Category Archives: Organized Crime

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Physician and Pharmacy Help Fuel Demand for Illegal Pain Pills

He would visit the doctor during peculiar hours; between 8 p.m. and 2 a.m. on a Saturday or Sunday.

Under the cover of darkness, in a strip mall in La Puente, a man calling himself “Juan” came in search of powerful pain pills and other controlled substances. He didn’t have any identification and he told the doctor he was either drunk or on drugs.

It didn’t matter. He got what he came for.

Dr. Daniel Cham, who was a licensed physician in California at the time, handed “Juan” prescriptions for hundreds of pills including Oxycodone, a powerful opioid, Xanax, a sedative, and Soma, a muscle relaxer.

“Dr. Cham was not practicing legitimate medicine. Dr. Cham was, in the eyes of the law, a drug pusher,” said Ben Barron, an Assistant United States Attorney who prosecuted Dr. Cham who was charged with narcotics trafficking, money laundering, fraud, and making a false statement to authorities.

What Dr. Cham didn’t know was that the patient who called himself “Juan,” was actually an undercover Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department detective and that he was secretly filming his interactions with the physician.

During one visit, Dr. Cham asks the undercover agent, “What else do you need?” In response, the detective tells him, “How about some Soma?” Dr. Cham then asks how much he wants. “Let’s go with 3 times a day,” replies the agent.

Dr. Cham also asked the detective how he wanted the prescriptions filled out. “Is it all on one script?” asks Dr. Cham. The detective responds, “Can you make it two again like last time? Can you put the Oxy and Soma together and the Xanax on the other one?”

“Dr. Cham did no physical examination; he would tell the agent what symptoms he should claim to feel,” said Barron. “Dr. Cham demanded 300 dollars cash for a prescription for hydrocodone or vicodin.”

Barron says the doctor would sometimes ask for more money when the undercover agent asked for more powerful pain pills like oxycodone. The prosecutor says that’s typical in these cases. The more powerful the medication, the more money the physician wants in return for a prescription.

Source: http://www.nbclosangeles.com/investigations/Physician-and-Pharmacy-Help-Fuel-Demand-for-Illegal-Pain-Pills-423235214.html#ixzz4hgI92T68
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Atlanta pharmacy shut down amid ‘pill mill’ investigation

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

6:06 p.m Monday, May 1, 2017 Neighborhoods

A south Atlanta pharmacy that generated more than $5.1 million dollars from unlawful prescriptions was shut down Friday morning, according to the Georgia Drugs and Narcotics Agency.

Special agents served emergency suspensions that stripped Rosemary E. Ofume of her pharmacist license and put the pharmacy she owned, the Medicine Center, out of business.

Ofume was found guilty on March 24 of several charges including aiding and abetting in the distribution of hydrocodone and oxycodone, controlled substance conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy regarding customers of the “pill mill” pain clinic across the street. Her husband, Donatus Iriele, was convicted of concealment of money laundering and laundering more than $10,000 of criminally derived property.

The Georgia Board of Pharmacy ordered the suspensions April 12 after it found that Ofume and Medicine Center’s continued ability to operate posed a threat to others. It is not clear whether Iriele co-owned the pharmacy, located at 1634 Jonesboro Road SE, when it was shut down last week.

Full Read – http://www.ajc.com/news/local/atlanta-pharmacy-shut-down-amid-pill-mill-investigation/DRKSK4NL4nL6d8Y82lUYEP/

French gangster connected to mafia at centre of probe into alleged dodgy transfers involving Premier League clubs

Jean-Luc Barresi is linked to the moves of at least 15 Premier League stars

By Richard Moriarty and Jonathan Reilly

A FRENCH gangster with mafia connections is at the centre of a probe into alleged dodgy transfers involving Premier League clubs after last week’s tax raids, The Sun on Sunday can reveal.

Shadowy Jean-Luc Barresi is linked to the moves of at least 15 players including Chelsea star Cesar Azpilicueta, ex-Liverpool ace Fernando Morientes, French ace Loic Remy and former Manchester United player Gabriel Heinze.

The gangster had “the walk” of French giants Olympique Marseille, which is at the centre of tax probe that saw HMRC officers raid the offices of West Ham and Newcastle earlier this week.

Barresi is accused of illegally pocketing 440,000 euros (£371,000) from two players move to English clubs from scandal-hit French club Olympic Marseille.

An unnamed English agent is said to have been paid 550,000 euros (£464,000) when Morgan Amalfitano moved to West Brom on loan in 2013 before the midfielder signed for West Ham the following year.

Barresi – who was convicted of racketeering in 2012 and has an elder brother serving ten-year prison term for trying to hijack an armoured car – is alleged to have been given a 389,000 euro (£328,000) backhander by the agent.

Court papers in France also claim the same agent was paid 220,000 euros (£185,000) when Hatem Ben Arfa moved to Newcastle United in 2011.

Barresi is said to have received 50,000 euros (£42,000) from the agent as part of the deal.

Full Read – https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/3447277/french-gangster-connected-to-mafia-at-centre-of-probe-into-alleged-dodgy-transfers-involving-premier-league-clubs/

Alleged Montreal Mafia leader denied bail in cocaine trafficking case

PAUL CHERRY, MONTREAL GAZETTE
More from Paul Cherry, Montreal Gazette

The alleged leader of a clan within the Montreal Mafia was denied bail in a cocaine trafficking case on Tuesday along with one of his co-accused.

Andrea (Andrew) Scoppa, 53, a resident of Île Bizard, registered little reaction as Quebec Court Judge Serge Boisvert listed off the reasons Scoppa was being denied a release in Project Estacade, an investigation into drug trafficking in Montreal and Laval conducted by the Regional Integrated Squad. On Feb. 1, eight people, including Scoppa, were charged in Project Estacade at the Montreal courthouse, and another small group of men were charged in Laval.

Fazio Malatesta, 48, was also denied bail as part of the same hearing where Boisvert heard evidence over the course of three days in April. A publication ban has been placed on the evidence. Because of the seriousness of the charges the men face, they were required to prove they merited a release, as opposed to the normal standard where the Crown is required to prove they should be detained. One reason Boisvert cited in his decision was that a well informed member of the public, aware of the evidence gathered in the case, would lose faith in the justice system if the men were released at this point in their case.

Scoppa and Malatesta are both charged with conspiring to traffic in drugs, drug trafficking and possession of cocaine with the intent to traffic in cocaine.

The case returns to court next week to set a future date for a preliminary inquiry.

Sourced From – http://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/alleged-montreal-mafia-leader-denied-bail-in-cocaine-trafficking-case

Mafia enforcer back behind bars after road rage attack

A gangster for the New Jersey crime family that inspired The Sopranos has pleaded guilty to violating his parole after he was filmed engaging in a road rage attack.

Ex-con Jerry Balzano, a reputed enforcer for the DeCavalcante crime family, was on supervised release after pleading guilty to a racketeering conspiracy in 2011 when he lost his cool at another driver.

Vision from the victim’s dashboard camera shows Balzano brake-check him before he gets out of his car and hurls abuse.

“You want to play f—ing games, you little c—?” Balzano can be heard yelling at the driver.

“You want to cut me off like a tough guy?”

The victim’s wife can be heard phoning police as the 54-year-old alleged gangster pummels her husband.

“Someone is hitting my husband,” she screams. “Oh my gosh.”

Balzano continues to beat the man until another motorist pulls over, manages to calm him down and leads him back to his car.

He then speeds away, despite not having a driver’s licence.

The alleged Mafioso is due to front court again on May 16 and faces up to two years in jail for the road rage attack, according to the New York Post.
Read more at http://www.9news.com.au/world/2017/04/11/14/39/mafia-enforcer-back-behind-bars-after-road-rage-attack#1FAHlspQLiv4Te2h.99