Public assistance funds are meant for the needy. An article published in the Indy Star follows a woman who submitted fake applications for Medicaid benefits like coins in a bubblegum machine and ended up unlawfully receiving more than $720,000 as a result of her fraudulent efforts.

The story states that the woman submitted enrollment applications to the Indiana Medicaid program for two health care companies. It is important to note that the woman, who was previously barred from participating in all federal health care programs for seven years as a result of a previous Medicare fraud conviction in Georgia, submitted the applications six years after her conviction. (Because she was in violation of the law, she listed her sister as the owner and operator of both health care companies.)

The scam was uncovered after a search warrant was issued and the two companies’ Medicaid claims forms were reviewed. It was determined that Medicaid reimbursed the businesses for a total of $720,358.08 in fraudulent claims.

The 54-year-old woman was sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to pay back the full amount of illegal funds received. (It sounds like she got off pretty easy for a second offense. Good luck on getting back the money.)

Just as too much sweet stuff can give you a stomach ache, too much greed can be harmful as well. This woman’s overindulgence in fraud has definitely left her victims – taxpayers and Medicaid beneficiaries – with a bittersweet aftertaste.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Carmel Woman Ordered to Pay Back More than $700K for Medicaid Fraud,” written by Justin L. Mack and published by the Indy Star on March 3, 2015.

A Carmel woman who unlawfully received more than $700,000 in Medicaid payments has been ordered to pay back the money and spend three years on probation.

Khadijah Shareef, 54, was sentenced on federal charges of Medicaid fraud, U.S. Attorney Josh J. Minkler announced Tuesday.

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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.