KANSAS CITY, MO -- Medical Supply Chain founder Samuel Lipari unearthed a US Department of Justice memo revealing the Office of the Attorney General had targeted not eight but ten US Attorneys including the former attorney for the Western District of Missouri, Todd P. Graves. The documents were obtained during Medical Supply Chain's discovery related to the civil antitrust action Medical Supply Chain, Inc. v. Novation LLC, et al, Western District of Missouri case #05-210-CV-W-ODS filed on March 9, 2005.
The e-mail dated January 9th, 2006 from Kyle Sampson, chief of staff for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, to Harriet Miers and William Kelley at the White House, shows the ten U.S. Attorneys that were first selected to voluntarily resign or face termination. Attorneys that resigned were redacted. Todd P. Graves of Missouri resigned March 24, 2006.
The Western District of Missouri US Attorney office under Todd P. Graves had been active in prosecuting Medicare fraud. Medical Supply Chain, Inc.'s civil antitrust suit against Texas based Novation LLC, Volunteer Hospital Association (VHA), University Health System Consortium (UHC) and Neoforma, Inc. alleges the companies formed a cartel and were involved in a scheme to monopolize hospital supplies to defraud Medicare through payments to administrators and kickbacks. The scheme resulted in almost all of Kansas City, Missouri St. Luke's hospital's one hundred million dollar supply budget being purchased through Novation LLC. St. Luke's merged with University of Kansas Hospital after Irene Cumming, CEO of the University of Kansas Hospital was given a job by University Health System Consortium (UHC) on March 19, 2007.
The first prosecutor identified as being fired by the Office of the Attorney General was Carol Lam, a U.S. Attorney in San Diego, California. Carol Lam was personally prosecuting Medicare fraud at the Tenet Healthcare Alvarado hospital when political pressure was brought on the Justice Department to remove her from office. Carol Lam's prosecution caused the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services threatened to cut Medicare and Medicaid funds to Alvarado Hospital Case # 03CR15870 US Dist. Court Southern California.
On May 17, 2006, Alvarado Hospital's parent company, Tenet Healthcare, agreed to sell or close the hospital and pay $21 million to settle criminal and civil charges.
The Medical Supply Chain discovered documents include a December 4, 2006 e-mail from Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' Chief of Staff Kyle Sampson targeting Carol Lam. On December 7, 2006, the Justice Department fired Carol Lam and the six other U.S. attorneys that refused to resign.
Samuel Lipari became concerned that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was using the firing of appointed US Attorneys and senior assistant US Attorneys to obstruct justice in investigations involving public corruption on October 18, 2004 when white collar crime prosecuting Assistant US Attorneys Leonard Senerote, Michael Uhl and Michael Snipes were fired from the Ft. Worth Texas office of the US Attorney that had issued subpoenas in an ongoing investigation of Novation LLC and other hospital suppliers for anticompetitive practices. Samuel Lipari was especially concerned over the firings in the Ft. Worth office where the chief US Attorney responsible for Medicare fraud, Thelma Louise Quince Colbert had been found dead in her swimming pool on July 20th, 2004 and the Ft. Worth office Senior US Prosecuting Attorney that had signed the subpoenas, Shannon Ross (formerly of Kansas) was found dead in her home on September 13th, 2004. Shannon Ross's investigation of Novation LLC sparked the New York Times article "Wide U.S. Inquiry Into Purchasing For Health Care" on Saturday August 21, 2004.
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales used a little known provision of the USA PATRIOT Act to replace Todd P. Graves with Bradley Schlozman. Bradley Schlozman failed to prosecute public corruption related to the Medical Supply Chain litigation and failed to enforce civil rights laws related to the Novation LLC defendants success in getting Medical Supply Chain's counsel Bret D. Landrith disbarred. Samuel Lipari raised these concerns before the US Court of Appeals for the Eight Circuit. On January 16, 2007 Attorney General Gonzales tried to quell criticism of the mass US Attorney firings and the misuse of the USA PATRIOT Act by announcing John Wood would be taking Schlozman's place in Kansas City.
Samuel Lipari is the founder of Medical Supply Chain and is currently launching a consumer oriented discount medical supply business based in Lee's Summit, Missouri: http://MedicalSupplyLine.com Mr. Lipari was forced to represent himself in the lawsuit.
About Medical Supply Chain: Medical Supply Chain (MSC) is a worldwide provider of web-based supply chain collaboration solutions with an electronic marketplace serving health care communities and their trading partners. Medical Supply Chain was founded in May of 2000 with a mission to deliver enabling supply chain technology in health care. To learn more visit: http://www.MedicalSupplyChain.com/news.htm.