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Features

Medical device manufacturer CareFusion will pay more than $500,000 to North Carolina to resolve allegations that it defrauded the state’s Medicaid program, Attorney General Roy Cooper announced.

The recoveries for North Carolina are part of a $40.1 million multi-state settlement that also includes the federal government. The settlement resolves allegations that CareFusion improperly promoted and marketed its surgical preparation solution Chloraprep and concealed kickbacks to a doctor who promoted the drug.

“Using trickery to sell medical products diverts tax dollars for treatments that aren’t approved as safe and effective,” Cooper said. “This kind of fraud cheats Medicaid and also drives up health care costs for everyone.”

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In a historic move, Lumpy Lambert, an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, has been named General Manager of the new Harrah's Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel being built in Cherokee County.

“For years, our tribe has made education a priority for our people and the announcement of Mr. Lambert’s promotion signals success for our tribe. Lumpy has worked hard to achieve this goal and I am happy to make this announcement,” said Principal Chief Michell Hicks.

Lambert began his gaming career at Harrah's Cherokee Casino in October 1997, as an Operations Supervisor. He quickly rose through the ranks as Casino Manager, Director of Casino Marketing, Vice President of Casino Operations, and, since 2011, Assistant General Manager of Casino Operations.

Lambert also helped lead the Cherokee, N.C., property through a six-year 650 million dollar expansion project, which was completed in 2012. Lambert also led the implementation of traditional table games in 2012, and celebrated the record-breaking success of the resort's firstever World Series of Poker Circuit event in 2013.

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Tax season is upon us and State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) is ready to assist members with filing their 2013 tax returns, offering the no-cost Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program and SECU’s own Low Cost Tax Preparation service. SECU’s season of preparing federal and state tax returns in all 253 branches statewide began at the end of January.

Since 2008, these tax preparation programs have helped North Carolina taxpayers improve their financial condition, saving them millions of dollars each year. SECU personnel filed more than 77,000 returns in 2013, helping taxpayers claim nearly $49 million in total tax credits, including $27.6 million in Earned Income Tax Credits, and collectively saving taxpayers approximately $9.4 million in preparation fees.

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On Valentine's Day, people's emotions run all over the map – some are head-over-heels and want to shower their loved one with gifts, while others are despondent because currently they have no one special in their life. Whatever your love status, one thing to guard against at this time of year is scams.

Valentine's Day brings out the best – and worst – in human behavior. Our impulse is to be generous and search for the ideal gift. Internet thieves know this and coolly set traps for unsuspecting shoppers. And, not surprisingly, dating websites experience greater activity, along with a corresponding increase in relationship scammers.

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