Category Archives: Contemporary Artists

Business Owner Pleads: Thomas J. Damadio Said He Helped Cooper Hospital Executives Launder Stolen Money

POSTED: January 18, 1997


The owner of a Philadelphia check-cashing service admitted yesterday in federal court in Camden that he helped launder up to $600,000 that had been stolen from Cooper Hospital-University Medical Center by corrupt executives.

Thomas J. Damadio, 47, the owner of B & K Check Cashing in the 4200 block of Frankford Avenue in the northeast section of the city, said he took part in currency transactions exceeding $10,000 with the executives and did not file the required federal reports.

Since the 1980s, financial institutions have been required to report large currency transactions, as the government sought to crack down on drug-dealing and money-laundering.

Damadio told U.S. District Judge Joseph H. Rodriguez that he cashed large checks for Cooper executives John M. Sullivan and John H. Crispo Jr. in 1991 and 1992 and did not submit the written documents.

He also pleaded guilty to filing false income-tax returns in 1991 and 1992 and avoiding taxes on money the Cooper executives paid him to give them cash for hospital checks in their embezzlement scheme.

Damadio, who lives in Medford in Burlington County, was released on a $50,000 personal recognizance bond. He is to be sentenced on April 18.

Sullivan and Crispo and five associates, so far, were accused of stealing $4 million from the hospital.

Crispo has since died. Sullivan, 47, who was executive vice president of finance, is serving 55 months in federal prison.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul H. Zoubek said Sullivan and Crispo would send batches of checks to the cashing service.

The checks would be drawn on Cooper Hospital accounts and be made out to bogus collection agencies and fabricated vending companies.

Damadio said in court yesterday that at times he personally delivered large amounts of cash to Sullivan’s $700,000 mansion in Moorestown and to Crispo’s sprawling horse farm in Vineland.

Cooper hospital fined in Medicare fraud case

POSTED: September 25, 2008


Cooper University Hospital will pay a $3.85 million fine to settle allegations of Medicare fraud, the U.S. Justice Department announced yesterday.

The hospital was accused of increasing charges to Medicare patients to boost its reimbursement from the federal health-care program.

Cooper denied any wrongdoing and said it “did not game this system.”

The Justice Department said in a separate release that from January 2001 to August 2003, Cooper improperly inflated charges for both inpatient and outpatient care so that it could obtain higher amounts of “outlier payments.”

Those payments, the department said, are intended if the cost of care – such as that required in an intensive-care unit – is “unusually high” and are designed as an incentive to hospitals to provide those services.

Cooper, in its statement, said it performed a great amount of uncompensated charity care, “receiving notoriously poor governmental program payments,” and had actually lost money on Medicare reimbursements during the period noted in the accusations.

The civil settlement resolves allegations against Cooper originally brought in a suit by Anthony Kite. Under the False Claims Act, private citizens may bring lawsuits on behalf of the federal government. Under the settlement, Kite will receive $654,500. Charles Miller, a spokesman for the Justice Department’s Civil Division, said Kite was a financial consultant with no apparent connection to the hospital.

A PDF version of the 2011 Medicare fraud settlement can be found HERE

Pedro Brull

Pedro Brull (1938 – Present) is a Puerto-Rican American painter who describes his work as a mix of abstract and impressionism. According to Brull, “You can see the influence of impressionists in my painting, but I change the light. To me that is what changes the form and composition of a painting.”

Brull was born in Puerto Rico in 1938. As a child, He often angered his father by using the walls of the family home as his canvas. Brull’s father became more tolerant of his son’s eccentric habit, after a well respected painter was so impressed with the fourteen year old’s bedroom wall that he offered to sign it. “Having someone famous do that is a form of honor,” Brull explains.

Brull graduated from the School of Fine Arts, Puerto Rico Institute of Culture, where he obtained a degree in fine arts. For many years he was the graphics art director for Telemundo’s WKAQ-TV station in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Throughout his lifetime, Brull has also financially supported himself as a painter, a travel agent and a pastor.

In 1998, Brull moved to Kissimee, Florida, where he found employment with Walt Disney affiliate which creates caricatures for the Disney theme parks. When Disney sponsored an employee exhibit, Brull’s painting was awarded First Prize from Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Brull is a member of the The Osceola Center for the Arts. His paintings belong to a number of private and public collections throughout New York, Florida and Puerto Rico. His commissioned portrait of Juan Quirindongo is a part of the permanent collection of the Juan Quirindongo School in Puerto Rico. An assortment of masterfully created portraits form a portion of the Casa Alonzo Museum’s permanent collection.

Corey Barksdale

Atlanta artist Corey Barksdale was born in Nashville, Tennessee, into a family of Artists.  A prolific Atlanta artist, his fine art subject matter ranges from human figures to non-objective abstracts. In recent years he has concentrated his talents on themes that portray the love and strength that exists within the African American community.

Barksdale earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree at the prestigious Atlanta College of Art in 1994. During this period he was heavily influenced by the abstract expressionists and admired such mainstream artists as Jasper Johns, Clyfford Still, and William de Kooning. The African-American masters Aaron Douglas, John Biggers, Romere Bearden, and William Tolliver instilled in him a appreciation of African/American artistic heritage.