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Hurricane Harvey’s Effect on the Criminal Justice System

When Hurricane Harvey hit the Southeast Texas region in August 2017, it destroyed and flooded thousands of homes and businesses. With such impact, then, it should come as no surprise that it also greatly affected both the federal and state criminal justice systems throughout the region. This picture is worth the colloquial “thousand words.” This is the Harris County Criminal Justice Center a day after the rain stopped coming down. The massive flooding caused the Buffalo Bayou, located two blocks from the building, to come out of its banks and flood the northern edge of downtown Houston. Although the building was improved after Tropical Storm Allison in 2001 to prevent water damage, including the installation of flood doors (which can be seen directly behind the front, glass doors), water was still able to permeate the building’s basement causing severe damage. This lead to sewage backing up and coming out of toilets and water fountains on the upper floors. There was also damage to upper floors from cooling pipes bursting from unregulated pressure. The building contained 22 criminal district felony courts, 16 criminal county misdemeanor courts, the District Attorney’s Office, the Public Defender’s Office, the Office of Pretrial Services, and Court Administration. Now it is empty. All occupants were required to move out as the building will have to undergo massive repairs that are expected to take 9 months (but we all expect to take about 18). As a result, courts, prosecutors, and staff have had to relocate. Criminal District Courts are now sharing courtrooms with Civil District Courts in the Civil Courthouse which did not sustain any damage. The...

Brent Mayr Now Featured on TXFederalDefense.com

Brent Mayr is now being featured on TXFederalDefense.com, a directory of licensed attorneys who represent individuals under investigation for and charged with federal criminal offenses. The directory also features Paul Schiffer and Richard Esper. They, along with Brent Mayr, are federal criminal defense attorneys and considered to be among the best in Texas in that area. Combined, the three of them have over 80 years of legal experience and have obtained numerous acquittals and dismissals for their clients. Each one maintains their own separate practice and law firms but work in conjunction with one another to insure the very best representation to each individual client. Whether it is a federal drug conspiracy case in West Texas, a white collar investigation in Houston, or a Medicare fraud case in Dallas, Brent Mayr, Paul Schiffer, and Richard Esper have handled cases all over Texas and the United States and are available to handle all federal criminal cases anywhere and everywhere. Click here to learn more on TXFederalDefense.com...

Feds Crack Down Again on Health Care Fraud

The need for having an experienced, knowledgeable federal criminal defense attorney has never been greater today than it has been in several years. Today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price, M.D., announced the largest ever health care fraud enforcement action by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, involving 412 charged defendants across 41 federal districts, including 115 doctors, nurses and other licensed medical professionals, for their alleged participation in health care fraud schemes involving approximately $1.3 billion in false billings. Of those charged, over 120 defendants, including doctors, were charged for their roles in prescribing and distributing opioids and other dangerous narcotics. Thirty state Medicaid Fraud Control Units also participated in today’s arrests. In addition, HHS has initiated suspension actions against 295 providers, including doctors, nurses and pharmacists. The charges — like most prosecuted by the Department of Justice — aggressively target schemes billing Medicare, Medicaid, and TRICARE (a health insurance program for members and veterans of the armed forces and their families) for medically unnecessary prescription drugs and compounded medications that often were never even purchased and/or distributed to beneficiaries. The charges also involve individuals allegedly contributing to the opioid epidemic, with a particular focus on medical professionals involved in the unlawful distribution of opioids and other prescription narcotics, a particular focus for the Department. According to the CDC, approximately 91 Americans die every day of an opioid related overdose.   The Gov’t Has a Medicare Fraud Strike Force, Who Do You Have To Fight Against Them? The Government has a Medicare Fraud Strike Force, a joint initiative between the...

Health Care Fraud Criminal Defense

Federal authorities recently announced that roughly 300 people in more than half the states have been charged in the largest crackdown to date on health care fraud.  Those arrested accounted for more than $900 million in false billings to Medicare and Medicaid.  Among those arrested were 60 licensed medical professionals, including 30 doctors.  The billings were for treatments or services deemed medically unnecessary — or for services that were never provided at all, including home care, medical equipment, and phony prescriptions. Offenses Charged in Health Care Fraud Schemes Individuals in these cases are typically charged with various health care fraud-related crimes. These include conspiracy to commit health care fraud, violations of the anti-kickback statutes, money laundering and aggravated identity theft.  The charges are based on a variety of alleged fraud schemes involving various medical treatments and services, including home health care, psychotherapy, physical and occupational therapy, durable medical equipment (DME) and prescription drugs.  In this specific case, more than 60 of the defendants arrested were charged with fraud related to the Medicare prescription drug benefit program known as Part D, the fastest-growing component of the Medicare program overall. Typical Schemes Allegedly Used Defendants in these cases are typically alleged to have participated in schemes to submit claims to Medicare and Medicaid for treatments that were medically unnecessary and often never provided.  In many cases, patient recruiters, Medicare beneficiaries and other co-conspirators are allegedly paid cash kickbacks in return for supplying beneficiary information to providers.  The providers will then, in turn, allegedly submit fraudulent bills to Medicare for services that are considered medically unnecessary or never performed. The Gov’t Has a Medicare...

Brent Mayr Obtains New Trial for Client Previously Sentenced to 15 Years for Intoxication Manslaughter

Facing a charge of Intoxication Manslaughter in Texas is tough enough.  Being convicted and sentenced to prison for it is even tougher.  That is the situation that Desiree Skaf and her family found themselves in back in March 2016.  Represented by other attorneys, Skaf was talked into pleading guilty in exchange for a 7 year prison sentence.  The 23 year-old client had never been in trouble before with the law, had an incredible support structure around her, and had proven herself to be an upstanding citizen.  Nevertheless, she was facing having to turn herself into prison officials in 30 days. She and her family came to Brent Mayr for another option, a way out, and a second chance to fight for real justice.  It was a fortunate decision.  Upon returning to court, she suddenly found herself in a situation she never expected – instead of the 7 year sentence, the Judge in her case sentenced her to 15 years in prison.  She was immediately taken into custody and transported to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to begin serving her sentence. While Brent Mayr was tasked with handling her appeal, he took advantage of an exception in the law that allows a person to challenge their conviction before the case proceeds into the appellate arena:  a Motion for New Trial.  Motions for New Trial are requests to the Judge who convicted and sentenced the client to “change their mind,” throw out the conviction and sentence, and permit the person to start anew.  They are rarely granted.  They are also very difficult to investigate and prepare for.  Under state law,...

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Houston Office

5300 Memorial Dr., Suite 750,
Houston, TX 77007 Map it
Phone:   713-808-9613
Toll Free:  855-NT-GILTY
Fax:   713-808-9991

The Woodlands Office

1095 Evergreen Circle, Suite 200
The Woodlands, TX  77380 Map it
Toll Free:  855-NT-GILTY
Fax:   713-808-9991

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Houston Criminal Defense Attorney Brent Mayr of the Law Office of Brent Mayr, P.C. is located in Houston, Texas. Houston Criminal Defense Attorney Brent Mayr of the Law Office of Brent Mayr, P.C. represents clients throughout Texas. He can represent you if you have been arrested in Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, El Paso, Lubbock, Amarillo, Waco, Galveston, Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Midland, Odessa, Harris County, Ft. Bend County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Montgomery County, Waller County, or any other city or county in the State of Texas.