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ST. CHARLES, Mo. (AP) - A St. Charles County doctor has pleaded guilty to fraudulently billing Medicare for office visits when he was actually traveling outside the country.
 
Federal prosecutors say Dr. Khaled Hassan told Medicare he treated patients face-to-face on three occasions between March 2009 and December 2011 when he was actually overseas.  The office visits involved prescription drug refills, with Hassan's nurses instead seeing the patients and providing previously signed prescription forms.
 
That led to a federal Drug Enforcement Administration investigation. Hassan faces up to five years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 for each of the three felony counts. Sentencing is scheduled for April.
Thursday, 30 January 2014 14:46
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WASHINGTON (AP) - Philomena Lee wistfully described her search for her son 50 years after his adoption, a quest captured in an Oscar-nominated film.
 
Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill said Lee's experience was an argument for adoption rights and an incentive for Ireland to open its records.
 
The two women met Thursday and spoke to reporters about the Philomena Project and efforts to reconcile families. They were joined by Lee's daughter, Jane Libberton, who helped in the search.
 
The movie starring Judi Dench has drawn attention to Lee's story and what transpired in Ireland for decades. Children were adopted by Americans, and their birth mothers were unable to find out what happened to them.
 
Lee said weeks ago she was a housewife, now she's on daytime television and will be attending the Oscars.
Thursday, 30 January 2014 14:24
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri woman who as a teenager wrote that killing a young neighbor girl was an "ahmazing" thrill is now asking a judge to overturn her guilty plea.
 
   Alyssa Bustamante testified in court Thursday that she wouldn't have pleaded guilty to the 2009 slaying of 9-year-old Elizabeth Olten if she'd known about a pending U.S. Supreme Court case involving juvenile murder defendants.
 
   Bustamante had been facing a first-degree murder charge punishable by life without parole. She pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in January 2012 and was sentenced to life with the chance of parole.
 
   The Supreme Court later ruled that mandatory life prison sentences for juveniles were unconstitutional.
 
   Bustamante's new attorney is citing that case as a reason to undo the plea agreement.
Thursday, 30 January 2014 14:22
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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - Special Olympics Missouri is raising funds as it considers moving its headquarters and athletic training facility to a new site in Columbia.
 
The Columbia Daily Tribune reports if the project is successful, the Training for Life Campus would be the first statewide athletic training campus for people with intellectual disabilities.
 
Special Olympics Missouri has not made a decision but is considering building at the Central Missouri Events Center at the Boone County fairground. It also would move its headquarters from Jefferson City.
 
The Missouri Development Finance Board approved a tax-incentive program that will allow donors to use $1.75 million in tax credits toward the project.
 
The capital campaign's goal is $12.5 million. Supporters envision a facility for year-round training and health screenings for about 17,000 athletes, coaches and volunteers.
Thursday, 30 January 2014 12:44
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