RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's office is pressing the federal Treasury Department to go ahead and release Virginia's $115 million share of a national Medicaid fraud settlement.
The state has been promised the money for leading an investigation that resulted in last year's $1.5 billion settlement with Abbott Laboratories. The attorney general's office expects to receive an initial $10 million payment this week. But the Treasury Department said earlier this month that it needed more details on how the office plans to spend the rest.
In a letter released Wednesday, a deputy attorney general tells the Treasury Department that its demand for more information is inconsistent with its own guidelines and past practice. He asks the department to immediately release the money so Virginia can earn interest on it.
ABINGDON, Va. (AP) - A police chief in southwestern Virginia has been charged with drug distribution.
Marion Police Chief Michael Dean Roberts was arrested Wednesday morning on one count of distribution of a controlled substance. An affidavit filed by a federal agent in U.S. District Court in Abingdon accuses the 54-year-old Saltville resident of selling the prescription painkiller Lortab to a cooperating witness.
Court records do not list an attorney for Roberts, and no hearing date has been scheduled.
Roberts did not immediately respond to telephone and email messages seeking comment.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Education Department is offering states more time to enact promised reforms in exchange for permission to ignore unworkable parts of No Child Left Behind.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Tuesday sent letters to school chiefs telling them that they could apply to take another year to start using test results to evaluate teachers. That means some states could delay linking students' test results with decisions to hire or fire teachers until the 2016 school year.
Duncan says he wants teachers to learn what promises were included in the reform plans before they are held accountable for them.
Duncan already has given 37 states and the District of Columbia permission to ignore parts of the No Child Left Behind education law.
FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) - A former day laborer has pleaded guilty to sneaking up on multiple women in Fairfax County and cutting their backsides with a razor blade or box cutter.
Johnny Guillen Pimentel pleaded Monday in Fairfax County Circuit Court to two counts each of malicious wounding and unlawful wounding for the attacks, which occurred over several months in 2011.
He was suspected of slashing nine different women at various retail outlets, including Tysons Corner Center. The Washington Post reports (http://wapo.st/11GHLx2 ) that under a plea deal, five other counts were dropped.
Neither prosecutors nor Guillen Pimentel's attorney gave any indication of why he carried out the attacks.
He was arrested in January 2012 after fleeing to his native Peru.
He faces up to seven years in prison at a Sept. 6 sentencing.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's Court of Appeals has expanded the issues that can be brought up on appeal by a former University of Virginia lacrosse player convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend.
The court ruled late Friday that attorneys for George Huguely V can raise three additional issues as he seeks a new trial. The Chevy Chase, Md., man is asking that the court overturn his conviction of second-degree murder in the May 2010 beating death of Yeardley Love.
The appeals court already had agreed to hear arguments on two trial errors claimed by Huguely's attorneys. It was asked Tuesday to broaden the appeal to include other issues raised after his conviction.
Huguely attorney Paul Clement said in an email that he was pleased with the court's ruling.
BALTIMORE (AP) - A dispute over public access to court records in the case of Pfc. Bradley Manning has moved to a civilian court.
The New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights asked an Army court in 2012 for access to documents in the court-martial, which is being held at Fort Meade. In April, the military's highest court ruled it wasn't the right place for the dispute.
A government lawyer said Monday the issue is moot because the Army is now making pre-trial records available online and promises to continue to do so.
Manning is accused of aiding the enemy by leaking classified documents to the website WikiLeaks.
The center is representing itself, WikiLeaks and several others. More than 30 news organizations, including The Associated Press, supported the center's request.
NEW YORK (AP) - Nine owners and managers of 7-Eleven stores across Long Island and in Virginia were charged on Monday in a scheme to exploit immigrants from Pakistan and the Philippines, in part by paying them using the stolen Social Security numbers of a child and three dead people while stealing most of their wages.
Most of the defendants were arrested early Monday as federal authorities raided 14 franchise stores. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents were executing search warrants at more than 40 other stores across the country suspected of similar infractions, authorities said at a news conference in Brooklyn.
Four defendants who hold both U.S. and Pakistani citizenship belong to a family that has participated in social events with Pakistan's former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, prosecutors said in court papers as they highlighted foreign ties while seeking to have the defendants held without bail until trial. Another defendant is a citizen of the Philippines. The government said the defendants pocketed tens of millions of dollars in the scheme, hiding some of the money.
Federal indictments naming eight men and one woman allege that since 2000 they employed more than 50 immigrants who didn't have permission to be in the U.S. They tried to conceal the immigrants' employment by stealing the identities of about two dozen people - including those of the child, the dead and a Coast Guard cadet - and submitting the information to the 7-Eleven payroll department.
When 7-Eleven's headquarters sent the wages for distribution, the employers stole up to 75 percent of the workers' pay, authorities said. The defendants also forced the workers to live in houses they owned and pay them rent in cash, they added.
"The defendants not only systematically employed illegal immigrants, but concealed their crimes by raiding the cradle and the grave to steal the identities of children and even the dead," U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch said in a statement. "Finally, these defendants ruthlessly exploited their immigrant employees, stealing their wages and requiring them to live in unregulated boarding houses, in effect creating a modern day plantation system."
Lynch told a news conference the stolen identifications were "recycled from store to store and state to state" in a case driven by greed among defendants who bought big houses.
The government seized the franchise rights of 10 stores in New York and four stores in Virginia. The stores will remain open under the parent company's operation. Authorities said the stores had generated $182 million in profits shared by the defendants and 7-Eleven.
Immigration officials detained 18 workers, including some who first notified authorities about the alleged fraud in 2010. Lynch said the workers would be processed through the system, with some who served as whistleblowers being able to remain in the country while the case is prosecuted.
"Several workers came forward and complained," she said of employees who were recruited from the same ethnic communities as the defendants.
The defendants were to appear in court on Long Island and Norfolk, Va., later in the day to face wire fraud conspiracy, identity theft and alien harboring charges. They face up to 20 years in prison if convicted of conspiracy and other charges. Those arrested included a married Long Island couple who owned, co-owned or controlled a dozen 7-Eleven franchise stores on Long Island and Virginia. The couple bought their first franchise license in 1988.
The government said the franchises were licensed by Dallas-based 7-Eleven Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Seven & I Holdings, which operates, licenses or franchises 49,000 convenience stores worldwide, including 7-Eleven stores in 16 countries.
A 7-Eleven spokesman said the company was cooperating with the investigation, but declined further comment.
The case reflects stepped-up enforcement against employers using bogus documentation for immigrant workers. In the past two years, federal authorities have brought similar charges against more than 500 business-owners and managers, said James Hayes, head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement's New York office.
"There's real teeth to these laws, and we're using them now more than ever before," Hayes said.
Hayes said the workers in the 7-Eleven cases were not innocent victims in the scheme but also were exploited by bosses who paid them a fraction of what they were owed for working up to 100 hours a week.
Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. also came under investigation in recent years for hiring workers who were in the country illegally. Last year, federal prosecutors charged a Minneapolis man who ran a company that provides labor to large poultry farms with transporting and harboring illegal immigrants.
Haeyoung Yoon, senior staff attorney for the National Employment Law Project, said that low-wage employers are more prone to not having the proper documentation for their workers. Once the fraud is exposed, the workers typically end up getting fired on the spot and sometimes deported, Yoon said.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Creditors are taking over operation of a privately run, state-owned toll road that has failed to generate enough revenue to cover its debt payments.
An Australian company, Transurban, has operated Pocahontas 895 since 2006. According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the company confirmed Thursday that it will transfer its agreement with the state to a group of European banks that hold more than $300 million in debt on the project.
The road crosses the James River between Chesterfield and Henrico counties. The toll for a two-axle vehicle is $3.25 during peak commuter hours and $3 during non-peak hours on weekdays. It drops to $2.75 on weekends
Transurban marketing director Pierce Coffee says it's unclear who will operate the toll road for the creditors, but travelers should see no difference.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - About 140,000 homes and businesses remain without power in Virginia after a powerful storm pummeled the state.
Richmond police say 4-year-old Shawn T. Wills of Chesterfield County was killed when an uprooted tree fell on him and his father at a park in the city Thursday afternoon. The boy's 43-year-old father was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. His name was not released.
Strong winds uprooted trees and knocked down power lines through a wide swath of the state. There were scattered reports of property damage from trees and limbs falling on houses and vehicles.
Dominion Virginia Power reported about 84,000 customers remained without service Friday morning. Most were in the Richmond and southeaster Virginia regions. Rappahannock Electric Cooperative reports about 1,100 customers without power. About 56,000 Appalachian Power customers in Virginia remained without power.
FORT MEADE, Md. (AP) - Pfc. Bradley Manning's court-martial over sending sensitive material to WikiLeaks has resumed with an Army investigator testifying about what he found on the soldier's personal laptop.
Army computer crimes investigator Mark Johnson testified Wednesday that he found evidence of chats between Manning and Julian Assange, who founded the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks. Manning faces numerous charges, including aiding the enemy, which carries a potential life sentence.
Johnson also testified that Manning used the alias Nathaniel Frank, a historian who wrote a book critical of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy.
Manning's defense has said he was a naive but good-intentioned soldier whose struggle to fit in as a gay man in the military made him feel he needed to do something to make a difference.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) - A Leesburg man is set to plead guilty in a case where authorities say he and another man kept an FBI submachine gun stolen from the trunk of an agent's car.
The Washington Examiner reports that 26-year-old Jonathan Cowden is scheduled to enter a plea deal Monday in federal court in Alexandria. Also charged is 26-year-old Nate Whilden of Clifton.
According to an FBI affidavit, Whilden broke into a sedan parked in his neighborhood in February 2011 and found an FBI-issued Heckler and Koch submachine gun. According to the affidavit, Whilden took a bag from the trunk and only discovered later that the gun was FBI property.
The affidavit states that Whilden later sold the gun to Cowden. It was found in a search of Cowden's apartment last year.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Commonwealth University Health System has proposed the construction of a free-standing children's hospital with its own management structure and governing board.
The proposal for the Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU was made Tuesday to the VCU Health System Authority. VCU says the new hospital would still be part of the VCU Medical Center.
The cost of the project wasn't disclosed. VCU says funding is expected to include health system cash reserves, financing and philanthropic support from the community through the Children's Hospital Foundation.
VCU President Michael Rao says the hospital would strengthen the university's commitment to pediatric education and research, along with addressing the health of children in the region and the state.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - State Sen. Ralph Northam is the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor, defeating the former White House technology chief Aneesh Chopra in Virginia's statewide primary.
Northam claimed 51.5 percent of the vote on Tuesday.
The 53-year-old Northam is a pediatric neurologist who led the Democrats' Senate charge against a Republican bill that would require intrusive ultrasound exams of women seeking abortions. He will be up against Republican E.W. Jackson, a conservative Chesapeake minister and fiery opponent of abortion who likened Planned Parenthood to the Ku Klux Klan.
Chopra was Virginia's Secretary of Technology under Gov. Tim Kaine and chief information officer in President Barack Obama's White House until last year.
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - The Cavalier Hotel property in Virginia Beach could soon have a new owner.
The Virginian-Pilot reports that a judge is expected to rule Monday on a motion to sell the hotel and surrounding properties to Cavalier Associates Inc. for more than $35 million.
The proposed sale is part of a long-running legal dispute involving The Disthene Group Inc. The holding company controls the Dixon family's assets, including the hotel property.
Last September, Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge Marum Roush ordered the Buckingham County-based company into receivership. Roush ruled that mismanagement and oppression of minority stockholders clouded Disthene's operations for years.
The Disthene Group has agreed to buy out minority stockholders to settle the case. Roush is expected to rule on the proposed settlement Tuesday.
GLOUCESTER, Va. (AP) - A sentencing hearing is set for a Gloucester County couple convicted of keeping their daughter in a makeshift cage.
Media outlets report that Brian and Shannon Gore each face up to life in prison. They're scheduled to be sentenced Monday afternoon in Gloucester County Circuit Court.
The Gores had pleaded guilty in March to felony child abuse charges. They also entered Alford pleas on aggravated malicious wounding charges. That means they didn't admit guilt but agreed that evidence was strong enough to convict them.
Police say the couple's daughter was 6 when sheriff's deputies discovered her in April 2011 while investigating a burglary report. The deputies reported that the girl was naked, malnourished and covered in her own feces.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The No. 2 Republican in the House says Congress is "perplexed" about government eavesdropping and wants more answers from the Obama administration.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor says Congress enacted legislation authorizing broader information-gathering powers in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks and it "was done in a constitutional manner."
But now, Cantor tells CBS "This Morning," many lawmakers "don't know what happened and we've got to find out."
The Virginia Republican says lawmakers hope to learn more details in briefings from various administration officials on Capitol Hill this week. Cantor notes "Congress is responsible for the oversight of this program" and members of the House and Senate want to know more about it. He said there should be a prosecution if anyone leaked classified information.
WASHINGTON (AP) - D.C. Councilmember Marion Barry has reported receiving thousands of dollars in gifts from two city contractors in what may be a violation of the council's ethics rules.
On his recent financial disclosure forms, Barry reported receiving a $4,000 gift from F&L Construction and a $2,800 gift from Forney Enterprises, Inc. The disclosures were first reported by The Washington Post (http://tinyurl.com/md3j2t8).
Barry declined to comment to the Post, saying the forms speak for themselves. He says the gifts were listed on the advice of his attorney.
Forney Enterprises owner Keith Forney told The Post that he believes the gift was intended to help the former mayor with a personal expense, possibly a bill.
Councilmembers' code of conduct prohibits gifts from city contractors worth more than $20.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Bob McDonnell has ceremonially signed legislation aimed at improving school and campus safety in Virginia.
McDonnell signed the legislation Wednesday afternoon at Robious Elementary School in suburban Richmond.
The governor was joined by Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, legislators and education and public safety officials.
McDonnell appointed a school safety task force after the Connecticut school shootings in December.
Commenting on the legislation, McDonnell said it's important that officials do everything in their power to provide a safe learning environment.
The task force recommendations approved by the General Assembly and signed by the governor allow the hiring of more school resource officers, provide grants for security equipment improvements, establish campus threat assessment teams similar to those used by colleges and require regular lockdown drills.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the Environmental Protection Agency have announced an agreement to ensure that dairy farms, poultry growers and other farm animal operations are on track to reduce pollution flowing into the Chesapeake Bay.
The foundation said the agreement announced Wednesday is intended to ensure that the multi-state, EPA-led restoration of the Chesapeake Bay is achieved by 2025.
The multi-part plan is aimed at ensuring compliance with measures that limit manure and other pollutants from entering streams that ultimately feed into the bay. They include fencing of streams to keep cattle from fouling their waters and management plans for feeding operations and manure.
It's all part of the bay's so-called pollution diet, which aims to restore the bay's health after decades of neglect.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli says the IRS is blocking the release of $125 million owed to Virginia from a Medicaid fraud settlement.
Last year, Abbot Laboratories agreed to pay $1.5 billion to settle allegations that it promoted an anti-seizure drug for uses that were not approved by the federal government. Cuccinelli says Virginia is due $125 million from the 26-state case because it led the investigation, but the IRS for eight months has refused to complete a two-page form that would allow the release of the money. He says he first thought it was incompetence, but now wonders about the agency's motives.
The IRS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Cuccinelli says his office planned to use most of the money for local police equipment and training.
BETHESDA, Md. (AP) - President Barack Obama has visited wounded service members at a military hospital just outside of the nation's capital.
Obama traveled Tuesday to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., to meet with service members undergoing treatment.
The president visited for nearly two hours and met with 21 wounded service members - 13 in the Army, six in the Marines, one in the Navy and one in the Air Force. The White House did not release their names or other details about the president's visit.
Obama's last stop at Walter Reed was in March when he presented two wounded service members with Purple Hearts.
ANNANDALE, Va. (AP) - A small crane tipped over and collapsed onto the roof of a Fairfax County elementary school, causing minor structural damage.
No one was injured.
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue spokesman Dan Schmidt said the accident occurred about 8:40 a.m. Tuesday at Canterbury Woods Elementary in Annandale.
Staff was in the building at the time of the accident, which occurred a few minutes before most kids were scheduled to arrive.
Fairfax County Public Schools spokesman John Torre said Canterbury Woods is in the midst of a renovation project, and that the damage did not disrupt the school day. Classes were being held as scheduled.
Schmidt says there was also a small diesel fuel spill that was contained.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Washington Post reports that Virginia first lady Maureen McDonnell was paid $36,000 for consulting the charitable arm of a Virginia coal company.
United Co. chairman and chief executive James McGlothlin tells the newspaper (http://wapo.st/17P9C78) in Monday's editions that McDonnell advised the Bristol company and its philanthropic foundation on its giving toward educational and health care initiatives.
Gov. Bob McDonnell's 2011 and 2012 statements of economic interests list her as a paid trustee of the family charity, the Francis G. and James W. McGlothlin Foundation.
McGlothlin, however, tells the Post that she was not on the foundation board but a paid adviser to the company. That distinction would obligate McDonnell to disclose her compensation on the governor's required annual financial disclosure reports.
FORT MEADE, Md. (AP) - An attorney for Pfc. Bradley Manning says the soldier on trial for giving classified information to WikiLeaks was young and naive, but he had good intentions and thought he could make the world a better place.
Attorney David Coombs gave his opening statement Monday after prosecutors said the 25-year-old former intelligence analyst released thousands of sensitive documents that fell into enemy hands.
Prosecutors say they will present evidence that Osama bin Laden asked for and received information given to WikiLeaks.
Coombs did not address those accusations.
Prosecutors are trying to prove Manning aided the enemy, which carries a potential life sentence.
The release of sensitive material was the biggest leak of classified information in U.S. history.
FORT MEADE, Md. (AP) - A prosecutor says Army Pfc. Bradley Manning dumped classified documents on to the Internet and into the enemy hands.
Capt. Joe Morrow made the comments Monday during his opening statement at a trial for the biggest leak of classified information in U.S. history.
Morrow says Manning's case is about what happens when arrogance meets access to sensitive information.
Prosecutors are trying to prove Manning aided the enemy, which carries a potential life sentence.
Manning says he released the material to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks to expose the American military's "bloodlust" and disregard for human life in Iraq and Afghanistan. He says he did not believe the information would harm the U.S.
MANASSAS, Va. (AP) - Prince William County thinks it has the right angle to bolster its economic development and marketing efforts. Eight right angles, in fact.
The county recently unveiled a new logo: two squares. A small dark blue square is offset within a larger, lighter blue square. The Washington Post reports the logo emerged from a citizen-led economic development task force that wanted a new look on marketing materials.
County spokesman Jason Grant says the new logo cost $750 to develop.
But some, including county Supervisor John Jenkins, find the squares obtuse. He would prefer to utilize the county seal, which itself has been controversial because it prominently includes tobacco leaves - a reflection of the suburban county's history as tobacco country.
Jenkins has introduced a resolution to scuttle the squares.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) - A northern Virginia businessman has been sentenced to more than two years in prison for illegally funneling nearly $200,000 to Hillary Clinton's political campaigns in 2006 and 2008.
Fifty-one-year-old William Danielczyk (DANN'-yuhl-chek) of Oakton pleaded guilty in February to violating campaign-finance laws by reimbursing employees of his company, Galen Capital, for contributions they made to Clinton's Senate and presidential campaigns. There are no allegations Clinton or her campaign acted improperly.
At a sentencing hearing Friday, prosecutors sought the five-year maximum. Danielczyk's lawyers argued that similar violations have received probation.
A co-defendant, 78-year-old Eugene Biagi, who is a former Galen executive, was sentenced to probation on Friday.
The scheme was first exposed more than five years ago by The Wall Street Journal.