Final Moments of Need

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Hospice is a critical service for those who are approaching the end of life and their families or caregivers. That is why it is so egregious that a Georgia hospice owner, Nourolzaman Tucker, took advantage of her Medicaid patients by submitting fraudulent bills to the government health care program. (In her patients’ final moments of need, Tucker was thinking of what she was going to do with all that extra income she was scamming from Medicaid.)

Tucker’s company, Helping Hearts Hospice Inc., was set up to provide end-of-life care for up to 20 patients at a time. The company’s improper billing practices came to the attention of the Office of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. That’s when investigators took a look at the defendant’s flight records over the previous two years. (I bet you didn’t know they could do that, did you?) 

Investigators found that Tucker loved to travel out of the country, specifically on the same dates that she claimed she had personally provided hospice care in Georgia. It also appears that Tucker intentionally overlapped billing and intentional overbilling. (She didn’t account for drive time between patients’ homes so she could cram more visits in.)

Tucker pleaded guilty in court to one felony count of Medicaid fraud. She was sentenced to five years of probation and was also ordered to pay restitution of $5,681.86 and a $5,000 fine. (The good news is that she is now excluded from being a provider under both Medicaid and Medicare.) Congratulations to the law enforcement agencies involved for protecting taxpayer dollars while preserving the integrity of Georgia’s publicly-funded health programs. 

Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from an article, “Georgia hospice owner guilty of Medicaid fraud,” published by The Gwinnett Daily Post on December 25, 2021.

ATLANTA — Attorney General Chris Carr announced that Nourolzaman Tucker has pleaded guilty in DeKalb County Superior Court to one felony count of Medicaid fraud. Superior Court Judge Shondeana C. Morris accepted the plea and sentenced the defendant to five years to be served on probation. The court also ordered restitution in the amount of $5,681.86 and imposed a fine of $5,000. Tucker is now excluded from practicing as a provider of health care services under Medicaid and Medicare.

“We will not tolerate the abuse of Georgia’s Medicaid program as a means to steal from our citizens in their final moments of need,” Carr said. “Medicaid providers are expected to follow accurate and honest accounting practices, and those who choose to exploit this system will be held accountable. We will continue our efforts to save and protect taxpayer dollars, no matter the amount, while also preserving the integrity of Georgia’s publicly-funded health programs.”

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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.