Should Have Known Better


Sometimes, people are oblivious that they are doing something wrong. Then, there are folks who know what they are doing is wrong, and continue to do it anyway. The latter is the case for an Ohio woman and her son who ran two home health care companies that defrauded multiple government health care programs out of more than $8 million. (They should have known better.)

The two companies provided health care services to elderly and disabled patients out of three offices in Ohio. Company employees prepared and submitted false documents to Medicare, Medicaid and the Department of Veterans Affairs for services that were never provided. (The paperwork stated that the company’s clients received home visits, but the clients said that was not true.)

Prosecutors at the trial labeled the 71-year-old mother as the ringleader, although she testified before the judge that she had not done anything wrong. (Apparently, she got worked up during her speech and claimed that she was not getting rich off of the government, stating she had to pay many business expenses out of her own pocket. Technically, the money in her pocket came from the government.)

Two employees testified against the woman and her son, stating that they did indeed know what they were doing. The company’s former nursing director pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison, while the former company bookkeeper was placed on home detention for eight months. (Perhaps their testimonies helped them receive a lighter sentence.)

The motherly mastermind was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Her son was sentenced to more than seven years behind bars, even though he claimed that he didn’t know anything about the fraud. (He pointed out that no one at the trial had pegged him as giving the orders to defraud. Sometimes, it ‘s just a matter of guilt by association.) The woman’s daughter was also charged in the case.

The woman was ordered by the judge to forfeit any illegally obtained funds from the scheme, plus a home she owned, and another home previously purchased by her daughter. All of the defendants are required to pay back more than $8.1 million to make up for their criminal actions.

While the woman who ran the companies claimed she would not knowingly do anything wrong, the evidence was overwhelming to the contrary. Thankfully, government prosecutors knew exactly what they were doing, and this woman and her son have been prevented from doing any more harm to our nation ‘s most vulnerable population.

Source: Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, “Northeast Ohio mother, son sentenced to prison for $8 million health-care fraud scheme,” posted on on May 17, 2017.

CLEVELAND, Ohio — A mother and son were sentenced to federal prison Wednesday for a multi-million dollar scheme to fraudulently bill government medical programs through a Northeast Ohio home health-care company.

Delores Knight, 71, of Cleveland Heights was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Isaac Knight, 30, of Macedonia, was given a sentence of more than seven years.

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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.