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Raid targets millionaire on food stamps
Police are investigating potential theft as well as Medicaid and welfare fraud charges.       
225 points by USA Today | Bank Secrecy Act Banking Bank Cheque Geauga County Ohio Police Net income Loan
Ohio will pay combined $3 million to two Portage County men wrongfully imprisoned for 16 years
The state of Ohio has agreed to pay nearly $3 million to two Portage County men who spent 16 years in prison for the killing of a woman in which neither was involved. CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The state of Ohio has agreed to pay nearly $3 million to two Northeast Ohio men who spent 16 years in prison for the killing of a woman in which neither was involved. The state will pay Robert Gondor, 53, and Randy Resh, 53, about $1.45 million each. The settlement comes after a judge found at trial that the two men had been wrongfully imprisoned for crimes they did not commit. The settlement, filed in the Ohio Court of Claims, was approved March 6. Court News Ohio, a site maintained by the Ohio courts system, announced it Thursday via an article on its website. Both men were convicted in Portage County in 1990 for the 1988 slaying of Connie Nardi, whose body was found strangled to death in a pond in Troy Township in Geauga County. Both men were freed on bond in 2007 after the Ohio Supreme Court ordered new criminal trials based on claims of ineffective assistance of counsel. Resh, who was convicted of murder and attempted rape in 1990, was found not guilty at a new trial in 2007. Prosecutors then dropped the case against Gondor, who was convicted in 1990 of involuntary manslaughter, kidnapping and obstructing justice. A third suspect, Troy Busta, is serving 15 years to life in prison for Nardi's death. He pleaded guilty to a murder charge and agreed to testify against Gondor and Resh, who investigators said at the time were also involved, in exchange for prosecutors not seeking the death penalty. His next parole hearing is set for May. Both men received partial settlements of more than $420,000 in 2015. The new settlement is in addition to that payment. Mark Marein and Steven Bradley, attorneys for Gondor and Resh, will receive about $1.1 million in fees as part of the settlement. Marein said Wednesday that his clients are doing "remarkably OK" after spending large portions of their lives in prison. He said being in prison for 16 years "for something you didn't do is a devastating proposition, but remarkably they're doing as well as you can expect." If you would like to comment on this story, please visit Thursday's crime and courts comments section.
-1 points by The Plain Dealer | Crime Criminal law Murder Prison Geauga County Ohio Ohio Capital punishment Trial
4 Northeast Ohio providers owe Medicaid department more than $1 million, state auditor says
Ohio Auditor Dave Yost's office calculated more than $1 million in Medicaid overpayments received by four Northeast Ohio providers. Ohio Auditor Dave YostOhio Auditor's office  COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Four Northeast Ohio Medicaid providers together must pay back more than $1 million in overpayments, says Ohio Auditor Dave Yost. Much of that was received by G.S. Burton Development in Summit County. State auditors calculated $895,617 in overpayments from Burston, stemming from 860 service errors that occurred between 2012 and 2014. Burton largely provided non-medical transportation and personal care aide services, according to the report from Yost's office. Auditors determined 283 of the 22,357 services provided during those two years were by 18 employees deemed ineligible providers for some or all of the time. "These requirements are pure commonsense," Yost said in a news release. "It's disturbing to know that some Ohioans risk being in the care of individuals who lack basic but essential medical training and who haven't even been properly vetted for the job." The findings Employees were ineligible for a variety of reasons: lack of criminal background checks and drug tests, missing personnel files, no first aid and/or CPR certification or failure to complete required annual training hours. The audit also found two drivers didn't have a valid driver's license for some time, one had a suspended license and another driver had a record with six driving points, mandating a warning letter from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Plus interest, Burton owes $951,526 to the Department of Medicaid. The response In a formal response to the audit, CEO Sherice Burton said paperwork and billing errors were just that and services were still provided to Medicaid recipients. Burton said the company grew quickly and moved locations, which caused delays in processing paperwork. The company has since hired another secretary to keep up with forms. "We love what we do and do not want the findings to impede us in anyway. You have our full cooperation and we would like to do whatever we have to so that we can keep our business and continue to serve our community," Burton wrote. Other findings Auditors also found overpayments for three other providers. A Cuyahoga County provider named Sharon Mason was overpaid $49,530 from 2012 through 2014 due to 166 errors in service documentation. The template Mason used to report 74 services was unreliable, auditors determined, and there were other instances of billing additional shifts when only one shift was documented. Auditors also reviewed records for two Lake county intermediate care facilities, which house individuals with intellectual disabilities, for services rendered in 2014. At Madison Village Manor, auditors found $57,061 in overpayments made in 2014. The provider received reimbursements for 241 days of service for an individual after he or she was discharged from the facility. The provider was aware of the error and made efforts to correct the recipient's status. At Broadfield Care Center, auditors identified $24,230 in overpayments. The provider was reimbursed for 86 unauthorized bed hold days. Holding beds when patients are temporarily absent requires authorization.
-2 points by The Plain Dealer | Cuyahoga County Ohio Audit Financial audit Cuyahoga River Geauga County Ohio Background check Cuyahoga Valley National Park Driver's license
Cleveland-area home sales dipped slightly in January, but prices were up (interactive maps)
Northeast Ohio home sales started 2017 on slightly softer footing, but January prices were up notably from a year before. CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Northeast Ohio home sales started 2017 on slightly softer footing, but January prices were up notably from a year before. Across 18 counties, sales were down 1.5 percent from January of 2016, according to fresh figures from the Northern Ohio Regional Multiple Listing Service. That's a difference of only 39 properties, most of them condominiums. // var divElement = document.getElementById('viz1487028787539'); var vizElement = divElement.getElementsByTagName('object')[0]; vizElement.style.width='100%';vizElement.style.height=(divElement.offsetWidth*0.75)+'px'; var scriptElement = document.createElement('script'); scriptElement.src = 'https://public.tableau.com/javascripts/api/viz_v1.js'; vizElement.parentNode.insertBefore(scriptElement, vizElement); // ]]> Prices, meanwhile, were up when compared with last year's levels. The average sale price for a house in the region was $140,765 in January, a 5.6 percent jump from the first month of 2016. At $125,711, the average sale price for a condo was 15.7 percent higher than a year before, the listing service reported. Sales and prices both dipped from December to January, but that's typical at the turn of the year. Among counties with at least 100 transfers in January, Lorain County experienced the steepest annual sales gain - 18 percent. The county's average sale price was up by 8.4 percent, to $149,487, when compared with a year before. In Cuyahoga County, sales topped their January 2016 levels by 1.5 percent, with 852 transactions. The average sale price posted a 4 percent annual gain, reaching $142,720 in January. Sales were essentially flat - down 0.5 percent - in Summit County, home to Akron. But the average sale price, at $138,405, was up 12 percent from a year before. The listing-service data captures most local residential real estate transactions. // var divElement = document.getElementById('viz1487028807457'); var vizElement = divElement.getElementsByTagName('object')[0]; vizElement.style.width='100%';vizElement.style.height=(divElement.offsetWidth*0.75)+'px'; var scriptElement = document.createElement('script'); scriptElement.src = 'https://public.tableau.com/javascripts/api/viz_v1.js'; vizElement.parentNode.insertBefore(scriptElement, vizElement); // ]]> In January, Geauga County had the highest average sale price in the region, at $271,203. Jefferson County, home to Steubenville, had the lowest average sale price, at $80,435. Homes in the region sold for as little as $800 and as much as $2.4 million during January, the listing service reported. The National Association of Realtors and Ohio Association of Realtors are scheduled to release their January home-sales reports on Feb. 22.
25 points by The Plain Dealer | Cuyahoga County Ohio Greater Cleveland Geauga County Ohio Summit County Ohio Lorain County Ohio Akron Ohio Ohio counties Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Cleveland-area home sales slowed in October; prices continued to rise (interactive maps)
Home sales slowed across Northeast Ohio last month, easing from their September pace and failing to reach the levels they hit a year before. CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Home sales slowed across Northeast Ohio last month, easing from their September pace and failing to reach the levels they hit a year before. Sales of new and previously owned homes were down 3.5 percent from October 2015, based on listing-service data spanning 18 counties. House sales were off by 3.1 percent, while condominium sales slipped by 7 percent. When compared with September's tally, October sales were down by more than 7 percent, according to the Northern Ohio Regional Multiple Listing Service. Even with the recent slowdown, sales are up substantially this year. Across the region, buyers purchased more than 40,700 houses and condos between Jan. 1 and Oct. 31. That's an increase of more than 3,000 houses over the same stretch of 2015. For the year, sales are up 11.4 percent in Cuyahoga County; 11 percent in Lorain County; 4.2 percent in Summit County; and 6.4 percent in Stark County. // var divElement = document.getElementById('viz1479330605604'); var vizElement = divElement.getElementsByTagName('object')[0]; vizElement.style.width='100%';vizElement.style.height=(divElement.offsetWidth*0.75)+'px'; var scriptElement = document.createElement('script'); scriptElement.src = 'https://public.tableau.com/javascripts/api/viz_v1.js'; vizElement.parentNode.insertBefore(scriptElement, vizElement); // ]]> Prices, meanwhile, continue to rise at a steady pace. The average sale price for a single-family home in Northeast Ohio was $151,791 last month, up 4.4 percent from a year before. The average sale price for a condo, $131,660, fell slightly. But condos are a tiny piece of the local real estate market, which is dominated by single-family homes. Ten months worth of data show that regional home prices are up roughly 4 percent this year, when compared with January through October of 2015. Geauga County has the highest average sale price, at $296,538 in October. With an average sale price of $90,889, Ashtabula trailed the pack last month. The Ohio Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors are scheduled to release their October home-sales reports next week. // var divElement = document.getElementById('viz1479330648227'); var vizElement = divElement.getElementsByTagName('object')[0]; vizElement.style.width='100%';vizElement.style.height=(divElement.offsetWidth*0.75)+'px'; var scriptElement = document.createElement('script'); scriptElement.src = 'https://public.tableau.com/javascripts/api/viz_v1.js'; vizElement.parentNode.insertBefore(scriptElement, vizElement); // ]]>
33 points by The Plain Dealer | Cuyahoga County Ohio Real estate Greater Cleveland Summit County Ohio Geauga County Ohio Apartment Ohio counties Lorain County Ohio