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Corporate report

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  • | 11:00 a.m. September 18, 2015
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Walter Investment Management settles false-claims lawsuit
Tampa-based Walter Investment Management Corp. (symbol: WAC; recent price: $15.88) agreed to pay $29.63 million to resolve allegations from a whistleblower that its subsidiaries Reverse Mortgage Solution Inc., REO Management Solutions LLC and RMS Asset Management Solutions LLC violated the False Claims Act.

The case involved reverse mortgage loans, which are designed to allow older people to access home equity, and are insured by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The government had charged that from August 2009 to March 2015, Reverse Mortgage Solution submitted false claims for interest to HUD by failing to disclose it had not met required deadlines.

The government had also alleged that from July 2010 to October 2014, the subsidiaries, submitted false claims to HUD for the reimbursement of referral fees, which they reported as sales commissions. As part of an insurance claim, HUD will reimburse lenders or their servicers for sales commissions paid to real estate agents as part of the liquidation of foreclosed properties. HUD will not, however, pay lenders or servicers for fees paid for the referral of liquidation business.

Matthew McDonald, a former executive of Reverse Mortgage Solution, had sued on behalf of the government for false claims and to share in any recovery. McDonald will receive $5.15 million from the recovery.

“This settlement represents a significant milestone in our office's longstanding campaign against mortgage fraud,” U.S. Attorney A. Lee Bentley III of the Middle District of Florida says in a press release.

Gunster law firm names shareholder, adds H.R. consulting group
Gunster, business law firms, is expanding its labor and employment practice with the addition of Eduardo Suarez-Solar as a shareholder in its Tampa office.

Suarez has nearly 25 years of experience as a labor and employment attorney. He has also been an executive coaching and management trainer for more than 10 years.

Prior to joining Gunster, Suarez was managing partner and owner of Suarez|Griffin, a corporate law firm specializing in labor and employment. He was also the managing partner and owner of Suarez Mediation and Arbitration Services Inc.

Suarez has also worked in and owned a manufacturing facility and was the CEO and owner of Integrated Employer Resources & Consulting (IER). The law firm is adding IER as a subsidiary and naming Tom Ginnetti as chief operating officer. IER is a membership-based service that provides non-legal professional advice and services to businesses.

Ginnetti has 30 years of experience in human resources and worked with organizations such as PepsiCo, Tech Data Corp. and Reptron Manufacturing.

Oxis International subsidiary licenses new cancer treatment
Oxis Biotech Inc., a subsidiary of Tampa's Oxis International Inc. (symbol: OXIS; recent price: $0.02), reached an exclusive worldwide license agreement to further develop and commercialize a new therapy for treating blood cell or lymph-node-related leukemia and lymphoma cancers.

The protein-drug, called DT2219ARL, is thought to bind to a special surface present in cancer cells and then kills those cells.

The company says DT2219ARL demonstrated success in early human clinical trials in patients with relapsed or unmanageable types of lymphoma or leukemia.

Academy of Soccer opens new Brandon school
The Academy of Soccer has opened its developmental program in Brandon. Structured upon the European academy model, The Academy of Soccer is a full-time private school that combines intensive soccer training and academics through Orlando-based Florida Virtual School. The new school occupies space within the Hillsborough Community College facility at The Regent in Brandon.

HemCare Health Services buying majority of Tampa medical practice
Public health care and technology company HemCare Health Services Inc. signed a binding letter of intent to acquire 95% of Tampa-based practice of Dr. John Isaac Delgado.

The acquisition will provide HemCare with access to more than 200 insurance agreements with various national preferred provider organization (PPO) and health maintenance organization (HMO) insurance providers.

HemCare plans to acquire a controlling interest in the medical practice by issuing 2 million restricted common shares.

HemCare Health Services is positioning itself as a franchise company of hemorrhoid treatment clinics.

HealthCare Partners hires new Florida CFO
DaVita HealthCare Partners has named Lauren Edgington as chief financial officer for HealthCare Partners' Florida market. She will operate from the St. Petersburg office of JSA Medical Group, which is HealthCare Partners' Florida market headquarters.

Edgington joins DaVita HealthCare Partners from Aetna, where she was regional chief financial officer. Prior to Aetna, Edgington was chief financial officer of UnitedHealth Group's New York plan. Earlier in her career, she was an analyst at Goldman Sachs.


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