Fraudulent Friends

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Fraud is easier if there is someone on the inside that can help perpetuate a crime. An article published in the Suffolk News-Herald tells about a husband and wife team who got a little help from a Medicaid insider. Their fraudulent friend helped the duo bilk the government program out of approximately $1.3 Million.

The story states that the husband owned and operated a home health care business that provided personal care and respite services. The wife was an officer at the company. Over nearly four years, the two operated a false billing scheme where they declared they had provided services to qualified Medicaid recipients. (Yep, you guessed it. They lied.) With assistance from a former employee at the Virginia Medicaid program, the duo altered their office records including time sheets.

After a three-week trial, the 56-year-old man and his 52-year-old wife were found guilty by a federal jury of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, four counts of health care fraud, eight counts of false statements, one count of alteration of records and four counts of aggravated identity theft. (I have lost count of the counts because there were so many.) They are each facing a maximum of 118 years in prison. Their partner in crime at the state agency has already pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing.

In the grand scheme of things, I wonder if these perpetrators are now second-guessing their decision to defraud the government. (The 118-year maximum sentence is a bit scary. Was the $1.3 million really worth spending that much time locked behind bars?) It’s a pretty sure bet that these fraudulent friends will no longer be collaborating anymore to defraud Medicaid beneficiaries of their deserved benefits.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Two Guilty of Health Care Fraud,” published by the Suffolk News-Herald on September 17, 2014.

A Medicaid provider and his wife, formerly of Suffolk, have been found guilty of health care fraud — to the tune of $1.3 million — and other charges after a three-week trial.

W. Wayne Perry Jr., 55, and Angela Perry, 52, were convicted Tuesday afternoon by a federal jury of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, four counts of health care fraud, eight counts of false statements relating to health care matters, one count of alteration of records and four counts of aggravated identity theft.

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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.