Cuba NM - Officials at the Attorney General’s Office say they recently made a huge Medicaid fraud bust involving a New Mexico eyeglass provider. Raymond Eichwald, operated an eyeglass business from his home in Albuquerque and from a shop in Cuba, New Mexico. He is facing 96 felony counts for allegedly swindling Medicaid by - among other things - billing 35 pairs of eyeglasses for just one person. The attorney general’s office says it is still investigating this case. If convicted, Eichwald faces up to 18 months in prison and a $5,000 dollar fine for each count.
New York - Suresh Hemrajani, 58, has been found guilty of $ 700,000 Medicaid fraud in which he prescribed HIV medications to patients who did not have it. The internal medicine physician, was convicted by a jury on charges of grand larceny and 11 counts of falsifying business records. According to information at his trial, in 2008 Hemrajani wrote prescriptions for HIV medications for various individuals without determining whether they actually had HIV. He then billed the cost of the medications to Medicaid. He also created false records for his purported treatment of the patients, even though in most cases the individuals did not visit his office more than once. When some of these patients later tried to obtain prescriptions from a hospital, one of them was tested and found to be HIV-negative, which prompted an investigation by the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General, the Human Resources Administration Bureau of Fraud Investigation and the Manhattan District Attorney's Office. The investigation into the whereabouts of the HIV medications is ongoing.
Houston TX - A woman will get 14 years in prison for an elaborate fraud scheme that scammed Medicaid out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Christine Lee Jones, 47, was sentenced for aggregate theft over $200,000 on Tuesday. Jones created “Center for Developing Healthy Minds” as a front for a Medicaid billing scheme, according to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. Jones told parents she provided after-school care for children and obtained their Medicaid numbers for “emergency information”. She then billed Medicaid for bogus services and used her sister’s (medical doctor) Medicaid number to perpetuate the scheme. After she was apprehended, she pleaded guilty.
********************************* State Veteran's Benefits: The state of South Carolina provides several benefits to veterans. To obtain information on these refer to the “Veteran State Benefits SC” attachment to this Bulletin for an overview of those benefits. Benefits are available to veterans who are residents of the state in the following areas:
Veteran Housing Benefits
Veteran and Active Duty Financial Assistance Benefits
Dec 2011 ++]
********************************* Military History: The tunnels of Cu Chi are an immense network of connecting underground tunnels located in the Cu Chi district of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam, and are part of a much larger network of tunnels that underlie much of the country. The Cu Chi tunnels were the location of several military campaigns during the Vietnam War, and were the Viet Cong's base of operations for the Tet Offensive in 1968. The tunnels were used by Viet Cong guerrillas as hiding spots during combat, as well as serving as communication and supply routes, hospitals, food and weapon caches and living quarters for numerous guerrilla fighters. The tunnel systems were of great importance to the Viet Cong in their resistance to American forces, through which they secured American withdrawal from Vietnam and ultimate military success.
American soldiers used the term "Black echo" to describe the conditions within the tunnels. For the Viet Cong, life in the tunnels was difficult. Air, food and water were scarce and the tunnels were infested with ants, poisonous centipedes, scorpions, spiders and vermin. Most of the time, guerrillas would spend the day in the tunnels working or resting and come out only at night to scavenge for supplies, tend their crops or engage the enemy in battle. Sometimes, during periods of heavy bombing or American troop movement, they would be forced to remain underground for many days at a time. Sickness was rampant among the people living in the tunnels, especially malaria, which was the second largest cause of death next to battle wounds. A captured Viet Cong report suggests that at any given time half of a People’s Liberation Army Force (PLAF) unit had malaria and that "one-hundred percent had intestinal parasites of significance". To read more about the Cu Chi tunnels and how the U.S. attempted to deal with them refer to this Bulletin’s attachment titled, “Cu Chi Tunnels”. [Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cu_Chi_Tunnels Nov 2011 ++]Your ratings have expired
********************************* Military History Anniversaries: Significant December events in U.S. Military History are:
Dec 16 1864 Civil War: Union forces under General George H. Thomas win the battle at Nashville, smashing an entire Confederate army.
Dec 16 1950 - Korea: President Harry Truman declares a state of National Emergency as Chinese communists invade deeper into South Korea.
Dec 16 1998 - Iraq: The United States launches a missile attack on Iraq for failing to comply with United Nations weapons inspectors.
Dec 17 1777 - Revolutionary War: France recognized American independence.
Dec 17 1862 - Civil War: General Ulysses S. Grant issues General Order No. 11, expelling Jews from Tennessee, Mississippi, and Kentucky.
Dec 17 1943 - WWII: U.S. forces invade Japanese-held New Britain Island in New Guinea.
Dec 17 1944 - WWII: The German Army renews the attack on the Belgian town of Losheimergraben against the defending Americans during the Battle of the Bulge. Within 5 days the 101st Airborne Division is surrounded at Bastogne Belgium.
Dec 17 1944 - WWII: Battle of the Bulge Malmedy massacre - 90 American 285th Field Artillery Observation Battalion POWs are shot by Waffen-SS Kampfgruppe Peiper.
Dec 17 1944 - WWII: U.S. approves end to internment of Japanese Americans.
Dec 17 1969 - The U.S. Air Force ended its "Project Blue Book" and concluded that there was no evidence of extraterrestrial activity behind UFO sightings.
Dec 18 1916 - WWI: The Battle of Verdun ends with the French and Germans each having suffered more than 330,000 killed and wounded in 10 months. It was the longest engagement of World War I.
Dec 18 1941 - WWII: Defended by 610 fighting men, the American-held island of Guam falls to more than 5,000 Japanese invaders in a three-hour battle.
Dec 18 1944 - WWII: The Supreme Court upheld the wartime internment of Japanese-Americans.
Dec 18 1972 - Vietnam: The Paris Peace talks temporarily fail and President Nixon orders a resumption of full-scale bombing of targets in North Vietnam.
Dec 19 1777 - Revolutionary War: George Washington's Continental Army goes into winter quarters at Valley Forge PA.
Dec 20 1941 - WWII: The Flying Tigers, American pilots in China, enter combat against the Japanese over Kunming.
Dec 20 1989 - Operation Just Cause, the invasion of Panama, begins to oust General Manuel Noriega and replace him with Guillermo Endara.
Dec 21 2004 - Iraq War: A suicide bomber killed 22 at the forward operating base next to the main U.S. military airfield at Mosul, the single deadliest suicide attack on American soldiers to date.
Dec 23 1941 - WWII: Despite throwing back an earlier Japanese amphibious assault, the U.S. Marines and Navy defenders on Wake Island capitulate to a second Japanese invasion.
Dec 23 2002 - Iraq War: A MQ-1 Predator is shot down by an Iraqi MiG-25, making it the first time in history that an aircraft and an unmanned drone had engaged in combat.
Dec 24 1814 - War of 1812: Treaty of Ghent signed, ending the War of 1812 between the United States and England.
Dec 27 1944 - WWII: General George S. Patton’s Third Army, spearheaded by the 4th Armored Division, relieves the surrounded city of Bastogne
Dec 29 1890 - The last major conflict of the Indian wars takes place at Wounded Knee Creek in South Dakota after Colonel James W. Forsyth of the 7th Cavalry tries to disarm Chief Big Foot and his followers.
Dec 30 1813 - War of 1812: British soldiers burn Buffalo, New York
Dec 30 1862 - Civil War: The USS Monitor sinks off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.
Dec 30 1972 - Vietnam: After two weeks of heavy bombing raids on North Vietnam, President Nixon halts the air offensive and agrees to resume peace negotiations with Hanoi representative Le Duc Tho.
Dec 31 1942 - WWII: After five months of battle, Emperor Hirohito allows the Japanese commanders at Guadalcanal to retreat.
[Source: Various Dec 2011 ++]
Military Trivia Update 41: See if you can answer the following about the greatest commanders in history:
Pyrrhus of Epirus survived numerous pitched battles, only to be brought down in what way and where ?
Fall from his horse on campaign in Italy.
Trampled by a rampaging war elephant in Egypt.
Struck by a roofing tile in the city of Argos.
Drowned whilst crossing a defended river in Sicily.
This ancient Roman was hailed as the Sword of Rome, and the third and final recipient of the Spolia opima.
Marcus Ulpius Nerva Trajanus | Gaius Julius Caesar | Marcus Claudius Marcellus | Marcus Licinius Crassus
General George Patton is famous for his spectacular breakouts in WWII, but what was his greatest contribution to Operation Fortitude ?
a. Commander of a phantom army group tying down German divisions in the Pas de Calais.
b. He was the mastermind of the entire operation.
c. Overall ground forces commander for the invasion of Normandy.
d. George Patton did not play any part in Operation Fortitude.
Emperor Napoleon I was without a doubt a military genius, so at his greatest victory Austerlitz what was the name of the high ground he gave up which the Coalition eventually occupied falling right in to Napoleons' lap?
12 Meter Hill | Elsenborn Ridge | The Pratzen Heights | Santon Hill.
What was the name of Hernan Cortes' awful night of 30 June-1 July 1520, and what occurred ?
a. The Night of the long Ships, Cortes and his men nearly all drowned in a storm in the Gulf of
b. The night of Tears, where Cortes lost all his Spanish companions seizing Montezuma.
d. Buenas Noches, Cortes was repulsed in his attempt to storm Tenochtitlan.
John Churchill 1st Duke of Marlborough is remembered as the greatest general of the War of the Spanish Succession, due to four famous battles. Two of them were Blenheim, and Ramilles. What were the other two and what battles' aftermath led to his reputation being ruined back in England?
a. Valmy and the defeat at Jemappes.
b. Oudenarde and the heavy casualties at Malplaquet.
c. Sedgemoor and heavy casualties at Walcourt.
d. Mollwitz and his conduct during Hohenfriedberg.
Lord Nelson crushed the French fleet at Tralfalgar. What famous ship of the line was his flagship?
HMS Warspite | HMS Prince of Wales | HMS Victory | HMS Serapis
Frederick the Great is one of my heroes mainly because he fought so well for so long against so many foes. As the Seven Years' War was coming to an end what event took place which saved Prussia, and what has it been known as since?
a. Czar Peter III declared war on Austria. "The Great Fortunate Betrayal".
b. Maria Theresa of Austria died. "Miracle of the House of Hohenzollern".
c. Russian Empress Elizabeth died. "Miracle of the House of Brandenburg".
d. France withdrew from the war. "Salvation Day of Prussia".
Scipio Africanus crushed Hannibal but at Ticinus what did young Scipio do that gained him first notice?
a. Had a chance encounter face to face with Hannibal.
b. Saved the life of his father.
c. Rallied the Romans to victory.
d. He was captured but escaped.
Who was known to posterity as the Lion of the North and killed at his last battlefield victory at Lützen ?
Harald III of Norway | Charles XII of Sweden | Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden | Louis II of Hungary.
c. Struck by a roofing tile - It may seem amazing but the man who inspired the term "Pyrrhic victory" died after being hit in the head by a roofing tile in the streets of Argos. He and his men had entered the city by stealth, in the confusion an old woman hurled a roofing tile at Pyrrhus stunning him. An Argive soldier then finished the job in 272 BC.
Marcus Claudius Marcellus - Marcellus earned his name "Sword of Rome" in wars against the Gauls and the Carthaginians. As for the most prestigious award a Roman commander could attain, the Spolia opima was given for the Roman leader killing the enemy commander in single combat. The occasion for the final issue of the award was the killing of the Gallic king, Viridomarus, in 225 BC.
a. Phantom army group - The general was put in command of the fictitious First Army group slated to invade the Pas de Calais. This was one of the main deceptions of Fortitude, which in itself was a massive deception operation to the build up to Operation Overlord - the invasion of Normandy. It is a fact that the Germans held critical divisions back near Calais even after the invasion commenced in Normandy.
The Pratzen Heights - The Pratzen Heights were the centerpiece of the battle, the Russians and Austrians thinking that Napoleon was fearing facing the numerically superior Coalition seized the vacated Heights. And truth be told, the Pratzen Heights were about 12 meters high and Santon Hill actually overlooked the battle at 210 meters. or an detailed yet fairly short account of the battle Osprey Publishing Campaign series on "The Battle of Austerlitz" is what I read years ago for my info.
c. La Noche Triste - It was a near calamity during the Spanish escape from Tenochtitlan as Cortes nearly drowned losing many men. La Noche Triste translated as "the night of sorrows" occurred weeks after the Aztecs had besieged the Spaniards in Tenochtitlan. Cortes decided to risk a daring causeway escape during the night, though successful many Spaniards and gold were lost not to mention Tenochtitlan.
b . Oudenarde and the heavy casualties at Malplaquet - Churchill was victorious but the allied casualties were roughly double those of the French. In England this led to wild accusations about the Duke which eventually led to his recall.
HMS Victory - The 100 gun ship was also the ship Nelson died on the day of the battle. The ship, the oldest in commission, now sits in port at Portsmouth, England.
c. Miracle of the House of Brandenburg - When Elizabeth died her heir Peter III, infatuated with Prussia, withdrew Russia from the war. This relieved the immense pressure on Frederick II, and in turn put strain on Austria. Peter III was later deposed and support returned to Austria but it was too late as she was exhausted.
b. Saved the life of his father - At the skirmish of Ticinus Scipio, then only a 18 year old Consul, saved his father from certain death.
Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden - Gustavus' death at Lutzen in the Thirty Years' War actually inspired his men to victory during the battle. None of the others died during a victory.
[Source: http://www.funtrivia.com/quizzes/history/war_history.html Dec 2011 ++]
Tax Burden forIOWA Retirees: Many people planning to retire use the presence or absence of a state income tax as a litmus test for a retirement destination. This is a serious miscalculation since higher sales and property taxes can more than offset the lack of a state income tax. The lack of a state income tax doesn’t necessarily ensure a low total tax burden. Following are the taxes you can expect to pay if you retire in Iowa:
Sales Taxes State Sales Tax: 6% (food and prescription drugs exempt); local option taxes can add up to another 1%.
Gasoline Tax:: 22.0 cents/gallon
Diesel Fuel Tax: 23.5 cents/gallon
Cigarette Tax: $1.36/pack of 20
Personal Income Taxes Tax Rate Range: Low - 0.36%; High - 8.98%
Income Brackets: Lowest - $1,428; Highest - $64,620 Number of Brackets: 9 Personal Tax Credits: Single - $40; Married filing jointly - $80;
Dependents - $40; 65 years and older - $20 Standard Deduction: (2010) Single - $1,810; Married filing jointly - $4,460 Medical/Dental Deduction: Federal amount Federal Income Tax Deduction: Full Retirement Income Taxes: If you receive a pension, annuity, self-employed retirement plan, deferred compensation, IRA or other retirement plan benefits, you may be eligible to exclude from Iowa income tax a portion of the retirement income that is taxable on your Federal return. The exclusion can be up to $6,000 for individuals and up to $12,000 for married taxpayers. Refer to http://www.iowa.gov/tax/1040EI/101040Home.html for details. Social Security benefits are not included. Iowa does not tax Social Security benefits in the same manner as the IRS. In calculating the taxable amount of Social Security, single persons can exclude $25,000, married filling jointly can exclude $32,000. The state is implementing a gradual phase-out of the tax on Social Security income. Refer to http://www.iowa.gov/tax/1040EI/101040Home.html for details. To qualify for the exclusion you must be either age 55 or older on December 31, disabled or a surviving spouse or a survivor having an insurable interest in an individual who would have qualified for the exclusion during the year. Out-of-state government pensions qualify for exemptions. More information is available at http://www.iowa.gov/tax/1040EI/Line/10Line21.html. Retired Military Pay: Up to $12,000 can be excluded for joint filers and up to $6,000 for all other filing statuses for those 55 and older, disabled or surviving spouse of qualifying person. Military Disability Retired Pay: Retirees who entered the military before Sept. 24, 1975, and members receiving disability retirements based on combat injuries or who could receive disability payments from the VA are covered by laws giving disability broad exemption from federal income tax. Most military retired pay based on service-related disabilities also is free from federal income tax, but there is no guarantee of total protection.
VA Disability Dependency and Indemnity Compensation: VA benefits are not taxable because they generally are for disabilities and are not subject to federal or state taxes.
Military SBP/SSBP/RCSBP/RSFPP: Generally subject to state taxes for those states with income tax. Check with state department of revenue office.
Property Taxes Iowa has more than 2,000 taxing authorities. All property is assessed at 100% of market value. Most property is taxed by more than one taxing authority. The tax rate differs in each locality and is a composite of county, city, school district and special levies. A property tax credit is available to residents whose total household income is less than $19,503 and are age 65 or older, totally disabled or are a surviving spouse (not remarried) and born before 1934. A homestead tax credit is given to residents who live in the state for at least six months of each year and actually live on the property on July 1. Once a person qualifies, the credit continues. The current credit is the first $4,850 of the actual value. Property taxes may be suspended or reduced if the property owner receives Supplemental Security Income or lives in a nursing home and the Department of Human Services is paying part or all of the costs. The suspended taxes will have to be paid when a property is sold or transferred. For more details, refer to http://www.iowa.gov/tax/educate/78573.html.
Inheritance and Estate Taxes The Iowa inheritance tax ranges from 1% to 15% depending on the amount of the inheritance and the relationship of the recipient to the decedent. If all the property of the estate has a value of less than $25,000, no tax is due. The surviving spouse's share, regardless of the amount, is not subject to tax. Currently annual gifts in the amount of $12,000 or less are not taxable. For details refer to http://www.iowa.gov/tax/educate/78517.html. Iowa estate tax is not applicable for deaths on or after 1/1/05 due to changes in the IRS Code which replaced the state death tax credit with a state death tax deduction.
For further information, visit the Iowa Department of Revenue website http://www.iowa.gov/tax/index.html or call 515-281-3114. [Source: www.retirementliving.com Dec 2011 ++]
********************************* Veteran Legislation Status 12 DEC 2011: For a listing of Congressional bills of interest to the veteran community introduced in the 112th Congress refer to the Bulletin’s “House & Senate Veteran Legislation” attachment. Support of these bills through cosponsorship by other legislators is critical if they are ever going to move through the legislative process for a floor vote to become law. A good indication on that likelihood is the number of cosponsors who have signed onto the bill. Any number of members may cosponsor a bill in the House or Senate. At http://thomas.loc.gov you can review a copy of each bill’s content, determine its current status, the committee it has been assigned to, and if your legislator is a sponsor or cosponsor of it. To determine what bills, amendments your representative has sponsored, cosponsored, or dropped sponsorship on refer to http://thomas.loc.gov/bss/d111/sponlst.html.
Grassroots lobbying is perhaps the most effective way to let your Representative and Senators know your opinion. Whether you are calling into a local or Washington, D.C. office; sending a letter or e-mail; signing a petition; or making a personal visit, Members of Congress are the most receptive and open to suggestions from their constituents. The key to increasing cosponsorship on veteran related bills and subsequent passage into law is letting legislators know of veteran’s feelings on issues. You can reach their Washington office via the Capital Operator direct at (866) 272-6622, (800) 828-0498, or (866) 340-9281 to express your views. Otherwise, you can locate on http://thomas.loc.gov your legislator’s phone number, mailing address, or email/website to communicate with a message or letter of your own making. Refer to http://www.thecapitol.net/FAQ/cong_schedule.html for dates that you can access your legislators on their home turf.