Kicking the Habit

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It’s hard to kick a habit that is well-ingrained. Whether snacking when not hungry, spending too much time watching television or buying things you don’t need, once a bad habit gets established, it’s really hard to break. A story posted on MyEasternShoreMD.com tells about how a woman’s addiction to forging prescriptions led her to commit fraud.

The story states that because the woman worked at a billing service company, she had access to patient names and their insurance information. (Talk about a bonanza of personal information.) As a result, she was able to make or forge prescriptions for oxycodone as well as other drugs, which were subsequently filled at multiple pharmacies. (The story does not say if she took the medicine herself, or how the drugs were used.)

Following a two-month investigation including a home search where investigators discovered a stash of oxycodone pills, plus evidence of long-term prescription fraud, the woman was arrested and charged with possession of oxycodone with intent to distribute, possession of oxycodone, obtaining a controlled dangerous substance by fraud, possession of prescription pills with intent to distribute, obtaining prescriptions by concealment, obtaining prescriptions by fraud, obtaining drugs by fraud, obtaining controlled dangerous substances by impersonation and fraud, and lastly, fraud/identity theft. (That’s quite a list she obtained.)

The 39-year-old woman pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement, two counts of identity fraud and four counts of obtaining prescriptions by fraud. She was sentenced to eight years in state prison for her prescription fraud scheme. She was also ordered to pay more than $10,000 in restitution to her previous employer. In addition, her prison term will be followed by five years of supervised probation.

The story also mentions that the fraudster was already on probation for multiple counts of prescription fraud and other drug violations before being caught, so this is not her first offense. While kicking bad habits is definitely a challenge, it can be done with hard work and a lot of willpower. (Although this fraudster is probably kicking herself for being caught by authorities, let’s hope she’ll use the next eight years to kick her bad habit of forging prescriptions while behind bars.)

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Woman Sentenced in Prescription Fraud Case,” posted on MyEasternShoreMD.com on August 19, 2015.

CENTREVILLE — A Chester woman has been sentenced to eight years in the state prison system in connection with what authorities said was a prescription fraud scheme during 2014.

Tina Marie Karasek, 39, pleaded guilty on June 29 to one count of embezzlement, two counts of identity fraud, and four counts of obtaining prescriptions by fraud, said Queen Anne’s County State’s Attorney Lance Richardson.

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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.