Department of Justice Designates First Chief AI Officer

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Department of Justice Designates First Chief AI Officer

On February 22, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) designated Jonathan Mayer as the DOJ’s first “Chief Science Technology Advisor and Chief Artificial Intelligence Officer.” Mayer will work under DOJ’s Office of Legal Policy to aid in coordinating a group of experts in cybersecurity, artificial intelligence (AI), and other technology-related areas.

As Chief Science and Technology Officer, Mayer will advise DOJ leadership on technical issues and emerging technologies, including matters related to AI and cybersecurity. As Chief AI Officer, Mayer will work on cross-agency efforts related to AI pursuant to the President’s Executive Order on the Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence. Mayer will also spearhead DOJ’s new Emerging Technology Board to oversee AI and related technologies across DOJ.

According to DOJ, the Department is focused on “keep[ing] pace with rapidly evolving scientific and technological developments” and Attorney General Merrick Garland anticipates that Mayer’s expertise “will be invaluable” in ensuring that DOJ “is prepared for both the challenges and opportunities that new technologies present.”

The DOJ press release can be found here.

Federal Grand Jury Indicts Doctor for $20.7 Million Healthcare Fraud

On February 22, a New Jersey federal grand jury charged a doctor for his alleged participation in a $20.7 million healthcare fraud scheme.

According to court documents, prosecutors accused Alexander Baldonado of submitting over $20.7 million in false and fraudulent claims to Medicare for laboratory tests. Baldonado allegedly received cash kickbacks from laboratories in exchange for approving orders for tests billed to Medicare. The indictment alleges that Baldonado also authorized testing for COVID-19 and other expensive cancer genetic tests that were not requested by patients nor medically necessary. Baldonado was further charged with defrauding Medicare and Medicaid by receiving illegal cash kickbacks from an owner of a durable medical equipment supply company in exchange for ordering medical supplies that were not medically necessary.

Baldonado was charged with conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, healthcare fraud, conspiracy to defraud the government, and soliciting illegal kickbacks.

The DOJ press release can be found here.

Pharmacist and Technician Convicted of $2.3 Million Fraud

On February 28, an Ohio federal jury convicted a pharmacist and a pharmacy technician for their roles in a $2.3 million conspiracy to defraud Ohio’s Medicaid program.

According to court documents, the pharmacist owned four pharmacies in Columbus, Ohio, which were operated and managed by the technician. Evidence presented at trial demonstrated that both the pharmacist and technician conspired to bill Medicaid for a certain type of proton pump inhibitor, which was reimbursable by Medicaid at a much higher payment rate than the typical medication. However, as the government alleged, the medication that was actually administered was a generic form of the drug rather than the more expensive medication.  

The federal jury convicted both the pharmacist and technician of conspiracy to commit heathcare fraud and defrauding Medicaid. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

The DOJ press release can be found here.


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