Boca Raton, Fla., resident Nathan LaParl was sentenced to three years of probation by a U.S. District Court judge for his role in a deplorable multi-million-dollar Medicare fraud scheme. LaParl, 34, worked with an accomplice to sell Medicare patients’ personal and medical information, obtained by contacting Medicare patients with offers of durable medical equipment (DME) at drastically reduced costs.
For pleading guilty to one count of receiving kickbacks in connection to a federal health care program and one count of violating HIPAA, he earned himself three years of probation for his dastardly actions. (Not enough, in my opinion!) He was also subject to a curfew for the first year and ordered to forfeit $220,671. (Still not enough if you ask me.)
LaParl and his partner-in-crime, Talia Alexandre, were smart about their scheme. (Well, smarter than most fraudsters, which isn’t saying much.) They used foreign call centers to collect demographic and insurance information from Medicare patients. Then, they sold that information to Perez Buitrago, receiving more than $1.6 million over the course of their scheme. Buitrago used the data to submit more than $109 million in false and fraudulent claims for DME that wasn’t necessary, and often never received.
The next step in the plan involved LaParl and Alexandre looking into Medicare patients’ insurance eligibility by accessing a tool provided by co-defendant, Stefanie Hirsch, who owned a Medicare-enrolled scooter and wheelchair repair company. That company qualified for access to a health care clearinghouse which held Medicare patients’ personal, medical, and insurance information.
Hirsch let LaParl use her credentials to access to the clearinghouse for a cut of each eligibility check. She got three years of probation and a fine of $2,500 for violating HIPAA. (Seeing as LaParl accessed the personal and medical data of more than 350,000 patients, I’m surprised Hirsch got off so easily.)
As for Alexandre, she pleaded guilty to one count of receiving kickbacks in connection with a federal health care program for which she also received three years of probation, plus a fine of $5,000 and restitution of $1.47 million.
Keep an eye out for more Medicare-related fraud. Unfortunately, it seems to be everywhere these days and there’s no shortage of unscrupulous individuals willing to defraud the elderly to make a quick buck.
Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from the Department of Justice press release, “Florida Man Sentenced in Multi-Million-Dollar Medicare Fraud Scheme,” dated February 17, 2022.
BOCA RATON, FL.—A Boca Raton man pleaded guilty to a multi-million-dollar Medicare fraud scheme in which he obtained and sold medical patients’ personal and medical information
Nathan LaParl, 34, plead guilty to one count of receiving kickbacks in connection to a federal health care program and one count of violating HIPAA.