U.S. Attorney Cindy K. Chung is still overseeing the criminal investigation into the bankrupt health care business from which James Biden allegedly siphoned hundreds of thousands of dollars to finance repairs to his beach house, even after President Joe Biden nominated the top prosecutor for a lifetime appointment as a federal appellate judge. And the assistant U.S. attorney leading the criminal investigation into the James Biden-connected business has now been tapped to replace Chung, according to sources.
Attorney General Merrick Garland has ignored these blatant conflicts of interest just as he has spurned demands that he appoint a special counsel for the Delaware criminal investigation into the Biden family business dealings that implicate not just Hunter and James Biden, but the president of the United States.
“A resident of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, pleaded guilty in federal court to three counts of conspiracy related to the submission of fraudulent health care claims, United States Attorney Cindy K. Chung announced today,” a September press release from the Western District of Pennsylvania opened. Chung’s announcement then detailed the conspiracy to commit health care fraud, pay and receive unlawful kickbacks, and commit money laundering, to which Daniel Hurt pleaded guilty.
While on the surface the Hurt case seems unrelated to James Biden, the details underlying the charge reveal the investigation into Hurt should have run prosecutors headlong into President Biden’s brother’s financial relationship with Americore, the company Hurt allegedly solicited and obtained kickbacks from in executing his Medicare fraud.
In pleading guilty, Hurt admitted he received more than $26 million dollars from Medicare by fraudulently billing the federal government for “genomic (CGx) testing.” According to the U.S. attorney’s press release, “CGx testing used DNA sequencing to detect mutations in genes that could indicate a higher risk of developing certain types of cancers in the future.”
Hurt admitted, however, that he and his unnamed co-conspirators were not using the CGx testing for legitimate medical purposes. Instead, they “obtained CGx prescriptions from telemedicine physicians without regard to the fact that the doctors did not conduct proper telemedicine visits, were not treating the Medicare beneficiaries for cancer or symptoms of cancer and did not use the test results in the treatment of the beneficiaries.” And to attract seniors, they launched a nationwide marketing campaign to prompt Medicare recipients to submit cheek swab samples, either from home testing kits or at “health fairs” held throughout the United States.
The press release explained that Hurt then arranged for these DNA samples to be sent to the Ellwood City Medical Center, or “ECMC,” in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania, for supposed CGx gene sequencing even though ECMC lacked the appropriate testing equipment. Hurt caused the ECMC staff to repackage the samples for testing by third-party laboratories but used ECMC to bill Medicare, benefitting from the higher reimbursement rate allowed for rural hospitals such as Ellwood. In total, between just “January 2019 and October 2019, Medicare reimbursed ECMC more than $25 million for CGx testing.” As part of the conspiracy, Hurt also admitted to providing kickbacks to ECMC.
What the U.S. attorney’s press release failed to mention, however, was that Americore Health, LLC, which was a privately held Fort Lauderdale-based company closely connected to James Biden, owned ECMC, having taken over operations of the rural hospital in 2017. In fact, “in pitching the sale of Ellwood City Medical to Americore,” Americore’s CEO Grant White would reportedly “often drop Biden’s name.”
Email and text messages exchanged with James Biden and filed as exhibits in a civil lawsuit filed in Tennessee against the president’s brother by two companies in the health care sector confirm James Biden’s relationship with Americore Health, LLC. In that lawsuit, Diverse Medical Management, Inc. and Azzam Medical Services, LLC sued James Biden, investor Michael Lewitt, other investors or investor funds, as well as Americore Health, LLC and its CEO, White, for fraud, civil conspiracy, and other state law claims.
The complaint in the Tennessee lawsuit alleged that on Dec. 19, 2017, Diverse Medical Management’s president and CEO, Michael Frey, and its General Counsel Mitchell Cohen traveled to Fort Lauderdale to meet with Americore’s CEO, White, to discuss a potential partnership between the company and Americore. According to the complaint, at this meeting, the companies agreed Diverse Medical Management would provide business development and management services to the rural hospitals that Americore acquired, including ECMC and another hospital in Kentucky, the Pineville Community Health Center.
When Frey traveled to Pineville in January 2018 to introduce the business model to the hospital, he met Biden for the first time. “Biden handed Frey a business card identifying him as a Principal with Americore,” Frey alleged in the complaint, attaching as an exhibit this photograph:
James Biden admitted meeting Frey in court documents, but in classic lawyer fashion, his attorney claimed the president’s brother lacked the “knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth” of whether Biden handed Frey a business card identifying him as a “Principal with Americore.”
Frey also filed with the court email and text exchanges, including one from Michael Lewitt, who was alleged in the complaint to be a money manager and an associate of Jim Biden. In that email, which Lewitt sent to Frey, Sara Biden, and Jim Biden, he noted that they needed to get Grant “out now” and “take over operations of the hospitals from Grant,” “effectively locking” the Americore CEO out.
A few months later, Lewitt sent a text message, meant for James Biden, inadvertently to Frey. That text further confirmed Biden’s involvement in Americore, reading: “We can wrap ( A / C ) into Frey’s entity further diluting the both in the process? After we take control of both. Just a thought. We must have complete control, too many moving pieces. Jim.”
While this text unnerved Frey, the Diverse Medical Management’s president and CEO alleged that Jim Biden and the other investors continued to reassure him and his business partner, Dr. Mohannad Azzam, the founder of Azzam Medical Services, LLC, that the financial deal they had discussed would materialize. And according to the complaint, Biden continued to work closely with the pair, with Biden leaving Dr. Azzam a voicemail in November of 2019 stating he needed Azzam’s PowerPoint presentation on his diabetes care model to show investors the following evening. In January of 2020, Biden also texted Frey, with the president’s brother claiming in that message to be leaving soon for Turkey to secure funding.
After the continued assurances of funding never came to fruition, in June 2019, Frey and Azzam’s business entities sued James Biden, Lewitt, Americore, White, and others for several claims, including fraud and civil conspiracy. Then, in a shocking development, on Feb. 18, 2020, the plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their claims against White, stating “as grounds” in the court filing that White had “provided Plaintiffs voluminous electronic evidence exonerating him in this Action and demonstration he too was a victim of the fraudulent actions of Defendants James Biden, Michael Lewitt, and others.”
Three months later, Jim Biden and the other parties entered into a confidential settlement agreement and release, dismissing all of the claims and counterclaims in the case.
But before they had settled the case, Americore’s former CEO, White, had prepared and signed — under penalty of perjury — a declaration for Frey and Azzam’s case against Biden and the other investors. Mark Hemingway detailed White’s accusations in his in-depth reporting on the scandal for The Federalist, writing:
“In January of 2018 Lewitt arranged for his hedge fund to loan Americore $2 million as a bridge loan while we awaited the larger investment. Jim Biden directed me to loan him approximately $400,000 of this money for him to use to repay a past-due personal loan secured by his house in Florida. Subsequently, in additional bridge loans from Lewitt’s hedge fund, Biden took additional amounts totaling approximately $250,000. The approximately $650,000 was originally intended to be used for Americore working capital. Jim Biden promised that the approximately $650,000 would be paid back out of the multi-million investment coming from overseas that was imminent and certain. Jim Biden, however, has never repaid the approximately $650,000 to Americore, instead only paying back approximately $25,000. Americore has been charged forbearance fees and interest on this despite the fact that Biden took that money.”
Politico also reported in March of 2020, that “a former Americore executive has told POLITICO that James Biden had more than half a million dollars transferred to him from the firm as a personal loan that has not yet been repaid.” Americore, which filed for bankruptcy on Dec. 31, 2019, included the $650,000 “loan” to Jim Biden in its schedule of “Assets and Liabilities,” according to White.
White’s claims against Biden, coupled with the fact that he had sufficient documentary evidence to back up his allegations to convince Frey and Azzam to drop their claims against White, provides a strong basis to investigate James Biden for his involvement with Americore. But it is the Western District of Pennsylvania’s U.S. attorney’s office overseeing that investigation, with the Pennsylvania office actually taking over two related cases against Hurt from U.S. attorneys’ offices in other states.
The Western District of Pennsylvania’s U.S. Attorney Cindy K. Chung, however, has a serious conflict of interest: Beyond being appointed to her position by Joe Biden, in July of 2022, the President nominated her to fill a vacancy on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. Further, according to two sources familiar with the current plans to replace Chung, Assistant United States Attorney Eric G. Olshan has been tapped to be President Biden’s choice as the next Western District of Pennsylvania’s U.S. attorney. Olshan is the lead prosecutor handling the Hurt case.
While the allegations against Hurt do not directly connect to Jim Biden, the facts underlying the conspiracy charge indicate that the investigators necessarily confront — or should have confronted — evidence related to the operations of Americore. The charge against Hurt, however, spoke only of Americore seeking and receiving illegal kickbacks. But what about White’s claim that James Biden used the hospital as his personal piggy bank? And what about Biden and his associates’ other involvement in Americore?
That the U.S. attorney Joe Biden appointed to the job, and who has since been nominated by the president to a federal appellate clerkship, is overseeing this investigation is scandalous. Likewise, that the lead prosecutor in the case is on deck for Chung’s job creates a huge conflict of interest for the office. Attorney General Merrick Garland should immediately tap a special counsel to investigate Jim Biden’s involvement with Americore.
He won’t, of course, because Garland knows the corrupt media will ignore the conflict — just as it has left unnoticed the attorney general’s refusal to provide special counsel protection to the Republican-appointee Delaware U.S. attorney overseeing the investigation into the Biden family. Instead, Garland seems ready to sit idly by while, under the protection of the president, the Biden family papers over its problems with a possible indictment of Hunter Biden on middling tax and gun charges.