Colorado Department of Law — Annual Report 2009
During 2009, the Insurance Fraud Unit supervised the restitution payments of 48 defendants on probation for insurance fraud- related crimes. A total of $219,823.37 in restitution was collected from January through mid-December 2009. Additionally, the Unit achieved new restitution orders totaling $364,439.74.
One significant case involved the prosecution of Rick Van Vleet. The defendant sold investments in kiosks to be used in music stores. He channeled these investor funds into a different, undisclosed investment scheme as well as using some of the money for personal use. He pleaded guilty to Securities Fraud and was sentenced to 10 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections and ordered to pay over $2.9 million in restitution.
Pursuant to Colorado law, the Attorney General has original jurisdiction to prosecute criminal violations relating to securities and securities fraud. The Attorney General’s Office independently investigates and prosecutes allegations of securities violations statewide and in doing so, works closely with the Colorado Division of Securities and other law enforcement agencies.
The Unit is made up of two attorneys, two investigators and a paralegal who all work on securities fraud cases full-time. The Unit obtained a total of four felony convictions which resulted in restitution orders for 72 Colorado victims of securities fraud totaling more than $4.4 million. In each plea bargained case, the defendant pleaded guilty to securities fraud, a class 3 felony. In each case, this was the most serious charge pending against each defendant and each defendant was sentenced to prison.
The Unit opened nine investigations and filed seven felony criminal cases throughout the state. Of the cases opened, four were initiated by the Attorney General’s Office and five cases were referred by the Colorado Division of Securities.
The Unit tracked the restitution payments of 63 defendants during 2009. Restitution collected on behalf of victims totaled $218,876 for the year.
In 2009, Colorado paid over $3.7 billion to over 10,000 participating Colorado Medicaid providers (such as nursing homes, doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists and mental health therapists, dentists, pharmacies, laboratories, hospitals, clinics and durable medical equipment companies) on behalf of nearly 700,000 citizens who qualified for Medicaid benefits. The goal of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit is to preserve state resources devoted to Colorado’s Medicaid program and to protect these funds against fraud.
The Unit also investigates and prosecutes complaints of neglect and physical abuse in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes, and serves as an authority and a training resource on abuse investigation and prevention. The Unit includes two attorneys, eight investigators, an auditor, a nurse investigator, a paralegal and a program assistant.