Compounding Problems

Expensive medicine. Medical insurance. Drug addiction. Money and pills. Drugs.

Pharmaceutical sales can be a rewarding and lucrative career field. But when the desire for profits trumps following the law, sales reps can go to jail.

A 45-year-old Camden, N.J., man is facing 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to one count each of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and obstruction of justice. The man worked for a company that marketed compounded medications and received a percentage of the insurance payments.

The sales rep introduced a doctor to the company and received a percentage of the payments for the doctor’s prescriptions. He then paid the doctor a reward for writing the prescriptions. (That’s what you call a kickback.)

The man admitted to recruiting people covered by New Jersey’s state insurance plans, knowing that those plans paid thousands of dollars for certain compounded medications. The man received nearly $69,000 in compensation but caused the company $525,000 in losses.

If that weren’t enough, the man went so far as to instruct two people to lie to a grand jury about his case. He also told two others to lie to the FBI. (That never, ever works out well.)

Sentencing is scheduled for March. Besides facing a potential 20 years in prison for healthcare fraud, the New Jersey man will likely have to pay $250,000 in fines too. (Sounds like he has a few compounding problems.)

Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from the article, “Northfield pharmaceutical rep admits to health care fraud,” published Dec. 17, 2019 in The Press of Atlantic City.

CAMDEN — A Northfield pharmaceutical representative admitted his role Monday in a health care fraud conspiracy and to obstructing justice by telling witnesses to lie to the grand jury investigating the scheme, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Monday.

Mark Bruno, 45, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Robert B. Kugler to conspiracy to commit health care fraud and obstruction of justice, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said in a news release.

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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.