Kris Hundley, Times Staff Writer

Kris Hundley

Kris Hundley has been a reporter with the Times for more than a decade. She has covered the business of health care, from the doctor's office to Medicare to the FDA. In 2008, she traveled to India on a fellowship from the International Center for Journalists to research the growing business of clinical drug trials in that country.

Phone: (727) 892-2996


Twitter: @HundleyKris

  1. Spring Hill cancer doctors get highest Medicare reimbursements in Tampa Bay


    Three doctors with Florida Cancer Specialists in Spring Hill rank as the Tampa Bay area's most highly reimbursed providers by Medicare in 2012.

    Drs. Vikas Malhotra, Mary Li and Thomas Huayang Tang received a total of more than $20 million from the federal health program for seniors and the disabled, according to data released Wednesday.

    All are oncologists, a medical specialty that dominates the list of the most highly reimbursed Medicare providers, in large part because of the expensive drugs they use....

    Salomon Melgen, atop the state and U.S. lists, is being investigated for billing practices.
  2. Large telemarketer for charities declares bankruptcy


    One of the nation's largest charity telemarketing firms filed for bankruptcy Thursday.

    But the Chapter 11 filing by Michigan-based Associated Community Services is unlikely to end the phone calls from its employees, who solicit in Florida and 40 other states for some of America's poorest performing charities.

    In a court filing, company president Richard Cole asked for approval to continue paying Associated Community Services' nearly 900 employees in order to remain in business. ...

  3. BP questioning oil spill payments to some Tampa Bay area businesses (w/video)


    Who deserves to be compensated for the catastrophic BP oil spill of 2010?

    A water scooter rental on John's Pass in Madeira Beach?

    A restaurant on Gulfport's waterfront?

    How about a septic tank cleaning service in Pasco County, a blueberry farm in Hernando or a funeral home in Plant City?

    The answers may surprise you.

    Under the terms of a class-action settlement signed two years ago, BP doesn't owe anything to the water scooter business or the waterfront restaurant....

    Crews on Pensacola Beach clean up oil in June 2010 that washed up from the spill. According to BP’s compensation agreement, a business qualifies if it can show its revenue dropped in 2010, then rebounded in 2011. No direct link to the spill is required.
  4. No accounting for $40 million in charity shipped overseas


    GUATEMALA CITY — In 2010, one of Central America's poorest countries received huge shipments of humanitarian aid from an unlikely source.

    That year Guatemala, where 20 percent of the population lives on less than $1 a day, got $40 million worth of free medicine and medical supplies.

    It didn't come from the Red Cross or UNICEF or any other major international relief agency....

    Roy Tidwell is president of Charity Services International, a Fort Mill, S.C., company that provides administrative support and logistics for charities that ship donated supplies overseas.
  5. Ex-Navy Veterans charity aide suspended from practicing law


    Karmika V. Rubin, former executive assistant and special counsel to Bobby Thompson and the U.S. Navy Veterans Association, has been suspended from practicing law in Florida.

    But the suspension is unrelated to her work with the fraudulent veterans charity and its founder, who was convicted on racketeering, money laundering and identity theft charges late last year.

    Rubin, 40, was suspended by Florida's Supreme Court in December for failing to respond to an inquiry by the state bar association. The group was investigating a complaint that Rubin had misappropriated $6,600 in a client's account. According to the petition to the court, Rubin repeatedly refused to comply with a subpoena for financial records. "The non-compliance was willful," the petition said....

    Karmika Rubin worked for the sham charity Navy Veterans of Tampa as an assistant and counsel.
  6. Bobby Thompson sentenced to 28 years in Navy Veterans charity scam


    Ohio's case against Bobby Thompson came to a close Monday with a judge in Cleveland handing a 28-year sentence to the man convicted of running a nationwide charity scam from an Ybor City duplex.

    As a special punishment, the judge ordered that the mastermind behind the fraudulent U.S. Navy Veterans Association spend each Veterans Day in solitary confinement for the duration of his prison term....

    Bobby Thompson, whose real name is John Donald Cody, is taken back to jail after Monday’s sentencing.
  7. Loophole protects telemarketers that hire felons to call you for money


    No one disputes that Police Protective Fund hired felons at its five Florida call centers to solicit donations from the public.

    State regulators raided the charity's phone rooms in September after the Tampa Bay Times and the Center for Investigative Reporting named Police Protective Fund one of the nation's worst charities based on how much it spent over a decade on telemarketing.

    They found convicted felons among those working the phones and arrested four of the charity's managers on charges they made the hires....

    A dry erase board is used to log numbers at one of the telemarketing offices of Police Protective Fund.
  8. Veterans charity paid its own founder to provide medical care


    Editor's note: As part of a yearlong investigation into charities across the nation, the Tampa Bay Times and its reporting partner, the Center for Investigative Reporting, asked readers to suggest nonprofits for closer review. This story is part of an occasional series revealing what we found.

    Healing Heroes Network has a mission that tugs at the heartstrings: providing financial assistance to veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan so they can get critical medical care....

  9. Getting off the beaten path in rural — and spectacular — Wyoming



    I hear the Tetons are spectacular. But we didn't make it to Jackson Hole during a trip to Wyoming over the summer. We took the road less traveled, something I would recommend next year when the snow stops flying.

    Centennial (pop. 270) is about a three-hour drive northwest of the Denver airport, just over the Colorado line. It's little more than a cluster of a half-dozen or so buildings strung along Highway 130 — a few hotels, a general store and a museum commemorating the town's railroad, mining and timber history. ...

    Centennial, Wyo., is about three hours northwest of Denver. The tiny town borders a vast region of lakes and trails.
  10. These telemarketers never stray from the script


    Amanda Thomas is the perfect telemarketer.
    She's always perky and pleasant. She races through her pitch without a stumble or pause. She never deviates from the script....

    Iowa regulators have used this phone in the state attorney general’s office for years to secretly record telemarketing calls.
  11. One telemarketing company's aggressive tactics show how wasteful charities make millions from easy targets.


    Judith Johnson of Stacyville, Iowa, doesn't get out much anymore.
    Legally blind and living on a small Social Security pension, the 72-year-old used to go to church once a week. She stopped out of fear that her new walker would snag on the railroad tracks she had to cross to get there....

    A crucifix sits next to a phone in Judith Johnson’s apartment in Stacyville, Iowa. Johnson donated 25 times in a year to charities represented by telemarketing company Associated Community Services.
  12. U.S. Navy Veterans Association charity fraud trial ends with Bobby Thompson guilty on all counts


    CLEVELAND — He claimed to be a retired Naval commander and raised more than $100 million from generous Americans for his charity in Tampa.

    He told his lawyer he got funding for U.S. Navy Veterans Association from a "black box" CIA budget and said in court filings that he was working under "non-official cover" for the agency.

    But in the end, a jury here decided that Bobby Thompson, 66, was less James Bond and more run-of-the-mill con man. On Thursday, they convicted him on 23 counts of fraud, money laundering and theft in a charity scam first brought to light by a Tampa Bay Times investigation in 2010. ...

    Bobby Thompson, the Harvard-trained attorney also known as John Donald Cody who ran the suspect U.S. Navy Veterans Association charity from an office in Tampa's Ybor City, was found guilty of fraud Thursday morning.
  13. Verdict in Bobby Thompson fraud trial to be announced at 9 a.m. Thursday


    CLEVELAND — It took the jury only three hours to decide Bobby Thompson's fate.

    But he won't learn it until Thursday. The verdict wasn't announced Wednesday afternoon because a court reporter was unavailable and the defense attorney was picking up his son at day care. The public will learn the jury's decision Thursday at 9 a.m.

    The announcement of the jury's speedy deliberations capped an eventful two days in the fraud trial in connection with the U.S. Navy Veterans Association charity that Thompson founded in Tampa....

  14. Defense rests with no witnesses called in Bobby Thompson case


    CLEVELAND — Jurors here were shocked Tuesday afternoon when the defense in the Bobby Thompson case rested without calling a single witness.

    Not even Thompson himself.

    It was the latest twist in a lengthy trial that has been alternately boring and bizarre.

    Thompson, 66, has been charged by Ohio officials with fraud, money laundering and identity theft in connection with his operation of U.S. Navy Veterans Association in Tampa. ...

    A disheveled Bobby Thompson listens Tuesday in a Cleveland courtroom. He faces fraud, money laundering and ID theft charges in connection to the Navy Vets charity in Tampa.
  15. Bobby Thompson's testimony delayed in U.S. Navy Veterans Association trial


    CLEVELAND — Bobby Thompson's appearance on the stand will have to wait.

    Early Wednesday, his attorney's wife went into labor with the couple's second child.

    Barring other interruptions, court will resume Tuesday with Thompson's long-awaited testimony.

    Thompson, 66, has been accused by Ohio's attorney general of fraud, money laundering and theft in connection with his operation of U.S. Navy Veterans Association....

    Bobby Thompson, whose real name is John Donald Cody, ran a charity that claimed to benefit Navy veterans from an Ybor City office.