TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR AUGUST 10TH, 2022

Two Western Pennsylvania rehab centers have been named as defendants in a federal case alleging health care fraud. Indictments against the Mount Lebanon Rehabilitation and Wellness Center and Brighton Rehab in Beaver County were announced on Tuesday.  Prosecutors say that both facilities falsified staffing records and submitted false Medicare and Medicaid claims in an effort to receive inflated reimbursements.  Sam Halper, the CEO of both companies, is also named in the indictment and is currently free on 100-thousand dollars bond.

State Police in Lawrence County report a two vehicle accident in Hickory Township. According to police a car operated by a 17 year old male from New Castle and a motorcycle driven by 57 year old Richard Sager of Slippery were involved in an accident on Harlansburg Road. Sager suffered minor injuries. No other details were released.

Residents in Butler County are being asked to stay out of Breakneck Creek.  Authorities report a diesel fuel leak in Adams Township, near Mars, is affecting the water.  Adams Fire District Captain Doug Mellinger reported crews were working to stop the leak yesterday evening.  The Butler Hazmat Team responded to the site.

Supporters say the Honoring Our PACT Act passed by the U.S. Senate last week will expand VA benefits to Pennsylvania veterans. It will benefit more than half of the state’s 800-thousand vets with illnesses caused by toxic burns, Agent Orange, many kinds of cancers and wide range of other diseases. Federal officials say President Biden could will sign the bill sometime this week.

Governor Tom Wolf has visited the White House for a bill-signing for the semiconductor industry.  The bill known as the CHIPS and Science Act – will fund new semiconductor plants to encourage domestic production. The measure also funds billions in incentives for scientific research that supporters say will help boost U.S. competitiveness and solve supply chain challenges.  

Pennsylvania republican nominee for governor Doug Mastriano has reportedly met with the U.S. House panel investigating the January 6th Capitol insurrection. ‘The New York Times’ reports Mastriano’s attorney said that the Pennsylvania lawmaker cut his Tuesday interview short without answering questions. A subpoena for Mastriano had been issued back in February for him to speak about his part in Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election. 

Rep. Scott Perry says the FBI has seized his cell phone. He says in a statement that federal agents took it Tuesday while he was traveling with his family. CNN says the search is connected to an investigation being conducted in part by the Justice Department. Perry has been part of the congressional investigation into Donald Trump’s actions leading up to the January 6th riots.

Governor Tom Wolf is praising Pennsylvania’s new, lower Corporate Net Income Tax rate . The state tax that’s paid by businesses on their corporate profits was negotiated during the most recent legislative session. Through a series of steps, the CNIT will eventually reach just under five percent, down from nearly ten percent. The governor says path to the new rate will ensure tax fairness while making the state a top location for businesses and good-paying jobs.

Pennsylvania reportedly has one of the highest case counts in the nation for identity theft. The Federal Trade Commission says more than 27-thousand residents have filed identity theft reports since the start of the year. The group QuoteWizard says that’s extended to a nearly two-hundred and 70 percent increase since 2019.  People between the ages of 30 and 54 are the prime targets for bank fraud and credit card fraud.