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illinois license defense lawyerThe real estate market is booming across Illinois and across the country. For sale signs that are put up in front of homes are quickly replaced with under contract and sold signs. Many real estate agents are having great success in sales and the commissions they are earning. However, all it takes is one complaint or one investigation by the Illinois Division of Real Estate (DRE) and that success can quickly disappear.

Without a real estate license, a person cannot sell real estate in the state. The DRE has established standards that all Illinois real estate professionals must adhere to. Accusations of not following those standards could result in loss of your license. So, what types of issues could threaten an agent’s real estate license?

Criminal Conviction

One of the most serious issues that can result in loss of a real estate license is a conviction for certain crimes, especially crimes of moral turpitude. Crimes that fall in this category include the following:

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Illinois medical provider enrollment defenseIn today’s litigious society, doctors often have to worry about medical malpractice claims. The high cost of malpractice insurance to protect a physician and their practice is one of the factors that drives the high cost of healthcare. Although focused on malpractice concerns, worrying about accusations for Medicare or Medicaid fraud is not something that a physician usually concerns themselves with, yet these accusations occur much more often than you may realize.

Medicare Fraud Accusations

The False Claims Act was enacted to protect these programs from the filing of false claims. A physician can be accused of fraud for false claims if the Office of Inspector General (OIG) feels that physician knew or should have known the claims were not valid. Under this law, a physician can be held legally liable even if they had no idea their office was submitting fraudulent claims with Medicare or Medicaid. If the OIG finds the physician guilty, that physician can receive a fine of $11,000 for every incorrect or fraudulent item billed to the government.

Incorrect coding is also another reason why the OIG may accuse a doctor of Medicaid fraud. If the incorrect code results in a larger amount of reimbursement than what the actual charge should have been, the OIG could deem this act an abuse of the program.

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Illinois License Defense AttorneyReceiving a formal notice of complaint from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) can feel overwhelming, no matter what profession you are in. A formal complaint can have devastating repercussions – not only on your reputation, but on your entire career and livelihood. Regardless of whether the notice is about a minor disciplinary action or threats of suspension or revocation of your license, it is critical to consult with an Illinois professional license defense attorney immediately.

You Have Received the Notice. Now What?

When an Illinois professional board receives a complaint – whether it is the medical, nursing, pharmacy, dental, real estate, or any other professional board – it will determine if it has the proper jurisdiction. If it does, then the board will initiate a formal investigation. The licensee who is being investigated will be sent a formal notice in writing, advising them of the complaint and investigation.

Although it may be tempting to put the notice aside and deal with it later, this can result in serious consequences. There are precise deadlines that have been put in place by the IDFPR in the complaint process and failure to address the complaint and submit an appropriate response could not only result in forfeiture of your legal rights but can also result in additional disciplinary action and/or further sanctions by the board.

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IL Drug Conspiracy Defense LawyerMedical providers who work with controlled substances are required to follow multiple laws and procedures, and they are likely to face scrutiny about their practices of prescribing and dispensing drugs. Doctors, pharmacists, and other providers are required to register with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and they must maintain this registration in order to be able to continue prescribing, administering, or dispensing controlled substances. The DEA will often investigate suspected cases of drug diversion, and in addition to pursuing criminal charges, it may suspend or revoke a provider’s controlled substance registration, which can lead to other consequences that affect their ability to continue practicing. Conspiracy to possess, dispense, or distribute a controlled substance is one offense that the DEA will be looking to address, and providers will want to be aware of the types of activities that could lead to an investigation.

Texas Doctor Sentenced in “Pill Mill” Conspiracy

One recent case illustrates the types of activities that may lead the DEA to pursue drug conspiracy charges. An oncologist in Fort Worth, Texas was convicted of conspiracy to dispense a controlled substance and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance. He and several associates were accused of operating a drug ring and writing prescriptions for drugs such as hydrocodone and oxycodone that they knew would be diverted and sold illegally.

The people involved in the conspiracy used recruiters who would work with homeless people and others in the community to pose as patients and obtain prescriptions. In many cases, these “patients” would be seen by a clinic manager rather than a doctor, and they would then fill prescriptions at local pharmacies that were complicit in the scheme. The drugs would then be sold on the street.

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IL license defense lawyerDoctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other medical professionals can face a great deal of scrutiny as they provide services to patients, especially when they prescribe or dispense controlled substances. In some cases, a professional may be accused of drug diversion, in which controlled substances are provided to patients for non-medical purposes or allowed to be illegally sold or delivered outside of the medical supply chain. Drug diversion is a serious offense, and it may lead to the suspension or revocation of a provider’s DEA registration, as well as the loss of a medical license, criminal charges, and other penalties. To avoid these types of consequences, medical professionals will want to make sure they are following the correct policies and procedures regarding controlled substances.

Preventing Drug Diversion

In many cases, a provider is accused of drug diversion based on their practices of prescribing or dispensing controlled substances to patients. To avoid these types of accusations, providers will want to be aware of how patients may attempt to obtain illegitimate prescriptions for controlled substances. A patient may show exaggerated symptoms or provide unconvincing explanations for why they need to receive a prescription in a short amount of time, or they may not cooperate with medical exams or allow a doctor to review their medical records. Patients who have specific requests for certain types of drugs or who seem to have extensive knowledge about a particular medication may be looking to obtain controlled substances for non-medical purposes.

When prescribing drugs, providers will want to make sure they fully evaluate patients to determine their pain medication needs. They should also use alternative pain relief treatments whenever possible and require patients to agree to pain management contracts to minimize the possibility of drug abuse. By following the requirements of their state’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), medical professionals can avoid claims that they have issued illegitimate prescriptions for controlled substances.

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