CEO of Fraud and Forgery

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Calculator and stethoscope on paperwork

The CEO of a Long Beach, Calif., substance abuse treatment program has been sentenced after pleading guilty to participating in a healthcare insurance fraud scheme in which he exploited at-risk youths. (Isn’t that just like a fraudster?)

Richard Mark Ciampa, 67, of Commerce, admitted to the scheme in which fraudulent claims were submitted to the state’s Medi-Cal program for alcohol and drug treatment for high school and middle school students.

Ciampa founded the nonprofit program in 1996, which was later called Atlantic Health Services (AHS). The nonprofit provided substance use treatment services to local high school and middle school. (It takes a special kind of unscrupulous individual to take advantage of children.) It closed in 2013 due to a suspension in payments. (Not surprising at all.)

Ciampa admitted to being involved in a scheme from 2009 to 2013 in which AHS billed the Medi-Cal program for students who did not need treatment. (Not to mention they failed to help individuals who needed treatment.) Employees at the nonprofit falsified documents to support the false claims.

The organization’s counselors and managers maintained student caseloads by enrolling them in the substance abuse counseling program even if they had used drugs or alcohol only occasionally, or even just once. (Their roster must have been lengthy if they enrolled every teenager who had sneaked a sip of alcohol.)  

In total, there have been 19 guilty pleas in the case related to the healthcare fraud scheme. After pleading guilty to one count of healthcare fraud, Ciampa has since been sentenced to seven years in prison. He was also ordered to pay $17.6 million in restitution. (I hope he enjoyed the spoils of his fraud while it lasted because he won’t be living in luxury for quite some time.)

Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from an article, “Ex-CEO of Long Beach substance abuse program sentenced to 7 years in prison for fraud,” published by Press-Telegram on September 2, 2021.

The CEO of a Long Beach substance abuse treatment program for youth was sentenced to seven years in prison on Thursday, Sept. 2, after pleading guilty to participating in an insurance fraud scheme.

Richard Mark Ciampa, 67, of Commerce, admitted to the scheme in which fraudulent claims were submitted to the state’s Medi-Cal program for alcohol and drug treatment for high school and middle school students, the Department of Justice said in a statement.

 

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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.