taxpayer dollars to operate MARTA effectively and responsibly,” said U.S. Attorney John A. Horn.  “His theft of $500,000 in MARTA funds was a blatant display of his desire for self-enrichment at the expense of the public interest.”

According to U.S. Attorney Horn, the charges, and other information presented in court: the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (“MARTA”) is the principal public transportation operator in the Atlanta metropolitan area, providing fixed rail and bus service to more than 500,000 passengers per weekday. Formed in 1965, MARTA is a multi-county governmental agency with a 2016 annual budget of more than $880 million.

From 1993 to 2017, Erves worked for MARTA, ultimately serving as its Senior Director of Operations. In that position, Erves oversaw the maintenance of all of MARTA’s buses and rail cars and had the authority to approve payments up to $10,000 to vendors for work performed on behalf of MARTA.

Beginning in or about 2010, Erves retained three different vendors purportedly to perform maintenance projects for MARTA, including repairing brake testing equipment and fixing various MARTA tools and equipment. From approximately June 2010 to December 2016, Erves had fake invoices prepared on behalf of the three vendors for more than 40 maintenance projects for which no work was performed.

Erves then used the false invoices as bases to authorize payments to the three vendors. In many cases, Erves personally approved payments to the vendors knowing that the vendors had not performed any work for MARTA.

After being paid, the three vendors funneled most of the money received from MARTA into Erves’s personal bank accounts. Subsequently, Erves used the money deposited into his accounts to pay personal expenses, such as multiple purchases at high-end department stores and the purchase of a Porsche 911. Based on Erves’s authority and representations, MARTA paid the three vendors more than $500,000 for maintenance projects where no worked was actually performed.

On August 24, 2017, Erves, 52, of Lithonia, Georgia, was charged via criminal information with one count of Federal Program Theft. Erves has pleaded guilty to the information.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the MARTA Police Department are investigating this case.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeffrey W. Davis and Alison Prout are prosecuting the case.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office atUSAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.

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