Sticky Situation

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For people who have bad backs, electric nerve stimulators can do wonders for a fairly low price. (Back surgery costs quite a bit more and doesn’t always guarantee relief.) An article published in the Austin Business Journal tells how the owner of a Texas medical equipment company got away with more than $800,000 by illegally billing for electronic nerve stimulator supplies that were never delivered to patients as reported. (The government was pretty sore over the criminal activity and decided to take back what belonged to its honest taxpayers.)

The story reports that over a two-year period of time, the woman submitted numerous fraudulent bills for reusable adhesive pads used with electrical nerve stimulators to the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Workers Compensation Program. (As you might guess, none of the supplies were delivered to patients as claimed.) The ruse was uncovered after a suspicious beneficiary inquired about a paper statement showing the DOL was billed for medical supply items that were not received.

The 37-year-old pleaded guilty to one count of health care fraud for the intended loss of more than $1 million. She was sentenced to three years in prison to be followed by supervised release for another three years. The fraudster also will have to pay a hefty restitution bill totaling $846,171.

After being trapped in a jail cell for a couple of years on a not-so-comfortable prison mattress, this woman may wish she had an electrical nerve stimulator and a few reusable adhesive pads for her own use. This is definitely a sticky situation she has gotten herself into and it looks like she will be stuck in jail for quite some time.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Austin Medical Equipment Company Owner Sentenced in Fraud Scheme,” published by the Austin Business Journal on May 18, 2015.

The owner of Pain Management Solutions, an Austin medical equipment company, has been sentenced for her role in a health care fraud scheme.

Abby Lindemann Johnson, 37, was sentenced last week to 36 months in federal prison for her role in the scheme, with an estimated intended loss of more than $1 million, according to a statement from the Department of Justice.

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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.