Statewide Senior Abuse Training to be held April 1 – 2, 2009

Media invited to attend April 1st opening session, which begins at 8:00 a.m.
On Wednesday, April 1, a two-day statewide training entitled “Recognizing and responding to
abuse of the elderly and the disabled” will be held for Delaware law enforcement and first responders.
The training, offered by Attorney General Biden’s Senior Abuse Initiative and hosted by the New
Castle County Police Department, is designed to educate state and local police officers, first
responders, and other law enforcement personnel to identify the signs of senior abuse and ensure that
those cases are directed to appropriate personnel for investigation and prosecution.
Event: Recognizing and Responding to Abuse of the Elderly and the Disabled
Location: New Castle County Police Department, 3601 North Dupont Highway, New Castle
Date/time: Wednesday, April 1, 8:00 a.m.
Topics covered throughout the training include:
• Recognizing the signs of senior abuse and understanding senior abuse dynamics
• Exploring the correlation between senior abuse and domestic violence
• Reviewing civil versus criminal statutes and remedies
• Response protocols (recognition, documentation, referral, investigation)
• Investigative strategies
Senior abuse consists of a range of crimes, including verbal and physical abuse, neglect, and
sexual and financial exploitation. Studies have shown that for every case of senior abuse that is
reported, five cases go unreported. In September, 2008, Attorney General Biden established the Senior
Protection Initiative to expand efforts to prosecute abusers and to encourage victims to come forward.
He also created a statewide Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT), under the direction of experienced senior
abuse prosecutor, Deputy Attorney General Marsha White, to coordinate the services of state agencies,
law enforcement, and advocates to identify, prosecute, and prevent these crimes.
Instructors at this week’s training include Special Investigator Lester Johnson, Special
Investigator at the Attorney General’s Office, and Pamela Williams, Social Services Administrator for
Delaware’s Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities.
Media interested in attending Wednesday’s session should contact the Attorney General’s
Public Information Office at (302) 577-8949. Learn more about the Senior Protection Initiative by
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State Securities Regulators Urge Congress to Provide Greater Resources to Fight Investment Fraud

Ropp: “State securities regulators have the determination, willpower and experience to pursue perpetrators of financial crime.”

WASHINGTON (March 20, 2009) – Drawing from their experience on the front lines of investor protection, two state securities regulators offered the House Financial Services Committee concrete proposals to enhance the states’ ability to pursue and prosecute perpetrators of financial crimes.

Delaware Securities Commissioner James Ropp and Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin appeared before the House Financial Services Committee on Friday, March 20. The hearing, led by Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA), brought together federal and state securities regulators and law enforcement officials to discuss the enforcement of investor protection laws at the federal and state levels.

Testifying on behalf of the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), Commissioner Ropp urged Congress to support the valuable contributions of state securities regulators through federal grants. “State securities regulators have the determination, willpower and experience to pursue perpetrators of financial crime,” Ropp said. “We’ve learned how to accomplish more with less. However, there’s little doubt that additional resources would enhance our ability to uncover and prosecute securities fraud during this economic downturn, which has resulted in vulnerable investors looking to recover their losses.”

Ropp also suggested deputizing state securities attorneys to serve as special prosecutors for complex securities cases; allowing states to review securities offerings currently exempt from state oversight under Rule 506 of Regulation D; including representatives from the state banking, insurance and securities regulatory agencies on the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets; toughening civil and criminal penalties for those who commit financial crimes, especially those who target senior investors; and increasing opportunities for victims of fraud to seek private actions.

Ropp, who serves as the chair of NASAA’s Enforcement Section, also outlined the states’ impressive enforcement record. As the closest regulator to investors, state securities regulators are often first to identify new investment scams and to bring enforcement actions to halt and remedy a wide variety of investment-related violations.

“During our three most recent reporting periods, covering a period between 2004 and 2007, state securities regulators conducted more than 8,300 enforcement actions, which led to $178 million in monetary fines and penalties and more than $1.8 billion ordered returned to investors,” Ropp said. “And, we are responsible for sending fraudsters away for a total of more than 2,700 years in prison.”

Secretary Galvin, the top securities official in Massachusetts, urged the committee to “give the states the tools we need to maintain and enhance our ability to regulate effectively and protect investors.” Galvin also asked Congress to require that brokerages be in a fiduciary relationship to their individual retail customers. Under current law, broker-dealer firms deal with their customers on an arm’s-length basis, subject to an obligation of fair dealing. This means that customers cannot rely on their brokers to meet fiduciary obligations of loyalty, care and competence. In contrast to brokers, investment advisers work solely for their customers and have an acknowledged fiduciary duty to them.

“The Securities Division has seen examples of brokerages dealing unfairly and improperly with customers. Unfortunately, we have also witnessed customers who recover little or nothing for their losses due to the pro-industry arbitration system, and due to the fact that brokers are not considered fiduciaries. This system must be changed,” Galvin testified.

The complete testimony and additional information on the strong investor protection efforts of state securities regulators are available on the NASAA website.

NASAA is the oldest international organization devoted to investor protection. Its membership consists of the securities administrators in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Canada and Mexico.


Ropp Testimony >> download
Galvin Testimony >> download
Chart: States at the Forefront of Investor Protection >> download

For more information:
Bob Webster, Director of Communications

The Delaware Department of Justice announces $455,000 settlement in Medicaid Fraud case

The Delaware Department of Justice announced that it has reached an agreement with Rite Aid of Delaware, Inc. (“Rite Aid”) to resolve allegations that the company, through one of its Delaware pharmacists, Bruce Costa, generated false prescriptions for pharmaceutical products that were submitted for reimbursement to the Delaware Medicaid Program but were not provided to Medicaid beneficiaries. Under the agreement, Rite Aid will pay $435,000 in restitution, to be split between the Delaware Medicaid Program and the federal government. In addition, $20,000 will be paid to the Delaware Department of Justice to reimburse the cost of the investigation.

“This case sends a clear message to the health care community that we will actively and vigorously
investigate allegations of Medicaid fraud and hold offenders accountable,” stated Deputy Attorney
General Daniel Miller, Director of the Delaware Department of Justice Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.

In a previous investigation related to this case, pharmacist Bruce Costa pled no contest (nolo
contendere) in New Castle County Superior Court to three counts of fraudulent acts and two counts of
falsifying business records. He was sentenced on June 11, 2008 to one year of probation on each
count and ordered to pay more than $38,000 in restitution to the Delaware Medicaid Program and a
$6,000 penalty to the state’s general fund. In addition, he was ordered to pay $20,000 for investigative
costs to the Delaware Department of Justice.

The investigation and prosecution of this case was led by Delaware Department of Justice Special
Investigator Daniel Daly and Deputy Attorneys General Susan Purcell and James Apostolico.
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The Delaware Department of Justice called on the US Congress to amend the U.S. Bankruptcy Code to permit federal Bankruptcy Courts to protect families from foreclosure. In a letter sent to House and Senate Leadership the Attorneys General of 22 states and the District of Columbia report that, despite efforts by state and federal government regulators to encourage voluntary
mortgage loan modifications and avoid unnecessary foreclosures, further action must be taken.

“This amendment to the federal Bankruptcy Code will benefit all taxpayers by reducing the number of foreclosures and attacking a major component of the current economic downturn,” stated Timothy Mullaney, Director of the Delaware Department of Justice Fraud and Consumer Protection Division. “It will help families remain in their homes and provide a stabilizing force to our economy.”

Under the amendment urged by the Attorneys General, if a federal Bankruptcy Court ordered a loan modification, the homeowner would be required to pay the loan based on the current secured value of the home and the mortgage holder may be required to absorb the unsecured portion of debt that exceeds the value of the home. As a result, homeowners with regular income would retain their home while paying the modified mortgage. The mortgage holder receives a steady stream of income
while avoiding the losses and expenses incident to a foreclosure sale.

Today’s letter notes that the bankruptcy system is well-equipped to handle this crisis. With bankruptcy judges experienced in valuing property, no new agency, regulations, or personnel are eeded to implement the amendment. The proposal could take effect immediately and at no cost to taxpayers. Moreover, the Attorneys General do not anticipate an increase in bankruptcy filings by passing such an amendment; instead they believe such a measure would likely motivate mortgage servicers and secondary market investors to secure sustainable loan modifications.

Andre Blake sentenced to life behind bars for 2007 Dover homicide

The Delaware Department of Justice today announced that Andre Blake, age 28 of
Dover, has been sentenced by Judge Robert B. Young to prison for his natural life, followed by 45
years incarceration, followed by 2 years of intensive probation.

Today’s sentence follows Blake’s January 26, 2009 conviction in Kent County Superior Court of First
Degree Murder, Attempted Murder, 8 counts of Reckless Endangering First Degree, and 10 counts of
Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony.

On September 1, 2007 in the area of North New Street in Dover, Andre Blake’s girlfriend was
involved in a physical altercation with a group of young women. After the altercation ended, witnesses
heard Blake threaten the group with physical harm. One of the women involved in the altercation
walked away from the incident and was speaking to occupants of a vehicle stopped on the side of
North New Street. During that conversation, Blake began firing a 9 mm handgun in the direction of
the woman. One of the bullets entered the stopped vehicle and struck and killed a 16 year-old
passenger. Blake was arrested on September 1, 2007 by Dover Police.

“We are pleased with today’s sentence and feel confident that Delaware’s communities are now
safer,” said State Prosecutor Richard Andrews. The case was prosecuted by Deputy Attorneys General
Kenneth Haltom and Jason Cohee. Paralegal Crystal Carey and Administrative Assistant Susan Balik
provided legal and administrative support on this case.
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