Crowning Achievement

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Stethoscope on 100 dollar bills symbolizing financial surveillance

A crowning achievement is a significant accomplishment, if not one of the most important moments of one’s life or career. It’s supposed to be something to celebrate. You could say that Mahsa Azimirad’s crowning achievement involved a Medicaid fraud conviction. (Noteworthy, but definitely not celebratory.)

The 41-year-old Rockville, Md., woman participated in a scheme that involved falsely billing D.C. Medicaid for thousands of crowns that were mostly not provided to patients of the dental office where she was employed. The former office manager at Universal Smiles assisted in collecting more than $813,000 from her deceptive billing practices.

Azimirad was not the only person in trouble at the dental practice. Bilal Ahmed, the dentist who ran the practice, also participated in the illegal scheme. Not only did he plead guilty to health care fraud, but also to sexually abusing five former dental patients and a former employee and improperly touching another employee, all over a span of three years. Ahmed was sentenced to 16 ½ years in prison and is serving a concurrent sentenced for health care fraud.

The former office manager pleaded guilty to health care fraud, and will serve one year in prison and three years of supervised release after she gets out. She is also required to pay $813,184 in restitution. (It’s doubtful that anyone is smiling about this crime, especially at D.C. Medicaid.) 

Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from an article, “Rockville woman to serve prison term over D.C. Medicaid fraud,” dated October 4, 2021.

A Rockville woman was sentenced Friday to 12 months in prison for defrauding the District of Columbia’s Medicaid program out of more than $813,000 through false billing, authorities said.

Mahsa Azimirad, 41, was the office manager for Universal Smiles, a D.C.-based dental practice, according to the U.S. attorney’s office for D.C.

 

 

 

 

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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.