ProfNet Experts Available on Child Support, Expense Fraud, More Also in This Edition: Jobs for Writers and Media Industry Blog Posts

Oct 16, 2013, 14:53 ET from ProfNet

NEW YORK, Oct. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Below are experts from the ProfNet network that are available to discuss timely issues in your coverage area. If you are interested in interviewing any of the experts, please contact them via the contact information at the end of the listing. To receive these updates by email, send a note to with the industries you cover, and we'll add you to the appropriate edition. 

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  • New Income Caps Provide Extra Child Support
  • Shutdown Means Slowdown for New HIPAA Regulations
  • New Maritime Filings Over Damages Likely
  • Expense Fraud – What to Do When Someone Claims to Work for the CIA
  • 'Where There's a Will, There's a Relative'
  • Chinese Travel Agencies Called 'ATMs'
  • Don't Expect a Noncompete Ban in Texas


  • Reporter – Beverly Hills Weekly (CA)
  • Night Editor – Wall Street Journal (NY)
  • Managing Editor – Hispanic Executive (IL)


  • Blog Notes: Knitting, Parenting & Geology Blogs
  • Assumption College Takes a Bite Out of the Big Apple
  • Media 411: Journalists Affected by Government Shutdown



New Income Caps Provide Extra Child Support
Brad LaMorgese
Family Law Attorney
McCurley Orsinger McCurley Nelson & Downing, L.L.P. in Dallas
"Some divorced parents may begin receiving slightly larger child support payments under a revision to the Texas Family Code that went into effect Sept. 1. The Texas Legislature raised the monthly income cap, the amount from which child support payments are calculated, from $7,500 to $8,550. The parent paying child support typically pays 20 percent of his or her monthly net income (up to $8,550) for one child, with 5 percent added for each additional child, up to 40 percent for five or more children. Adjustments can be made if the non-custodial parent has children from other marriages or relationships. This could mean an extra $210 a month for one child, which is a lot to parents struggling to make ends meet. Of course, there are possible exceptions to the child support guidelines, so be sure to talk to your attorney if your needs exceed those envisioned by the Family Code."
Media Contact: Amy Hunt,

Shutdown Means Slowdown for New HIPAA Regulations
Susan Murphy
Health Care Attorney
Thompson & Knight in Houston
"A new federal rule enhancing the protection of individuals' health information took effect last month, including stringent compliance and audit programs for health care providers and increased liability for their business associates. While this new HIPAA rule has wide-ranging implications, the government shutdown and suspension of the online tool to manage complaints has dampened the new rule's expected effects. There was a lot of saber-rattling over the past several months, but the audit program was always meant to roll out a little more slowly, allowing regulators to identify, prioritize and monitor compliance issues, not just enforce them. Although the complaint portal will likely double the number of reported privacy breaches, that increase should occur gradually. However, since the program is funded primarily by fines from enforcement actions, those breaches with the strongest supporting evidence and greatest potential for recovery likely will be the initial focus."
Media Contact: Barry Pound,

New Maritime Filings Over Damages Likely
James T. Brown
Maritime and Energy Lawyer
Legge, Farrow, Kimmitt, McGrath & Brown, L.L.P. in Houston
"Seamen can collect punitive damages from an employer when the vessel is unseaworthy, the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled recently, reversing a lower court decision. It's the latest of several rulings on the issue over the years. And it's likely to open the floodgates to a slew of new filings and amended claims alleging willful and wanton breaches of general maritime law. The ruling in Haleigh J. McBride, et al. v. Estis Well Service LLC, puts the 5th Circuit in line with other appeals courts for now. But, over time, splits may occur. Ultimately, it may take another Supreme Court review to clarify whether Jones Act seamen can recover punitive damages under general maritime un-seaworthiness claims."
Media Contact: Kit Frieden,

Expense Fraud – What to Do When Someone Claims to Work for the CIA
Daniel W. Draz, M.S.,CFE
Fraud Solutions
Captivated with the story this week about the former EPA employee (John Beale) who the government investigation claims masqueraded as a CIA employee, lied to his employer (the EPA) and fraudulently received money from the agency that he was not entitled to for nearly 20 years? Says Draz: "If you think that story is about his working for the CIA, it really isn't. The real story here lies in the employment related failures of the EPA (his employer) and how those business and employment related failures translate directly to *all* businesses whether government agencies or not. There is a definite 'lessons learned' opportunity here. Employees make representations all the time, some are true and some are not. It's what you do about them (or in this case, didn't do) that matters. And when employers don't take the steps necessary to investigate 'red flags' they lose money -- in this case those failures cost the government (and now taxpayers) almost $1,000,000.00."
Draz is the principal of Fraud Solutions, a global fraud consulting firm located outside Chicago. He is a recognized leader in the fraud profession, providing innovative enterprise anti-fraud risk management strategies, insightful observations, fraud training and thought leadership to clients. He has extensive corporate fraud management (prevention, detection, investigation, risk, ethics, audit, compliance and legal) experience across a number of different industry verticals and works with companies to improve their enterprise fraud risk management efforts and reduce major fraud losses. Additionally, he is a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), has a Masters in Economic Crime Management and is an Adjunct Professor at four colleges where he teaches a variety of fraud, white collar crime and financial crime classes for industry professionals.
Expert Contact: Daniel W. Draz,

'Where There's a Will, There's a Relative'
Ronald Fatoullah, Esq.
Ronald Fatoullah & Associates
"You may have read about Huguette Clark, the wealthy and eccentric copper industry heiress, who passed away in 2011, leaving two conflicting wills and a three hundred million dollar estate. After two years in court, a settlement has finally been reached."
Fatoullah has been advising New Yorkers about the legal and financial challenges of aging for more than 30 years. He is a leading practitioner with an eight-year inclusion as one of New York's "Best Lawyers" in the fields of elder law, trusts and estates.
Media Contact: Carol Schell,

Chinese Travel Agencies Called 'ATMs'
Tom Fox
FCPA and Compliance Ethics Lawyer and Blogger
Tom Fox Law in Houston
"The Chinese government made an unusual move by cracking down on alleged bribery by sales executives working for pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), creating bright-line lessons for other companies with a presence there. Any company doing a lot of business, like GSK did, through Chinese travel agencies – where corruption runs so rampant they've been dubbed 'ATMs' – needs to get down in the expenditure weeds. In China, people are collecting and selling phony receipts, too. It's one of several foreign countries where corruption is rampant and foreign companies may start being blamed. Chinese officials are looking to the briber now, and the warning shot has been fired." Tom Fox is the author of the e-book, "GSK in China: A Game Changer in Compliance."
Media Contact: Mary Flood,

Don't Expect a Noncompete Ban in Texas
Joe Ahmad
Executive Employment Lawyer
Ahmad, Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing P.C. in Houston
"Covenants not to compete are verboten in California, and the governor of Massachusetts is also hoping to ban them as a way to spur innovation and economic growth in his state. But don't expect that to happen in Texas. Even though Texas has adopted the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, protecting corporate trade secrets isn't the only reason employers require noncompetes. Employers often provide specialized training, and if those specially trained employees could leave and instantly be hired at a competitor, then that would be a disincentive for employers to provide such training. In order to be enforceable, noncompetes need to be reasonable, but the courts typically do a good job of striking down the unreasonable ones. Texas law requires noncompetes to be drafted in a way that protects employers and employees, which is preferable to banning them."
Media Contact: Amy Hunt,



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Following are links to other news and resources we think you might find useful. If you have an item you think other reporters would be interested in and would like us to include in a future alert, please drop us a line at

  • BLOG NOTES: KNITTING, PARENTING & GEOLOGY BLOGS: Blog Notes is a weekly helping of blogs recently reviewed on PR Newswire for Bloggers. In this installment, Christine Cube reviews blogs relating to knitting, parenting and geology:
  • ASSUMPTION COLLEGE TAKES A BITE OUT OF THE BIG APPLE: Congratulations to ProfNet member Lorraine U. Martinelle, director of media relations at Assumption College in Worcester, Mass. who was featured in Times Square as part of our Facebook promotion! Want to see your face in Times Square? Details:
  • MEDIA 411: JOURNALISTS AFFECTED BY GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN: The government shutdown has interrupted the lives of millions of Americans including the lives of those responsible for providing us with necessary information such as reporters. There are alternatives, however, that provide limited information for journalists who need data:  


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