Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Hospital HMO's and Terrorist Funding

My article in the New Criminologist
http://www.newcriminologist.co.uk/news.asp?id=-49104538
Hospital HMO's and Terrorist Funding: By Dr. Janet Parker Published on 11 June 2005 Author PARKER, Janet Louise, D.V.M.,B.S.


HOSPITAL HMO’S AND TERRORIST FUNDING

By Dr. Janet Parker

On June 4, 2005 Joe Webber, a 30-year veteran of US federal law enforcement, claimed publicly on Dateline NBC that the FBI halted a key US Customs investigation into terrorist funding by Operation Green Quest. On Dateline’s television program titled “Have 'turf battles' impeded U.S. war on terror?” Joe Webber says the government sat on important information about suspected terrorist activity on U.S. soil. He's so outraged, he says, he's willing to risk his career by going public. Perhaps we should start listening to our governmental whistle blowers.
Joe Webber runs the Houston office of the Department of Homeland Security's Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, “ICE” for short. Two and half years ago US Customs started investigating a man believed to be raising money for terrorists. The suspect was in direct contact with known terrorists. Operation Greenquest has been dismantled.

In March 2002 Operation Greenquest, a Joint Terrorism Task Force, raided the offices of the SAAR network organizations and the residences of their top executives. Sulaiman Abdul Aziz Rajihi, a Saudi sheik, set up the SAAR Foundation. Ostensibly the foundation was to support Middle Eastern scholars and scientists and fund charitable programs in Islamic countries. It was part of the SAFA Trust Group, a group of shell companies with headquarters located at. in Herndon, Virginia. The convoluted nature of the myriad transactions between Safa Group companies and charities, and the fact that much of the money was sent to tax havens with bank secrecy laws, makes the money impossible to trace. Federal law enforcement authorities believe SAAR was set up specifically to raise funds and launder money for international terrorist groups like Hamas, al Qaeda, Hezbollah and the Palestine Islamic Jihad. People associated with the SAAR Foundation and it’s network have been implicated in the United States Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. Of $54 million dollars raised by the SAAR Foundation for "charity," $26 million went in untraceable money to the Isle of Man, a notorious location for money laundering.

The money laundering and fundraising activities of the terrorists often involve Non-governmental Organizations (NGO’s). Increasingly we are concerned that they are infiltrating our established organizations such as medical establishments. Consider the case of Dr. Magdy el-Amir and the American Preferred Provider Plan Inc., which was reported in August 2002 by NBC’s Dateline. Remember medical whistle blowers are necessary to bring Medicare fraud to the attention of the law enforcement authorities.

Dr. el-Amir, an Egyptian immigrant, started a storefront medical practice in Jersey City. Dr. el-Amir contributed generously to Republican candidates, nearly $18,000 in 1996. With no experience running a managed-care or health insurance company, Dr. el-Amir was granted a license for an Health Maintenance Organization or HMO and a lucrative contract that paid $6 million a month in taxpayers money. In 3 years Dr. el-Amir’s HMO, the American Preferred Provider Plan Inc., lay in financial ruins, its network doctors and hospitals were burdened with millions of dollars in unpaid claims.

Did officials know of Dr. el-Amir’s financial ties to terrorism?

It was known that Dr. el-Amir gave money to Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, a conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing. In 1998 a foreign intelligence report, given to Congressman Ben Gilman (House International Relations Committee), alleged that Dr. el-Amir in New Jersey was skimming money from the HMO to fund ‘terrorist activities. Dr. el-Amir’s own brother, Mohamed was caught on tape trying to buy tanks from Randy Glass, the con man-turned-undercover operative who helped the government break up an illegal weapons ring in Cairo.

Dr. el-Amir’s HMO has now been taken over by the state of New Jersey. More than $15 million is unaccounted for and probably ended up in offshore bank accounts. Now New Jersey state regulators are selling the assets of the American Preferred Provider Plan Inc., to salvage some money for doctors and hospitals. It is calculated that there has been more than $45 million in losses. The American Preferred Provider provided managed care plans which were supposed to control health care costs for 44,000 poor women and children in New Jersey.


Asst. Attorney General Michael Chertoff told the Senate Banking Committee looking into the terrorists’ money trail in the aftermath of 9/11, ‘Frankly, we can’t differentiate between terrorism and organized crime and drug dealing,’ then- ‘These groups don’t hold themselves independently: They work with one another. Terrorists get engaged in drug activity. They have relationships with organized crime.’

According to The Bergen Record February 22, 2000, "A year after a Medicaid HMO accused of misusing state and federal funds was dissolved by the state, its founder is still enjoying a millionaire's income while the hospitals and doctors who allegedly were defrauded delay programs for the poor and fight for restitution.”

Attorney Michael Chertoff (now DHS Homeland Security Chief) was Dr. el-Amir’s lawyer for this case. He protected his client well. Chertoff went on to head the U.S.'s investigation into the September 11th attack and become the DHS Homeland Security Chief. No criminal charges have been filed against Dr. Magdy el-Amir, Dr. el-Amir continues to practice in New Jersey and still operates a chain of MRI facilities in Newark, Irvington, and Paterson, and a medical management company.

References:

Victoria Corderi and Richard Greenberg “Have 'turf battles' impeded U.S. war on terror? Federal agent claims FBI halted key investigation” Dateline NBC June 3, 2005 http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8087593/

Chris Hansen and Ann Curry “Trail of Terror” DATELINE Investigation with Stone Phillips, Dateline NBC, August 2, 2002

Douglas Farah “Muslim groups in D.C. region linked to funding of extremists” Washington Post, 10/19/2003

The Financing of Terrorism, Northeast Intelligence Network
http://www.homelandsecurityus.com/finance.asp

Eunice Moscoso and Rebecca Carr “Targets of terror financing probe had political clout” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution 12/12/03 http://www.ajc.com/news/content/news/1203/12termoney.html

Jonathan Wells, Jack Meyers, “Under suspicion: HUB mosque leader tied to radical groups” Boston Herald Wednesday, October 29, 2003

LINDY WASHBURN, “JUDGE ORDERS STATE TO TAKE OVER NEWARK-BASED MEDICAID HMO” The Record (Bergen County, NJ) December 11, 1998

RANDY DIAMOND, “JUDGE ORDERS BOND, FREEZES ASSETS OF FAILING HMO'S OWNER” The Record (Bergen County, NJ) December 18, 1998; FRIDAY Trenton Bureau NEWS; Pg. A03

RANDY DIAMOND, “STATE ALLEGES DOCTOR TOOK $6M FROM FAILED HMO” The Record (Bergen County, NJ) December 16, 1998; WEDNESDAY Trenton Bureau NEWS; Pg. A03

Metropolitan Desk, “Judge Freezes Assets Of Head of H.M.O.”
The New York Times, December 18, 1998 Section B; Page 8; Column 5

LINDY WASHBURN, “FOUNDER OF FAILED HMO IN NO PAIN ; THOUGH HOSPITALS,DOCTORS SUFFERING”, The Record (Bergen County, NJ) February 22, 2000, TUESDAY; North Jersey Media Group Inc NEWS; Pg. A1

JEFFREY TOOBIN, “ CRACKDOWN” The New Yorker 1/10/05 http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?011105fa_FACT2

Did Bush's New Homeland Chief Shield Terror Ring in New Jersey? Madcow January 12, 2005 http://www.infowars.com/articles/us/chertoff_protect_terror_ring.htm

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